Digidesign Audio Drivers Causing OS X El Capitan to Hang

My old Digidesign MBox 2 core audio drivers somehow never got properly uninstalled, and were insidiously causing my iMac with El Capitan to hang on restart always, requiring a hard reboot.

The thing is, I had no idea that these drivers were the cause. I looked in the Console app at the exact errors after shutdown, yet nothing led me to suspect audio drivers. I’d tried deleting a .plist file that can commonly cause Finder hangs (which was a symptom), but no luck.

Finally after a renewed round of frustration and Googling*, I stumbled upon this post where people had success removing the culprit drivers. I did the same and BAM: no more horrible hangs.

The culprits:

  • /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/DigidesignCoreAudio.plugin
  • /Library/Audio/MIDI Drivers/DigidesignMbox2MIDI.plugin

Here is a complete list of files/directories that may need cleaning up after an old ProTools 8 LE and/or Digidesign install.

Note: I had to use sudo rm ... from the terminal to delete these.

* the text “syncdefaultsd[517]: SecTaskLoadEntitlements failed error=3” (part of my console output during a restart hang) was what led me to the forum post on insanelymac.com; hooray for Google Search!