Macbook Pro Sound Issues (windows xp)

It seems that when running Windows XP via Bootcamp on a Macbook Pro there's problems with the sound drivers supplied by Apple. I discovered this when playing Battle for Middleearth 2 on a particularly boring train journey from London to Leeds last week. On removing my earphones I discovered that sound was still emanating from the built in speakers. To my horror i'd been playing the game with everyone in my immediate vicinity able to hear what was going on. I know i'd have been annoyed had i been on the receiving end. How embarrassing!


68 Responses to “Macbook Pro Sound Issues (windows xp)”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I googled looking for a solution to the problem and came here. I’m having the same problem. If you go in the Sigma Tel (I think that’s it) control panel and go to the ports part, it shows a ? over my headphone port when I plug headphones in. If I click on it I can tell it that there is indeed headphones plugged in, but it doesn’t make a difference… the speakers remain on.

    Keep us Googlers updated if you find a solution to the problem!

  2. effectiveaperture Says:

    It’s probably a driver issue. I imagine that Apple/Sigma Tel will come up with a fix for it before long. Very annoying though!

  3. chr15 Says:

    Same problem here.. anyone find anything yet?

  4. Douglas Hunter Says:

    I’ve had a similar problem on my MacBook Pro running windows XP installed with Bootcamp. One day, Age of Empires went blooie over its failure to detect a sound card. It’s my kids’ program, and it had run flawlessly until this sudden snafu. I can no longer get sound at all, of any kind, out of any program, when running Windows XP: headphones, built-in speakers, you name it. When I tried to launch Windows Media Player, it told me it couldn’t play a music file for the same reason as Age of Empires. Fortunately, I only use Windows to do taxes so far, and retreat to Mac OS as soon as possible, but it is a pain. I can’t verify if sound files on my website work when accessed from the Windows environment.

  5. john Says:

    i am having the same problems with my MacBook but mine is not MacBook pro.
    i was listening to music via my head phones to the horror that it was still playing through the regular speakers.

    i wish i could find something to fix this

  6. effectiveaperture Says:

    I’m hoping that the new release of bootcamp will solve the problem. I’ve yet to download it and update the drivers but i imagine that it’ll be in there somewhere.

  7. Shawn Says:

    I had the same problem as the original poster except I was in my Universities library listening to music on my headphones. I’m a bit embarassed because when I sat down there were lots of people around me. By the time I had realized there was a problem, everyone had already left, no doubt because of my music.

    I’m am a bit surprised if this is the first posting about this problem considering how long the intel based systems have been out now.

  8. Bevan Says:

    I have both problems. In XP the internal speakers don’t shut off with headphones plugged in. If you look through the sound system, there are no options to make this occur. My guess is that this issue is known and everything will work ON LEOPARD. They likely stripped down the sound options to make it easier on the programmers. Anyway, I was playing C&C Generals Zero Hour and the sound started crackling in my headphones then suddenly the computer shut down. I start it back up in MacOS because I was pissed at Windows but my sound was still crackling, this time out of the internal speakers. All of a sudden I can’t get any sound OR select a sound output device. I’ve searched AppleSupport and my Machelp and nothing mentions this problem. I assume something (probably the internal temps that pay for the sleek design) fryed my soundcard seeing as another problem (say driver) wouldn’t affect both partitions. Has this happened to anyone else and what should I do?

  9. Dmitri Says:

    It’s sad to say, but after initial excitement of finding bunch’o brothers in same need, I realised that there’s no fix for this bug. Surely I was having a blast laying out tracks on Fruity Loops (available for Win XP only :(( ) when my g-friend stopped me with one of these face+question moments “Why the hell are you using headphones if everyone in the neighbourhood can hear your dumb music?!”. Heck with it, I tried to fix problem and lost sound driver in XP for a day!!!… until I decided to arrange manual search of the driver in the maze of XP files and… to my dismay, I stumbled upon folder “window drivers”. Dang! With some God given intuition I clicked on the exact driver and got sound in 2 minutes. Driver installed itself and i proudly have “square #1” problem back, but the sound is back as well…
    I don’t use bootcamp, so I don’t think this problem is related to any particular way of switching from Mac to Win, just another overlooked issue. I guess Mac boys just told themselves – why use Win for music when we have Reason and Garage Band. If only Fruity Loops came up with rocking (not the likes of ACDsee port to Mac) version for OS X….. Ahhh, dreams and hopes!

