A Guide to Running Apple Diagnostic on Any Mac
Friday, 08 May 2020

 Mac doesn't play sounds through internal and/or external speakers, how to fix? Here is a guide to run diagnostics on mac.

 Nothing is more frustrating than booting up your Mac, ready to do some work, only to find that it isn't working properly.

Maybe something is wrong with the software, or maybe there's a hardware issue. Finding the problem and subsequent solution on your own can take forever.

This is when it becomes important to run diagnostics on your Mac. Luckily, Mac devices come with a built-in diagnostic system, so you can easily troubleshoot your device. The program finds most of the common problems Macs can suffer from.

Getting it up and running is pretty simple, and the tool is a great springboard for troubleshooting your device.

Do I Need to Troubleshoot My Mac?

It can be hard to tell when something might be a problem with the device itself, rather than with something installed on it.

A device that boots up slowly, lags on the desktop, or runs slowly and is prone to crashing could have hardware that's damaged or failing.

It could also be the victim of a virus, for example.

A good first step, before looking into hardware issues, is to take some common approaches to software troubleshooting first. Viruses, bloatware, and other software issues can cause problems similar to hardware faults.

However, if you've already looked into those issues and found nothing, it's time to consider running diagnostics.

Why Run Diagnostics on Mac?

As with any electronic device, all sorts of things can go wrong with a Mac's hardware, and diagnostics are the easiest way to catch many of these problems.
Problems with the power source (either the adapter or the battery pack) are among the most common, as are WiFi issues.

These are just some of the most common issues; they are by no means the only issues. As anyone who's owned a Mac, PC, or any other device will tell you, just about everything can fail.

Luckily, the Mac diagnostic tool checks for every common hardware problem the devices face and getting the diagnostic tool up and running is actually fairly simple.

How to Run Diagnostics on Mac

First, you're going to want to unplug all external devices from the Mac; everything except the mouse and keyboard, the monitor, the Ethernet cable if you have one connected, and the power adapter.

You also want to make sure that the device is well ventilated, as the diagnostic tool can cause your Mac to run a little hot sometimes.

Fully shut down the Mac, and then turn the device back on and immediately hold down the D key on your keyboard. This will activate the diagnostic tool for you. From there, it's just a matter of letting the tool do its job.

When the diagnostic tool finishes checking your device, a screen will come up displaying error reference codes.

These are your key to figuring out what exactly is wrong with the device. 

There's a lot of different codes, all related to different hardware problems with the device.

First of all, if you get the code ADP000, that means the diagnostic tool couldn't find any hardware issues. In that case, it may be time to start taking a look at the software instead.

Some other common codes include issues with your WiFi hardware, which will result in any code starting with the letters CNW. Keyboard issues will start with NDK. Are your MacBook speakers not working? You may get code VFF001.

What Do You Do Next?

Running the Mac diagnostic tool and getting these codes is all well and good, but what do we actually do with the information?

The most obvious answer would be to take the device into an Apple store and try to get it fixed, but sometimes you don't have the time for that.
Luckily for us, there are some home fixes that you can do to try and solve some of these problems. 

One of the most common troubleshooting techniques is to reset something called the PRAM on your device. PRAM, also called Parameter Ram, is a type of memory on your Mac that handles specific aspects of your hardware.

Among other things, it handles functions like display information, speaker parameters, and mouse and keyboard information.

It also deals with more general aspects of your Mac, such as kernel information, RAM, and disk caches. Those all have a lot of influence on the behavior of any device. As such, resetting your PRAM, which will refresh everything just mentioned, is a great first step in troubleshooting your Mac.

If that doesn't work, you can instead try resetting your System Management Controller (SMC). This is a part of your Mac that handles power-related hardware.
That means things like lights and display, sleep functionality, battery charge, and other things directly related to power consumption.

Issues with these devices can also cause more general performance issues as well, which may not immediately stand out as being power related.

If running your Mac diagnostic returned error codes more closely related to the batter, power consumption, display, or other things like that, resetting the SMC is a good step to take as well.

Mac Diagnostics Can Solve Many Problems

The Mac diagnostic is a versatile tool and one that can help you spot many common hardware issues with your device.

It is not a be-all, end-all solution, of course. The diagnostic tool can only help to determine the problem; it can't actually help you solve it.

And there are some issues that the tool may not be able to pick up on. Water damage, for example, may pass unnoticed in the diagnostic, or be identified as something else.

Still, the Apple diagnostic tools are an excellent first step towards solving the technical issues that can arise with Macs and other Apple products.

If the diagnostic comes back with nothing, then you know it's not one of the common hardware issues, and that it really does need to be checked out by a professional. That's useful in its own right.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check back often for new content.
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