Does the device actually exist?
From the Mandrake User's Site
(Contributed by Mandrake Linux user Stewart Midwinter)
If you get no sound in Mandrake Linux, or if you can get sound when playing an audio file only, but not from the CD, here's what to check.
1. Some on-card sound chips are problematic (e.g SoundPro, aka CM8330).
2. The default sound volume might be zero (mute).
3. You don't have permission to access the audio devices.
1. Check the 'net for information on your particular card or chipset (e.g. on LhD. Also, rule out any physical problems: boot your PC with another operating system and ensure you can get audio that way.
2. The default sound volume might be zero (mute). Install and run 'aumix' from your Mandrake Linux CD, mute and then un-mute the volume channel.
3. chmod 777 /dev/audio*, /dev/dsp*, /dev/mixer*. [Notice that this won't work on Mandrake Linux 8.1 with devfd enabled (default), and opens a security hole on systems where it does work. tom]
4. If you can get sound when playing a file (play test.wav), but not when playing a CD, one workaround is to run a cable from the CD-ROM's headphone's jack to the line-in jack on your sound card. (works for me!). Another reason might be that the audio CD is mounted.
Mandrake Linux user Hian James solved his sound troubles this way:
In KDE mode, I first entered DrakConf. I went into HardDrake and SoundWizard to check that the configuration for I had is correct (ie. before I reboot and the conflict started).
Then, I went into DrakXServices in the DrakConf to remove (deselect) sound from the list of services to start upon booting.
I left KDE and rebooted my computer.
I've only been using KDE at the moment so I cannot say whether my solution is applicable to GNOME.