  10. Andrew Says:

    While there’s no fix for this problem, there is a “fix”. . . I have a USB external sound card that I used on the laptop that replaced this one, due to a smashed headphone jack. Anyways, when I plug in the USB audio and run the headphones through that there’s no extra sound coming out the speakers.

    It’s a bit annoying since it takes up a USB slot, but that problem was in turn fixed by a USB port replicator.

    Anyways, it’s less than ideal, but you can get external USB audio for about $30-50, and if you want to use sound under windows on a long trip (train, plane, etc) it spares your neighbors.

  11. Paul Chauncy Says:

    I had a similarly embarassing experience on the way to a gig on Friday – I was doing my glitchy, screeching electronica improv thing in Reaktor* for about 40 minutes before a brave young chap tapped me on the should er to ask me to turn it down. I have the latest update of bootcamp, so that hasbn’t solved it. What a pain! *Reaktor isn’t intel compatible yet

  12. Andy Says:

    This is a “fix” of some sorts…

  13. Remy Says:

    Bootcamp 1.1.1 Windows drivers for Mac CD fixes this issue.

  14. Remy Says:

    Following a restart I take back my previous comment….. it worked before, now I’ve restarted it no longer does 😛

  15. Jeremy Says:

    I have the latest version of BootCamp and although i dont have the headphone problem, my sound frequently jitters and skips. This only happens in XP under BootCamp, OSX is fine.

    Mostly this occurs in FL Studio, but applies system wide – whether with media player or games or other.

    Does anyone have a fix for this? Hopefully it is all smooth in Leopard.

  16. Shaun Says:

    I am having the exact same problem as Jeremy. I am using FL Studio , Cubase 3sx and line 6 gear box and am getting latency issues. Very frustrating.

    A fix would be spanky.

  17. Shaun Says:

    This might have fixed it!!

    “With earlier versions of Boot Camp Beta, the Digital Audio output can be manually disabled by opening the SigmaTel control panel and deselecting the Enable Digital Output checkbox in the Advanced tab.”

    Let me know if this works

  18. Matt Oquist Says:

    I’m running Ubuntu (Edgy) (it’s Linux) on the MacBook that arrived from on Tuesday. I thought that maybe I needed BootCamp, so I did boot OSX and install it, but then I read that I didn’t need it, so I stuck in the Ubuntu install CD and blew everything else away.

    So I’m not using BootCamp.

    I not only get sound out of both the headphones and the internal speakers simultaneously, but I only ever get the right channel out of the internal speakers. Yes, they both play only the right channel of stereo audio, as if it were mono.

    I don’t know yet when I’ll try to deal with the problem. This is a deal-breaker for me in the long run, so I might just have to get a Dell instead…

  19. Rich Says:

    I have spent hours on the glitching (latency) trying to figure it out. It does not help that the “Sigmatel HD Audio codec” comes in more than one form, ie the “on board” and plugin card version.

    I noticed also that the MacBook Pro also uses Realtek drivers for sound. I tracked down the latest version here:

    I have the Realtech HD drivers v5.10.0.5366 now installed.

    I have yet to find a better “Sigmatel High Definition Audio Codec driver”. Bootcamp uses v5.10.48.40, which for anything more than amitor playback is crap.

    Please everyone, bookmark this thred, there maybe yet a solution

  20. martin Says:

    this really suxx!!! i have the macbook and fruity will not work proper!!!

    i hop that they will fixx this problem soon or else i have to buy a pc laptop!

    and the macbook looxx so sexy!!!!!

    oh well….

    i will wait for a week or two, then i sell my macbook and buy a pc laptop

  21. James Says:

    For the guy going to get a Dell machine, I guess I can say you deserve it if you buy it. But the smart way is to run Parallels on OS X and then install Linux there. Then you get the best of both worlds and this is by far the smartest choice.

  22. Sami Says:

    Upgrade the WIFI drivers on your Macbook Pro with these and all the glitches and problems with the sound card will disappear. (Windows XP in bootcamp.)

  23. Alexander Says:

    I am using vista and i don’t know how to get the sound drivers to work on my mac book pro and aoe3 always haas issue with the sound do you know any fix to this.

