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David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1494
Experience:  BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional
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My sound shows no output in system preferences... I think I

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My sound shows no output in system preferences... I think I may have accidentally stopped a file in processes yesterday while trying to remove some malware
JA: What's the model and Operating System (OS) of your device?
Customer: iMac OS X El Capitan
JA: When did you purchase your iMac? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: purchased last year so far just reading this site - was about to work through un-installing the malware but was hard to do/watch the video on it without sound
JA: Anything else you want the Mac Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so... I'm running in safe mode right now if that matters

Hi my name is ***** ***** to JustAnswer. I am reviewing your question and will post a reply ASAP.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thanks. I believe I have inadvertently downloaded some malware - I tried google and DIY-ing it but in the process think I did something to mess up my sound and am now stuck

First please shut down the iMac, then disconnect all cables including the power cable.

Leave everything disconnected for at least 60 seconds, then just reconnect the power cable and mouse and keyboard.

Next reset the PRAM. The PRAM stores things like display brightness, and some sound settings.

To reset PRAM, press the power button and immediately press and hold these four keys:
Command + Alt (option) + P + R

You must press and hold down all four keys immediately after you press the power button on the iMac.

Keep holding those keys until you hear the second startup chime, don't release them until you hear the startup chime for the second time.

If this does not resolve your issue, or if your iMac starts up without making the startup chime, please get back to me and tell me exactly what has happened.

If I have resolved the problem please take a moment to click the star rating to rate my help, many thanks!

That's OK, if you have removed some essential operating system files I can help reinstall those. But first try the steps above.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Ok I did all that and it started up as though it's a brand new computer... so I'm responding via my phone
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I went into the safari option to see if I could browse the Internet and no luck. I clicked on apple icon and now my only option is a screen that says "choose start up disk" and it has the macintosh HD option and only button is restart...

Ok, something that you have done beforehand when trying to remove Malware seems to have corrupted your user account.

Were you asked to create a new account? Have you got to your regular Desktop?

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
It just asked which option I wanted (reinstall OS X, backup from time machine - don't have that, disk utility - didn't know what to do there, or safari to browse Apple help. Chose safari and now stuck on this startup disk option only

Ok well it might be that your user account is there, but the OS needs to be reinstalled.

Choose Macintosh HD as the startup disk option and restart.

If you get the Utilities screen again choose to Reinstall Mac OS X.

If your account is still there this won't overwrite it, it will just replace the OS that is damaged and will restart to your old user account.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Ok when I did that it booted up and had my "normal" login screen. Sound also now works! Any idea if that process would have removed the malware?

Ok, that's great. There is a chance what you did removed the malware, but I don't know which malware you think it had or the steps that you tried.

I would recommend some software that does the job for you. Two very well known ones are:


The first option comes with a 30 day free trial, so you could use that to check if your Mac is free from Malware without paying anything.

Here is an article with advice from Apple on this subject:

I hope all this helps, glad you got your sound back!

PS Please take a moment to click the star rating to rate my help, many thanks!

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thanks - I tried that first one and it removed some things but not the major one I have (when I startup chrome even after un-installing it) it defaults to "rack search" for the page... any other ideas and where I can go before I trouble shoot this solo and break something else on this computer?

Let me look into it, bear with me.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click More, it;s the three dots in the top right.
  3. Go to More tools - Extensions.
  4. Next to the extension you want to remove, click Remove .
  5. Click Remove.

Then click the Chrome menu and click Clear Browsing Data.

Restart Chrome and check if the problem is gone.

You should remove any extensions you don't recognise.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
The only extensions in there are all Google related. I cleared browsing and reset my home screen default and it still won't o away. I deleted files from the library where they were hidden and it's still there so far

I would look through your Applications folder for any applications that you don't recognise, or for any recent applications you installed that may have included the malware.

Delete them, move them to the Trash. Then restart your Mac.

Then run Malware bytes again and remove anything it finds in a scan.

Then go over to Chrome and go to extensions, type this in the address bar: chrome://extensions

Delete everything, even if it says it's Google related it might be pretending to be.

Reset Chrome, and then try again.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thanks - between that and other settings in preferences I was able to clear it but it still shows in the "appearance" options/sections within google chrome preferences which bothers/worries me. I have it highlighted in new tab page but the option below it is that rack-search thing

Could you take a screenshot of that and attach it in a reply? Use the paperclip icon to add the screenshot to the reply.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Sure - how do I do that? My mac familiarity is weak :(

Press Command + Shift + 3 and it will take a screenshot. The screenshot will be a file saved on your Desktop.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
It's saying the file is too large to attach...

Are you sure you are selecting the right file?

Make sure it is the screenshot, and then right-click it and click Compress.

Then attach the file

David and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I reset the google chrome settings to default and now it no longer appears. I followed a site for removing some hidden files from the app that malwarebytes didn't find and malwarebytes is now running clean as well so I think I'm good! :)
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thank you for the help!

You're very welcome! Glad I was of help! have a great day!