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Old 10-03-2011, 02:25 AM   #1
Puijas
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Disabled onboard sound card used instead of sound blaster


Hello,

After I updated to Debian squeeze I started having a most annoying problem with my soundcard. I have an Intel DH55TC board with "HDA Intel" audio. I also have Sound Blaster Live! Value. I have disabled the Intel chip from the BIOS.

When I boot my system the Intel card is always visible, but the SB is detected less than 50% of the time. It's not visible in alsamixer, /proc/asound/cards, anywhere. The system then defaults to the Intel card. Subsequent restarts usually lead to detection of the SB card. However, another restart most likely leads to the card "disappearing" again.

Where should I start troubleshooting this issue?

Regards,

Puijas
 
Old 10-03-2011, 04:18 AM   #2
cynwulf
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I've never had a shred of luck with soundblasters under linux and the one I have lying around somewhere gathering dust (an old "audigy 2" of some sort I think) was crap under windows as well. I would advise you to ditch it and use onboard sound, which will probably be trouble free and more reliable. Others may disagree, but IMO creative labs products are just utter shite. Their products are only really directed at windows gamers anyway.

"HDA Intel" audio usually always shows up - as far as I'm aware it's something on your graphics card and does not refer to your onboard sound chip at all.
 
Old 10-03-2011, 06:01 AM   #3
cascade9
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I'm not quite as harsh as Caravel is about creative, and I've run a few creative cards with linux, no problems. Still, IMO creative is pretty awful, and have relaesed more than a few products which were dodgy for various reasons. The SBlive! was one of them, it had an awful resampling problem.

In most cases I'd use newer onboard sound chips over a SBlive!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
"HDA Intel" audio usually always shows up - as far as I'm aware it's something on your graphics card and does not refer to your onboard sound chip at all.
Nope, intel HDA is a audio specification-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_H...finition_Audio
 
Old 10-03-2011, 06:47 AM   #4
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Nope, intel HDA is a audio specification-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_H...finition_Audio
I'm aware of what it is, but the extra device that appears is often part of the graphics card. I found this out myself when it disappeared completely when the graphics card was removed and I was using the onboard graphics...

These are the specs for my rather "humble" card: http://hothardware.com/Articles/Sapp...HD_3650_512MB/

In particular:

Quote:
Integrated HD audio controller with up to 2 channel 48 kHz stereo or multi-channel (5.1) AC3 enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution
Anyway as far as the OP's original question goes, it's just one theory - if the OP has a graphics card then it's very likely, if not and they're just using the onboard graphics then I've no idea what the sound device is or why it isn't being disabled in the BIOS setup.

Last edited by cynwulf; 10-03-2011 at 06:51 AM.
 
Old 10-03-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
I'm aware of what it is, but the extra device that appears is often part of the graphics card. I found this out myself when it disappeared completely when the graphics card was removed and I was using the onboard graphics...

These are the specs for my rather "humble" card: http://hothardware.com/Articles/Sapp...HD_3650_512MB/
AFAIK that only happens on video cards with HDMI, due to the ability for HDMI to control audio as well as video. The card deosnt really have a sound chip in there, but it can control other sound chips in the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
Anyway as far as the OP's original question goes, it's just one theory - if the OP has a graphics card then it's very likely, if not and they're just using the onboard graphics then I've no idea what the sound device is or why it isn't being disabled in the BIOS setup.
That actually could be possible. Though it wont matter if its onboard or a card, its the HDMI output that matters AFAIK.

Still, it doesnt explain why the SBlive! is only detected sometimes on boot. I'll try installing a SBlive! in one of the systems I have hanging around here....I was going to do it anyway, I'm having a few isues with the VIA 1708B sound chip in one of my systems.

*Edit @ Puijas- have you tried running Alsaconf?
 
Old 10-03-2011, 08:35 AM   #6
Puijas
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Thank you for your replies.

I checked the BIOS and noticed that the video card was set to auto. I changed it to External PCIe. At least after that the SB was detected. I'll do some more reboots in a while to test whether this was just a lucky reboot. In case of audio failure I'll try first alsactl init (said to be equivalent of alsaconf).

I'll post the results later.

EDIT: My video card is nvidia-something.

Last edited by Puijas; 10-03-2011 at 08:40 AM. Reason: more details
 
Old 10-03-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
AFAIK that only happens on video cards with HDMI, due to the ability for HDMI to control audio as well as video. The card deosnt really have a sound chip in there, but it can control other sound chips in the system.
I know zilch about audio stuff... but the HDA audio device does show up in various DEs in applets for configuring ALSA and selecting the audio device and it shows up in lspci output as the same thing ("Intel HD Audio" or whatever). When the graphics card is removed it definitely vanishes and my graphics card does not have HDMI as far as I know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puijas View Post
Thank you for your replies.

I checked the BIOS and noticed that the video card was set to auto. I changed it to External PCIe. At least after that the SB was detected.
Very odd...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puijas View Post
I'll do some more reboots in a while to test whether this was just a lucky reboot. In case of audio failure I'll try first alsactl init (said to be equivalent of alsaconf).

