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Old 07-14-2006, 07:32 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: the Imperial Homeland
Distribution: Debian, gNewSense
Posts: 117

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Need help installing/troubleshooting SoundBlaster audio card


I am trying to give a new life to an old HP Pavillion computer (Intel
Celeron 500MHz, 256MB RAM) with the original motherboard but pretty
much all else assembled from cannibalized parts from other machines.
Everything works well, except for sound.

Originally, the machine had a 'SMART Modular Technologies Inc' modem
card with an 'AUDIO RIDER CARD' (with line in, line out and microphone
jacks) connected to it by a 8 pin audio cable 5183-9023 (the modem card
also had a blue speaker jack).

After checking on the ALSA website that it was supported, I decided to
replace this setup with a Sound Blaster Audigy SE sound card.

After installing the card, I ran alsaconf which correctly indentified
it, loaded the appropriate modules and made the nessesary changes in
the config files. However, I could not get any sound even though
applications such as xmms seemed to work normally.

Even though I am a hardware ignoramus completus I decided to do some
checking on my own before asking for help.

First, I used the Kanotix live-CD to see what would happen. On bootup,
Kanotix correctly identified the card and loaded the correct modules.
However, when KDE was loading up I got this message:

Sound server informational message: error while initializing sound
driver: device: default can't be opened for playback (evice or
ressource busy). The sound server will continue using the null output
which is rather weird since on bootup my card should not have been used
by any application or service, right?

I then tried a FreeBSD live-CD which also found an error:

Can't open /dev/dsp!

I checked and found out that /dev/dsp had not been created.

I decided to look around some more.

I ran lsmod to see which modules were loaded. Here are the results:

Module Size Used by
iptable_nat 6148 0
ip_nat 16052 1 iptable_nat
ip_conntrack 44848 2 iptable_nat,ip_nat
nfnetlink 5016 2 ip_nat,ip_conntrack
iptable_mangle 2176 0
iptable_filter 2304 0
ip_tables 19456 3 iptable_nat,iptable_mangle,iptable_filter
i810 20480 1
drm 62356 2 i810
lp 9672 0
video 14212 0
thermal 10888 0
processor 18748 1 thermal
fan 3460 0
container 3328 0
button 5008 0
battery 7684 0
ac 3460 0
fuse 30220 0
capability 3208 0
commoncap 5248 1 capability
eth1394 17416 0
de2104x 17536 0
snd_ca0106 29476 1
snd_rawmidi 20128 1 snd_ca0106
snd_seq_device 6796 1 snd_rawmidi
snd_ac97_codec 86048 1 snd_ca0106
snd_pcm_oss 47264 0
snd_mixer_oss 15488 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 76808 3 snd_ca0106,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 20740 1 snd_pcm
snd 45156 10
ohci1394 30772 0
soundcore 7392 1 snd
usbhid 45024 0
snd_ac97_bus 1920 1 snd_ac97_codec
snd_page_alloc 8072 2 snd_ca0106,snd_pcm
ieee1394 284600 2 eth1394,ohci1394
ehci_hcd 30856 0
uhci_hcd 29712 0
i2c_i801 7820 0
usbcore 102912 4 usbhid,ehci_hcd,uhci_hcd
parport_pc 35908 1
parport 30536 2 lp,parport_pc
shpchp 86884 0
pci_hotplug 24372 1 shpchp
hw_random 4500 0
intel_agp 19100 1
agpgart 27592 3 drm,intel_agp
8250_pnp 8320 0
8250 17828 1 8250_pnp
serial_core 17536 1 8250
psmouse 33028 0
serio_raw 5508 0
pcspkr 3424 0
evdev 7296 0

I also used the dconf application to see what hardware/software was
detected. This produced a very long file so I grep it with 'sound' to
see what would be returned:

### update-modules: start processing
alias sound off
alias dmasound_core off
alias dmasound_pmac off
alias soundcard off
### update-modules: end processing /etc/modutils/linux-sound-base_noOSS
ii alsamixergui 0.9.0rc2-1-9 graphical soundcard mixer for ALSA
soundcard dri
ii arts 1.4.3-3 sound system from the official KDE release
ii esound-common 0.2.36-1 Enlightened Sound Daemon - Common files
ii kanotix-sounds 0.5.5 Kanotix sound themes
ii kmix 3.4.3-5 sound mixer applet for KDE
ii libarts1c2a 1.4.3-3 aRts sound system core components
ii libartsc0 1.4.3-3 aRts sound system C support library
ii libasound2 1.0.10-2 ALSA library
ii libmikmod2 3.1.11-a-6 A portable sound library
ii libsdl-sound1.2 1.0.1-9 Decoder of several sound file formats for
ii linux-sound-base 1.0.10-3 base package for ALSA and OSS sound
ii sox 12.17.9-1 A universal sound sample translator
esound-common install
kanotix-sounds install
libasound2 install
libsdl-sound1.2 install
linux-sound-base install
else do vsound command xargs
-lavdopts -noaspect -nosound -pp -ssf \
config config soundslike filter -v version dump \

Finally, I took a look at dmeg to see what I could find there. There
was nothing about sound or soundcards, but these is the reported info
about EISA/ISA slots (in which my soundcard sits):

For EISA I got this:

EISA: Probing bus 0 at eisa.0
Cannot allocate resource for EISA slot 1
Cannot allocate resource for EISA slot 2
EISA: Detected 0 cards.