  24. Ed Says:

    Sami – this didn’t work, sorry :\
    Why would WIFI drivers affect sound performance?

  25. Hans Says:

    FL studio skipping, make mad. Tried all updates and turning off wireless… want latency to chill… Don’t think Vista is the answer.

  26. Dudley Thorpe Says:

    I fixed this problem in Bootcamp by going to the Device Manager and disabling the Wireless Network Adapter.

    No idea why this fixed it, but saw the tip on another website and thought I’d give it a try.

    I will try new Wireless drivers when I finish enjoying the crackle free sound of Tomb Raider Anniversary

  27. Brad Blakeley Says:

    i have a macbook, installed bootcamp, running windows now, for the sake of some audio production.

    I want to use my built in audio input/output, and both work well on their own (sigmatel drivers i think)

    the problem is that I cannot hear what i am recording AS I AM RECORDING IT i.e. i cannot monitor what i input until after its recorded

    I am wondering what there is to fix it?

    i did the install yesterday, so i know its the newest bootcamp etc, and the windows is SP2 as required

    thanks for the help

  28. g$ Says:

    Ok i have the inverse prob. The built in sigma tel thing has been working pretty much ok so far ,but today I cant get the internal speakers to come on. In os X i can only select built in output(digital) and thusly can only get the headphones to work. When I unplug the headphones the speakers dont work at all and a red light is emitted from the hadphone jack.
    In windows under bootcamp and using the superior option control available there(in XP pro) , I was able to turn off the “digital ” output and get the speakers to work in Windows. When I reboot back to OSX nadda. I wish Apple would learn that not all users cringe under the presence of actual options and the menues that they live in. I mean ,user friendliness is one thing, and lack of optionsand control is another.

  29. Denyse Gibbs Says:

    I have had a Macbook pro for 3 weeks now and have downloaded Bootcamp etc so my daughte can play Sims 2. ( the windows version) So far no luck with running it. The first disc loads to 20% and freezes. I tried installing it on my friend’s macbook and it worked fine. I am not a very technical person but i think it must be something simple. The man at the shop suggested I reinstall the drivers for mac but now I cant get the driver disk to run. I tried burning another but it came up with ‘burn failed’ message. Any ideas out there? Denyse ( Australia)

  30. Aggelos Says:

    i just bought a mac book pro 17..installed the windows xp sp2 properly,i have telatest versions of bootcamp,sigmatel audio,firmwares,softwares etc..i have no problem with my sound on mac book but i have this problem:
    i have an external firewire audio card (edirol fa-66 of roland) ,i connected it with mac osx and it is working properly,i hear sound etc after than i installed this card in my windows xp on recognised it in system devices..the drivers installed properly..all seemed to be fine,but when i wanted to selected as the default sound card from control panel->sound and audio settings..i couldn’t..the only available audio card is realtek audio card..
    i tried to disable realtek from devices but then i hadn’t any sound,i couldn’t select any audio card from sound and audio devices..
    i reinstaled my external card ,i did format,i tried everything..
    i want to mention that i tried tis external card edirol on another computers using win xp and it was working fine..the only problem is with mac book pro in windows..
    so do you think that is a problem and i will solve it when an update of bootcamp cames out? or you think that apple has locked the option to add any external audio device on mac,and you can use only realtek?
    i need a solution ..cause i cant make music with realtek..the latency is huge..t

  31. Richard Boland Says:


    Was in the same boat and my research led me across this:

    the part that worked for me in terms of getting the card recognised was the MS HotFix bit near the bottom.

    I’m still having a few problems getting things stable – running Reason through rewire in Sonar is not in any way stable at the moment and i need to start ruling out any stupidity on my part.

  32. Ori Says:


    I had the same problem recently. All I did was plug in the earphones and removed them once again. Everything seemed to work.

    Ironically, now my screen brightness controls seem to be disabled! Anyone have any ideas?

  33. savix Says:

    ive the same problem as aggelos my fa66 )sound card works s fine on mac but i cant choose the out put in windows(but i installed the latest driver of my sound card and its sayin this device is working properly) its really anoyin me coz i want to use production softwares in windows …… anyone can helppppp / ? ? ?

