[arch-general] Why does my sound work sometimes & not others?

David Rosenstrauch darose at darose.net
Wed May 13 15:54:44 EDT 2009

David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E. wrote:
> 	Now, I preface this with the fact that I have virtually no experience picking 
> through the sound system in /proc, but it looks like I have "2"? codecs 
> required (HDA Codecc 0 & 3).

Actually, that makes 2 of us!  :-)  All I know is what I've learned from 
fixing specific probs. I've run into.

> 	Now since this mostly Greek concerning the LSI ID and where the Realtek codec 
> resides, I'll just have to put it to the list: "Does this look normal?" 
> Anything I seem to be missing?

Um .... not really sure.  ALSA is kinda a black art, IMO.

I'd basically just recommend that if this happens again, try following 
down my earlier list of suggestions.  Plus a couple of other things you 
can look at:

1) is there any relevant output showing up in dmesg re: hda?

2) the snd-hda-intel apparently has a parm for model of machine, which 
some people have reported has fixed problems when they've used it.  So 
you could try specifying the model when you load the module and see if 
that fixes it.  Your machine is a Toshiba, right?  So in your rc.conf, 
you could try changing this:

MODULES=(... snd_hda_intel ...)

to this:

MODULES=(... "snd_hda_intel model=toshiba" ...)

3) The thing with the 2 codecs seems odd to me.  Not sure what that's 
all about, but maybe that's having some impact?  i.e., it's erroneously 
choosing to use the other codec for sound?

One other thing about this problem is puzzling:  the fact that your 
sound works, but then stops working when you log out and in again.  Your 
sound module gets loaded at boot time, not at login time.  So if your 
sound is working initially, that means the kernel loaded & initialized 
the modules fine.

And if it subsequently stops working after logging out, that would say 
to me that this is a KDE issue rather than a kernel/alsa issue.  Do you 
have any funky settings tweaked in KDE whereby it's muting one of the 
sound controls, or bringing the volume down to zero?  Is the KDE sound 
system (arts) somehow not initializing properly (or dying) when you log 
in the 2nd time?  Have you tried restarting the KDE sound system when 
the sound fails?



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