Which is normal I suppose since I do not have, to my very limited
knowledge, anything other than normal ISA cards

and here are PCI related messages:

root@KanotixBox:/home/vees# dmesg | grep PCI
Allocating PCI resources starting at 20000000 (gap: 10000000:eff00000)
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.10 entry at 0xfd9ae, last bus=1
PCI: Using configuration type 1
ACPI: PCI Root Bridge [PCI0] (0000:00)
PCI: Probing PCI hardware (bus 00)
PCI quirk: region 1000-107f claimed by ICH4 ACPI/GPIO/TCO
PCI quirk: region 1180-11bf claimed by ICH4 GPIO
PCI: Transparent bridge - 0000:00:1e.0
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Routing Table [\_SB_.PCI0._PRT]
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKA] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 9 *10 11 12 14 15)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKB] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 *9 10 11 12 14 15)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKC] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 14 15) *0,
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKD] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 *11 12 14 15)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Routing Table [\_SB_.PCI0.SLOT._PRT]
PCI: Using ACPI for IRQ routing
PCI: If a device doesn't work, try "pci=routeirq". If it helps, post a
PCI: Ignore bogus resource 6 [0:0] of 0000:00:01.0
PCI: Bridge: 0000:00:1e.0
PCI: Setting latency timer of device 0000:00:1e.0 to 64
ICH: IDE controller at PCI slot 0000:00:1f.1
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKD] enabled at IRQ 11
PCI: setting IRQ 11 as level-triggered
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:00:1f.2[D] -> Link [LNKD] -> GSI 11 (level,
low) -> IRQ 11
PCI: Setting latency timer of device 0000:00:1f.2 to 64
PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:09.0 (0114 -> 0115)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKB] enabled at IRQ 9
PCI: setting IRQ 9 as level-triggered
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:09.0[A] -> Link [LNKB] -> GSI 9 (level,
low) -> IRQ 9
PCI: Via IRQ fixup for 0000:01:09.0, from 255 to 9
PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:09.1 (0114 -> 0115)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKC] enabled at IRQ 10
PCI: setting IRQ 10 as level-triggered
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:09.1[B] -> Link [LNKC] -> GSI 10 (level,
low) -> IRQ 10
PCI: Via IRQ fixup for 0000:01:09.1, from 255 to 10
PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:09.2 (0114 -> 0116)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:09.2[C] -> Link [LNKD] -> GSI 11 (level,
low) -> IRQ 11
PCI: Via IRQ fixup for 0000:01:09.2, from 255 to 11
PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:09.3 (0114 -> 0117)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:09.3[A] -> Link [LNKB] -> GSI 9 (level,
low) -> IRQ 9
PCI: Via IRQ fixup for 0000:01:09.3, from 255 to 9
ohci1394: fw-host0: OHCI-1394 1.0 (PCI): IRQ=[9]
MMIO=[f4100800-f4100fff] Max Packet=[2048]
PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:08.0 (0104 -> 0105)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKA] enabled at IRQ 10
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:08.0[A] -> Link [LNKA] -> GSI 10 (level,
low) -> IRQ 10
de2104x PCI Ethernet driver v0.7 (Mar 17, 2004)
PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:0a.0 (0104 -> 0107)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:0a.0[A] -> Link [LNKC] -> GSI 10 (level,
low) -> IRQ 10
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:00:01.0[A] -> Link [LNKA] -> GSI 10 (level,
low) -> IRQ 10

I noticed one more strange thing: the Kanotix live-CD deteced two
network card, etho and etho1 except that, again to my very limited
knowledge, I only have one network card. KDE's control center detects
only one network card (eth0) and one (external) modem (ppp0). Could it
be that for some reason I cannot put the new sound card into the ISA
slot which previously contained a modem/sound card?!

I also tried to manually to disable the motherboard's sound module in
the BIOS, but if you can believe that, the BIOS' help said that I
should have three options (512kB, 1MB and disable) the actual choice
given was only 512kB and 1MB. I was under the impression that the
motherboard should recognize the presence of the soundcard in the ISA
slot, but I though manually disabling the legacy/motherboard might be
worth the try.

Sorry for this long post, but I wanted to give you all the info I had
before asking for your help.

What shall I do to find and, hopefully, fix the cause of this problem?

Is there something I can do to clearly establish which 'link' in my
'sound chain' is in need of repair? It there a soundcard
troubleshooting for Debian?

Many thanks in advance,

Old 07-14-2006, 09:31 PM   #2
Gentoo Developer
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Fort Lauderdale FL.
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3,291
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 58
Open alsamixer while you try to pay something. This is different than any card I have had to get to work.The only setting that seems to do anything is AnalogF.


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