Fixing Sound and Display Problems in the Classic Mac OS

1998 – Go into your Preferences folder and remove Display Preferences and Sound Preferences. One of the problems when Mac system software switched over was that the engineering team at Apple created Monitors & Sound, instead of leaving them separate, when they created Mac OS 7.6. This created two separate versions of preferences files which badly screws up the system software.

The Monitors control panel writes to a file named Display Preferences. The Sound control panel writes to a file named Sound Preferences. Monitors & Sound writes to a folder in the Preferences folder named Monitor & Sound Preferences.

The problem is, if Display Preferences or Sound Preferences exists in the System folder, that means that at one time the control panel Monitors, or the control panel Sound, existed on the machine and was opened at least once. The OS looks for the first two files by default – if they exist, they override anything in the Monitor & Sound folder, and there’s nothing you can do about it except throw the files away.

Now the way Monitors & Sound works is, there is a required extension named System AV that calls the other preferences files – but if there is a Display or Sound preference file, System AV doesn’t have the authority to override those settings until the Monitors & Sound control panel is opened.

Apple left this so that educational labs could default their machines by leaving a set Display and Sound preferences files in the Preferences folder for symmetry. This guaranteed that no student could screw up the settings, or prank set them at high or weird resolutions/sounds. If they tried to do so, upon reboot the settings would be fixed.

They didn’t document the feature for anyone but university resellers, who were notified with their educational packs. If it hadn’t been for my extremely stupid reseller, I wouldn’t have had either access or experience with the labs – I worked as an assistant to him through college.

Scott L. Barber <serker@earthling.net>
Pres/CEO, SERKER Worldwide, Inc.
Providing Hardware/Networking/Telecomm for 13 years

Scott L. Barber first posted this to Quadlist. It is reprinted with his permission.

Keywords: #displaypreferences #soundpreferences

Short link: https://goo.gl/nCGfLh

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