  34. Aggelos Says:

    savix and all the others tha have the same problem,i finally found sollution
    download this update for win xp ..
    and then you can choose it from control panel,audio settings.

  35. jazzyk Says:

    I have an Imac 2.4 17″, using leopard and xp pro via bootcamp 2.0.i have almost same problem..but i can normally choose the sound card in the control panel..I select my NI Audio Kontrol 1 as default device..But while playing music, i get every 20-30 secs a delay which distorts very badly the sound..I have checked everything as well, even format and reinstalling drivers, but problem is always there..Tried also M-audio firewire 410, everything went very well while installation, i see and choose the sound card in control panel, but i have no sound at all ! I have used latest drivers for both cards, and installed both soundcards to other pcs and laptops with no problems..

  36. GangGeng Says:

    I think that Apple website lacks about the spec of their products. Thay should be more precise. For example, i’ve read hundreds of forums and nobody was sure what audio chip the MacBook has inside.

    Very Bad!

  37. Edwin Says:


    Found problem to NO SOUND IN WINDOWS XP INSTALLED WITH BOOTCAMP. (the sound worked with mac, not in wondows).

    Now works on both.


    Did it now guys, it works.

  38. Dereck Says:

    Which driver should I download

  39. Chris Says:

    From Realtek website:

    Windows 2000, Windows XP/2003(32/64 bits) Driver only (ZIP file) R1.91

    This worked great on our Mac Pro dual quadcore 2.8GHz, running XP64

    If using Vista, pick the vista one.

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  45. Joey Says:

    Hi, does the sound skip to for any of you guys? I find my sound skips every 20-30 seconds, even when playing games. I play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and 2006, and it skips when listening to music or watching movies. Is there a fix to this, because I can’t take this much longer!! It’s awefully annoying! Thanks!

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  51. Giovanni Says:

    same here, mbp 2,5, windows xp, HL2 or BIOSHOCK, after a little of playings sound crackle, must reboot.

  52. text-to-tv Says:

    im having the same problemtrying to se y karaoekoe softeare.

  53. gring0 Says:

    same problem, i got mbp 2.5 4gb ram boight it in october 2008, when i run windows xp with bootcamp my audio lags every 30 seconds!! i think mac did dis on purpose 😦

  54. david Says:

    I dont know why and how, but the crackling sound problem seems to do with wireless connection to some degree as well. I play Final Fantasy 11 on Windows XP via bootcamp and usually after 2 hours, the temperature gets extremely high and the sounds start to crack, skip and delay. Usually after 40 mins to 1 hour after the sounds malfuction, I will start to lose internet wireless connection very frequently. Restarting and cooling the computer seems to delay the problem a little bit. It is frustrating that a lot of XP related problems are not addressed by Apple.

  55. Evan Says:

    I had the same problem, but it was an easy fix. Try going into the control panel and setting the headphones as the default device. It should work then.

  56. Garin Says:

    This works for me as far as getting sound going (period) in Windows 7, 7260 x32 bit. Good luck to you guys.

  57. Ben Says:

    I am running windows vista on macbook pro. Found that my sound system wouldnt work upon connection. Tried what evan said above and it worked. Just set the headphone jack to the default sound device in the control panel.

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  59. Rodrigo Says:

    Hi Guys I got the problem with a Mac Pro Quad XEON, one of the first that got released. Well, I found this :

    Windows XP Drivers for download from Apple, I am downloading it right now.. Hope it works..

  60. Richard Noland Says:

    I was wanting to play Fallout 3 on my macbook pro, I acquired windows 7 evalutaion edition and everything worked fine o via bootcamp for 7, but then after that ran out I dug up a copy of Winxp sp2, after installing it to my dismay the xp side did not register any sound device, thus I was not able to play. is there anything I can do(e.g. download drivers for xp, for my audio hardware). can anyone help me?

  61. Sango's Says:

    I have a macbook pro, i have downgaraded to XP i cant get Drivers for it anyone who can help with a Link or info on how i can get then..

  62. Chris Says:

    Hey so I’ve been trying to find out if BFME 2 works through boot camp on a Macbook Pro and this seems to say yes but can anyone tell me if you can play online?

  63. syaf Says:

    hi everyone,

    hopefully this would help.
    you will find drivers for everything on a big range of MACs.

  64. KAT Says:

    NONE of this worksss….!! WTF?

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