This is really annoying: you hook up the speakers and you set up in the preferences that your Mac will use them for playback.
But, when you restart you realize that the settings are lost! WTF?!
Good news: there’s a fix. Phew!
First, you go to Library>Preferences>Audio and delete the files in that folder.
After that, you need to reset your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM. (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379?viewlocale=en_US)
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
3. Turn on the computer.
4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
6. Release the keys.
Now, if that still doesn’t fix the issue try the following:
Deleted the Audio folder located at [OSX HDD Name]/Library/Preferences/ and create a new one as root in the terminal:
sudo mkdir /Library/Preferences/Audio
then set permissions:
sudo chown -R _coreaudiod:admin /Library/Preferences/Audio
That should allow the system to write a file with the settings in that folder. And remember tham, for God’s sake…it took me two weeks to gather this info.