I'll post the results later.

EDIT: My video card is nvidia-something.
Full lspci output may help?
 
Old 10-03-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
widget
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I really hate to sound simple but I have had trouble with various cards not being "seen" from time to time. One thing I always forget to do is to check to see if it is seated correctly.

Open up your box and pull the SB card. Put it back in. Wiggle the bugger. Surprising how often this works. Contacts do oxidize.

Can't hurt, may work.
 
Old 10-03-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
62chevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
I really hate to sound simple but I have had trouble with various cards not being "seen" from time to time. One thing I always forget to do is to check to see if it is seated correctly.

Open up your box and pull the SB card. Put it back in. Wiggle the bugger. Surprising how often this works. Contacts do oxidize.

Can't hurt, may work.

And running a dollar bill over the contacts can't hurt either, nothing rougher than that though.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 10-03-2011, 08:49 PM   #10
widget
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Wow, never heard of that. I always just used paper. A dollar would be much better. Wouldn't have to worry about little paper shreds being left behind as much.

Thanks for the tip.
 
Old 10-04-2011, 05:57 AM   #11
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
I know zilch about audio stuff... but the HDA audio device does show up in various DEs in applets for configuring ALSA and selecting the audio device and it shows up in lspci output as the same thing ("Intel HD Audio" or whatever). When the graphics card is removed it definitely vanishes and my graphics card does not have HDMI as far as I know...
It does have HDMI output-

Quote:
The Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 graphics card boasts 512MB of 128-bit GDDR3 video memory running at 1.6GHz, built on 55nm fabrication, 725MHz core clock, and contains 120 stream processors. The HD 3650 supports DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.0. Like the other graphics cards in the Radeon HD 3000 family, the RV635 is PCI Express 2.0 compliant and has other functionality common to the R600 series such as CrossFireX, ATI's Unified Video Decoder, and HDMI support with 5.1 surround sound audio.
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=985&num=1

It doesnt have a HDMI port on the card, its using an non-standard DVI-HDMI adapter (whichAFAIK uses the 'extra' pins on DVI to output audio to the HDMI port)-

Quote:
DVI to HDMI audio/video adapter
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=985&num=1

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62chevy View Post
And running a dollar bill over the contacts can't hurt either, nothing rougher than that though.
Use a rubber...that is an 'eraser' for people from the U.S.

BTW, I've gone as far as to use steel wool on contacts, but I've got a good idea of what I'm doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puijas View Post
Thank you for your replies.

I checked the BIOS and noticed that the video card was set to auto. I changed it to External PCIe. At least after that the SB was detected. I'll do some more reboots in a while to test whether this was just a lucky reboot. In case of audio failure I'll try first alsactl init (said to be equivalent of alsaconf).

I'll post the results later.

EDIT: My video card is nvidia-something.
I've heard of this sort of thing happeneing, but never seen it myself. But unlike most people, the 1st thing I look at when I get my hands on a new computer is the BIOS.

Maybe there is a confict between the intel video and the SBlive!?
 
Old 10-04-2011, 08:16 AM   #12
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
It does have HDMI output-

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=985&num=1

It doesnt have a HDMI port on the card, its using an non-standard DVI-HDMI adapter (whichAFAIK uses the 'extra' pins on DVI to output audio to the HDMI port)-

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=985&num=1
That explains much, thanks for the info. It could be this DDMI Audio device showing up on the OP's system as well.

When cleaning contacts anything abrasive is a bad idea as it will effectively scratch the surface reducing the overall contact area and allowing dirt and corrosion to enter. A small slip of thick paper is ideal in my experience.
 
Old 10-05-2011, 07:31 PM   #13
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
That explains much, thanks for the info. It could be this DDMI Audio device showing up on the OP's system as well.
I'd say it is. Well, it was until the OP changed the video card detection to 'external PCIe' (which should have disabled the intel video, and the intel sound controller for the HDMI as well)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
When cleaning contacts anything abrasive is a bad idea as it will effectively scratch the surface reducing the overall contact area and allowing dirt and corrosion to enter. A small slip of thick paper is ideal in my experience.
When you've got a card with visible corrosion on the contacts, paper or even rubber isnt going to help much. Steel wool actually worked...not that I'd suggest it should/could be a common solution.

Last edited by cascade9; 10-05-2011 at 07:33 PM.
 
Old 10-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #14
62chevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
When you've got a card with visible corrosion on the contacts, paper or even rubber isnt going to help much. Steel wool actually worked...not that I'd suggest it should/could be a common solution.

LOL bought time to pitch that card. My 10 year old SB Live card just needed a good buffing.
 
Old 10-07-2011, 01:11 AM   #15
Puijas
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Disabling the onboard video card (if it's at all possible) doesn't seem to help. I've tried to find out which settings actually disable it for good, but there doesn't seem to be any. I can set the external video card as primary and tell the onboard one not to use HDMI but disabling it isn't possible, or so it seems.

I still have the original problem. It's quite strange, since this didn't happen before I upgraded to squeeze.
 
  


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