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Old 01-27-2004, 12:10 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2004
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ac97 codec help needed (from a newbie)


I've a similar problem (about AC97 on mb, no sound out)...
I'm a newbie to Linux, and hope you can give me some
advice on how to fix this.

Upon reading "/proc/pci" textfile, I found the following:
Bus 0, device 6, function 0:
Multimedia audio controller: PCI device 10de:00da
(nVidia Corp) (rev 162).
IRQ 9.
master capable. no bursts. min Gnt=2.Max Lat=5.
I/O at 0xd800 [0xd8ff].
I/O at 0xdc00 [0xdc7f].
Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xeb001000

Also, by looking into the "/lib/modules/2.4.18-14/
kernel/drivers/sound/" folder; I've found "ac97.o"
and "ac97_codec.o" files.

But by looking at the log after typing "dmesg", I can't
find audio controller info.

Do I have all the required files (i.e. ac97.o and ac97_codec.o)
to get my AC97 produce sound? Or do I have to look for
other driver software (i.e. download from Nvidia)???

Thank you for your advice/help (in advance).

Old 01-27-2004, 08:16 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Distribution: Slackware
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ac97 is just the sound codec, there's still a driver for the card that uses that codec, a lot of cards do... its a way of making everything more modular... no pun intended.

Its the nvidia fun and games sound card. Its in the kernel with brand new revs, but what distro are you using? Mandrake? SuSe? RH? Fedora? and what version?

This kid is also available from the nvidia site, but no need going about compiling if its already there.


Old 01-28-2004, 10:12 AM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 15

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Hello finegan,

Thank you for your post, I'm still a bit confused...
I've installed red hat 8 linux, with both GNOME and
KDE desktop environments. With "uname -r", I've
found the kernel version is "2.4.18-14".

After downloaded the *.rpm and *.src.rpm and *.tar.gz
files (?for different distro?) and reading the installation
guidelines from Nvidia web site, I'm still confused.

The agpgart part of driver requires kernel version
"2.4.20" or "2.4.21". Hence I'm not sure if my 8xagp
Nvidia FX5700 video card is utilized by linux properly.

(Not to mention I'll probably have to install nvidia video
driver as well... right now... driver is "vesa"...)

As for nic and audio (ac97 codec)...
I haven't connected the pc to internet yet, but will have
to do so soon... so I'm trying to focus on the audio first...

As indicated in my 1st post...
1) "/proc/pci" gives me the address of audio controller
2) "/sbin/dmesg" can't see audio controller
3) sound config test can't see audio hardware nor driver
4) after trying "rpm", "rpmbuild", "modprobe" commands
(not sure what they do), I'm still stuck without much
progress... (I hope I haven't erased anything important)

Would you happen to know any nvidia driver installation

Thank you for your advice/help, I look forward to hear
from you.

Yours sincerely,
Old 01-28-2004, 08:12 PM   #4
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Thank you for your posting w.r.t. my
nvidia audio installation posts.

I've accidentally made the ac97 working.
Well, at least the KDE and GNOME sound
config testing works... but I still can't play
audio CDs from the CDROM...???

What I did...
I've tried researching for 1+ week...
then downloaded all 3 versions of driver
software from Nvidia web site...
... the ".src.rpm" and ".tar.gzip" files
didn't work for me...
... I ended up using the ".rpm" file
and followed the readme file suggestions...
(But I still know how to use rpm and rpmbuild

I don't think I have installed the nvnet and
agpgart parts from the same driver... and I
need to install my nvidia graphics card driver
as well... hence not sure if I need to install
the agpgart part from my motherboard driver
before downloading and installing my graphics
card driver???

Can any of you give me some advice on this?
(i.e. how to install my graphics card driver, and
whether I would need agpgart installed on
my motherboard first???)

Old 01-28-2004, 08:26 PM   #5
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
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You've got a really new board and a really old kernel and distro. 2.4.18's release date was I think May of 2001. Meanwhile the Nvidia2 chipset you have is about... eight months old? maybe a year? Newer kernels were available from up2date up until December 31's, and you may want to try that too... although the version of up2date you have is actually out of date and you'll need to upgrade that by hand in order to even see if you can get to the up2date network to get a newer kernel.

Support for the nvidia audio chip was crammed into i810_audio, around 2.4.22-ish, as well as your chipset, nic, and the proper DRM support for the AGP card. I was wondering yesterday why the puppy didn't autoload.

Really, this is going to be a headache to get RH 8.0 to work. Is there a reason you're married to that release? If so, here's the steps I would try:

Get the RPM for the NIC from Nvidia, hopefully they have a seperate one just for the NIC, and get that puppy to load.
Go to RH's site and get the new up2date RPMs, sign up for the RH Network, install the RPMs, and then fire off an up2date -u and sit back while it upgrades about 300 packages.
reboot into the newer kernel and re-install the nvidia graphics drivers.
Hopefully the newer kernel, I think they put out a 2.4.24 despite the fact RH8 was past End of Life, will provide a proper base for the rest of the system.


Snag a copy of Fedora Core 1. Its the Community project spawned by RedHat as they wanted to stop producing an end user desktop distro. There were about 7 months between RH8 and 9, then 10 got shelved eight months or so later, swung into Fedora Core, and that released about a total of 1 year after RH9. The default kernel is 2.4.22, which should cover your nic, chipset, sound, and give you the proper base for the Nvidia driver straight off the bat.

The reasoning behind all of this upgrade madness is that since the Linux kernel is entirely open, its easier to upgrade the kernel then to release pre-built drivers that will compile clean against older kernels... the biggest difference between Linux and Windows is that the whole thing is upgrade madness. Every distro you can usually upgrade from release to release and not have to sweat conflicts, the problem with RH8 is you started kinda far back there. Heck, with distros like Gentoo and Debian, every component is in a constant state of upgrade, so you can just upgrade the whole thing at one go whenever you would like.




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