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Headphone broke off in Macbook port, how to workaround to achieve sound?

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
The tip of my headphones broke off in the headphone port of my 13" Macbook, disabling sound permanently because the OS X is tricked into thinking that there are headphones attached. The only way I've been able to achieve sound is by using Ubuntu which seems to pay no attention to the fact that the tip of my headphones are still lodged inside. Is there any way in OS X to route the sound to the speakers instead of the headphones even though the headphones are physically lodged inside of the port?


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Question by:Amos_Mike
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by:ShayanOH
ID: 24839928
I believe there's no software solution to your problem. Your best bet is to try to somehow pull it out, maybe a magnet (though be very very careful as it's near your hard drive). or if you cannot open your macbook or it's still on warranty, send it to be serviced.

p.s. There might be a way by directly editing driver's plist files or stuff. I haven't read any documents about it anywhere at all. You might be brave enough to jump into it and see what's there!
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by:Amos_Mike
ID: 24840083
Yeah I've tried pulling it out to no avail. I'm out of warranty so I used an iFixIt guide to try and open it up but one of the screws that is required to get to that part of the board ended up being stripped so I couldn't access it. My only option right now is a software option unfortunately
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24841614
Use Bluetooth Headsets.  I do so on my MBP and I love it..
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by:Amos_Mike
ID: 24844220
If possible I would like to find a way to get the speakers working again...
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24844627
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by:Amos_Mike
ID: 24848815
I use external speakers on a daily basis, I guess I was just curious if I could get the internal speakers working again for when I take the laptop on the road, etc.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24874612
Yo can't get your internal speaker working.  You have some options:
  1. Find some tool to remove the piece that is lodged in your headphone jack
  2. Go to you local servicer(even though you are out of warranty) to see if they have a way to remove the lodged debris in the headphone jack
  3. Replace your motherboard as the headphone jack is soldered to the board
  4. Try this http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_you_remove_a_piece_of_the_headphone_output_plug_that_came_off_in_the_headphone_output_socket
  5. Try this http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/67909965/m/447005871931/inc/-1
  6. or this http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081019211537AAyB9qD
  7. if all these fail you should consider a new laptop or one of the suggestions for replacement speakers
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by:pheidius
ID: 24887990
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by:Amos_Mike
ID: 24897210
So does anyone have any solutions out there or will I be forced to use Ubuntu if I want to use the internal speakers??


Thanks again
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24897319
Have you tried any of the posted solutions?
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by:pheidius
ID: 24898045
ya there were several in my post as  well. Some people claimed success.
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by:Amos_Mike
ID: 24900908
Yes I have tried every physical solution of removing the broken piece from the computer I am looking for a software solution. I was hoping that someone familiar with mac software would be able to help me out
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pheidius earned 500 total points
ID: 24911771
There is no way you will find a software one. This is a firmware issue. The poster nappy-d was right about the port being a part of the logic board. I double checked that because my MBP had a left IO board which is removable. This means that your very first assumption that began your thread was flawed meaning there is no software answer possible.  No editing  of .plists will ever work. You would have to have the ability to edit the efi firmware that runs the board. If you are Pc bios savvy then the fix for an on board sound module failure on an expandable desktop would be to disable it in the bios(if there was such an option) and then run the sound out of a SoundBlaster or other expansion sound card. Too bad the Pc market hasn't already adopted Intel's efi firmware architecture. If they had, then just about now you would see an emerging "hack the firmware and reflash" crowd who who have the knowledge on how to do this.(motivated to re-enable features on OEM crippled boards ). So unless you are an fcode/c code expert you are going to have to dig for this one.. Like i said, too bad about the lack of the adoption of far superior EFI standard because the firmware coded fix would likely be pretty easy. it would simple change the fcode "yes plug in_ sound only to speakers line of code. I know this app might be an editor candidate   http://sourceforge.net/projects/refit/files/
EFI means extensible firmware interface.
http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/EFI
This wiki page confirms way down that audio devices are controlled by EFI. EfI means a extensible shell and edit capability. Again, that is great for the future but still gives you a glimmer of hope. The page also confirms that Apple made its own standard which seems primarily designed to hide the shell and text screens and replace it with useless graphical "nothing can be changed" or "there is nothing to change" illusion. But Apple also decided to boot Windows after the Intel cpu changeover. That meant boot camp. That means the door is open to the the Linux community and for the eula breaking os86 project people. http://www.osx86project.org/ Now I have never linked to os86 project because their goal is to cheat Apple by running os x on pure pc hardware. In your case, you are just trying to figure out how to fix your Mac and that doesn't violate Experts Exchange  member/expert agreements. My point is this somewhere in some arcane Linux forum or some arcane os86 project forum is some guy who just happens to know exactly how to do what you want as the code itself is likely a very  simple o to 1 or yes no change in the right spot.

http://sourceforge.net/scm/?type=cvs&group_id=91879
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1460534&group_id=91879&atid=598711
http://sourceforge.net/projects/elilo/support
(by the way a guy at source forge was working on an app called sound out but clearly ran into the can't change the api problem form the software level and quit years ago)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/soundout/files/soundout/SoundOut_release_1_1b1.dmg.gz/download

this guy seems close http://ipis-osx.wikidot.com/internal-sound

appleHDA.kext would seem to be the driver that needs modified.
this guy may also know: ell... i figured it was worth a shot, and it WORKED! i took a look at my stock 10.5.1 AppleHDA.kext's Info.plist. i noticed that there are 3 CodecInfo's in the stock one, while theres only ONE after i patched it. my CodecID for the only CodecInfo there was after patching: "283904131" so i figured, seeing only Headphones were working for "AnalogOut", 283904131 must = headphone port Codec. so i take a took at the #3 CodecID in the unpatched file, which was giving me sound from my speakers before i installed a driver, is it just a coincidence... or is it really that simple. the CodecID for the unpatched file: "283904133" so all i did was edit the modified (driver installed) Info.plist, added a new CodecInfo directory, added everything from the #3 CodecID directory, and linked it up to 283904133, leaving 283904131 as secondary. saved, chmodded, chowned, repaired permissions, rebooted, and sound now works from my speakers only after i go into System Prefs > Sound > Internal Speakers. and it works from the headphones if i change it to Internal Headphones.

Espionage and the rest of you that are having trouble with your internal speakers, post up your AppleHDA.kext's Info.plist files here, both vanilla, and patched and i'll hook you up. as long your internal speakers worked when you installed OS X, i can fix them so they'll work with the ports.


http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t95174.html
The issue seems to be with them that they are working with a kext that expects the bundled apple sound firmware and then have ben working to split up that bundle. TYhey may know, however, on how to edit the efi and split the bundle there first but haven't thought of it done it becasuse they don't NEEd to on their hardware.

Well you get the idea. Possible and a lot of leads but arcane for now.
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by:pheidius
ID: 24911854
o one last thing. i went and ahead and installed spark and audee on my Leopard MBP and while it put a little top menu control at the top for switching between headphones and speakers it would not work and either did headphone or speakers per normal.(though i have not tried the modified kext) But the download I got it from contained another Efi editing app http://www.pd.net/eeeboot.  It is called efistudio.app Since these guys have to make changes to the efi for their vid cards betcha again they would know how to handle the sound.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Amos_Mike
ID: 31602806
Very helpful-- you cleared up a lot of things!! Thanks
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