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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 04-16-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
drbootsie
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Pocahontas County, West Virginia
Distribution: Debian
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Sound problem with Debian Sarge on old Pentium II laptop


I'm running an old version of Sarge (testing) on a Gateway Pentium II 366 MHz Laptop (with no network card; I can only install from CD's). I'm using kernel 2.4.27, and running icewm.

After quite a bit of reading and experimentation, I was able to play audio CD's using various CD player programs (Gnome CD player, cccd, XfreeCD, etc....), but when I play .mp3, .wav, .aiff, .ogg etc files on a program like XMMS, I get "skips" in the sound, like an old, scratched vinyl LP.

Audacity gives this message when I try to play a file:
Error while opening sound device. Please check the output device settings and the project sample rate.

Here's the Gateway description of the soundcard:
NeoMagic NMA 2; 16 bit stereo audio, built-in OPL3 (FM synthesizer), built-in 3D enhanced controller; full duplex operation with two DMA channels; supports Sound Blaster and Sound Blaster Pro Game playback compatibility....Compression: ADPCM, ESPCM compression available for lower bit rates

modconf shows me I have the following sound modules installed:

OSS sound modules
ac97 Neomagic 256AV/256ZX sound chip
sb Soundblaster compatibles
sb_lib
soundcore
uart401

When I boot the machine, I get these sound module messages:

sb: No ISAPnP cards found. trying started ones.
SB 3.01 detected OK (220)
sbP Interrupt test on IRQ7 failed--Probable IRQ conflict
SB: SDSP version is just 3.01 which means that your card is several years old (8 bit only device) or alternatively the sound driver is incorrectly configured.

I first tried sound without the sb modules, and the CD players still worked, but XMMS didn't make any sound at all.

I've tried replacing the OSS modules with ALSA, and that has given me the same results--CD player works, but .mp3 players give the "skipping" sound. I've also tried using Ubuntu, with kernel 2.6 and ALSA, and with the sound modules available in that release, I couldn't even get the speakers to beep or play audio CD's. I've tried using the Gnome desktop sound management and esound as well, but all my tweaking failed to make a difference with those programs.

I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions. Even commiseration would be welcome. Thanks!
 
Old 04-20-2006, 04:39 AM   #2
Emmanuel_uk
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
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Interesting
What does top say when playing wav (from the HD?) with xmms?
Is the dma on on the HD?
Any syslog message?
No other idea am afraid
 
Old 04-20-2006, 08:02 AM   #3
rbochan
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I've had a similar issue with an older laptop, and it turned out to be a resource sharing problem.
You mentioned that you don't have a network card, but is the pcmcia service still starting? That's where my problem was - the pcmcia bridge and the soundcard were trying to share irq and io settings, and it didn't work well at all. A simple way to check would be to stop the pcmcia service from starting (man update-rc.d) and see if the issue still exists.
If that's the case, in the pcmcia config file (I believe it's /etc/pcmcia/config or config.opts), there should be a section relating to "don't use these irqs", or similar wording. There should also be a section in that file for io information as well. If you can stop the pcmcia bridge from using the shared resources, you should be able to stop the stuttering/scratching from the sound card.

HTH
 
Old 04-20-2006, 08:12 AM   #4
Emmanuel_uk
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Registered: Nov 2004
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excellent idea that pcmcia shutdown.
I managed yesterday on an old PII setting up the OSS sound.
So I felt "maybe I can help"...

using cd was fine
using play, wav file played ok
using xine sound was so so, maybe scratch was not the word,
I thought this was to do with the graphic display of xine taking resource
But will stop pcmcia

Another idea
DMA
I think my card is set with dma1 0 and dma2 0
maybe drbootsie can improve dma settings? (I know very little on this)

Anyway how much was hdparm -tTi /dev/hda
 
Old 04-21-2006, 01:52 AM   #5
Emmanuel_uk
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FYI, on a PII 300MHz with mandriva 2006, kernel 2.6.12 and OSS sound card

- play ogg and wav no problem (with play 7% cpu usage)
- ogg via xine + icewm shoppy sound (~45% cpu usage)

- with windowsmaker instead of icewm
xine plays all fine!
so does mplayer (for sound)

hence no pcmcia issue though
 
Old 04-21-2006, 03:19 PM   #6
drbootsie
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Distribution: Debian
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Interesting ideas!

I've tried stopping pcmcia utilities using

/etc/init.d/pcmcia stop

but the skipping continues. Now, from looking at the /etc/pcmcia/config.options, sound is on irq 7, and irq 7 is excluded from pcmcia usage...

I know so little about pcmcia and dma--I've been googling and reading about pcmcia/sound card conflicts, and there are a lot of things I can try.

Next on my list, though, is to try WindowMaker instead of icewm, since the config.opt file asserts that there should be no conflict on irq 7....

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm really learning a lot, and isn't that what makes Linux fun? I'll report back when I've tried some more possible solutions.

Thanks again!




Here's the output of top with xmms running.

Cpu(s): 6.6% user, 0.7% system, 0.0% nice, 92.7% idle
Mem: 94956k total, 90108k used, 4848k free, 4920k buffers
Swap: 232900k total, 0k used, 232900k free, 49512k cached

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
1078 rebecca 14 0 7152 7148 4576 R 5.3 7.5 0:00.36 xmms
1001 root 5 -10 16716 11m 2356 S 1.0 11.9 0:06.32 XFree86
1065 rebecca 10 0 1044 1044 844 R 0.7 1.1 0:01.29 top
1066 rebecca 9 0 7152 7148 4576 S 0.3 7.5 0:00.75 xmms
1 root 9 0 512 512 456 S 0.0 0.5 0:00.12 init
2 root 8 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.25 keventd
3 root 19 19 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ksoftirqd_CPU0
4 root 9 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.04 kswapd
5 root 9 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 bdflush
6 root 9 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kupdated
103 root 9 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.56 kjournald
315 root 9 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 khubd
559 daemon 9 0 440 440 372 S 0.0 0.5 0:00.00 portmap
721 root 9 0 800 800 696 S 0.0 0.8 0:00.07 syslogd
724 root 9 0 1256 1256 472 S 0.0 1.3 0:00.36 klogd
757 Debian-e 8 0 1708 1704 1468 S 0.0 1.8 0:00.00 exim4
762 root 9 0 720 720 652 S 0.0 0.8 0:00.01 inetd
 
Old 04-22-2006, 08:36 AM   #7
rbochan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbootsie
Interesting ideas!

I've tried stopping pcmcia utilities using

/etc/init.d/pcmcia stop

but the skipping continues.
In my situation, I couldn't just stop the service to see if that was the problem, I had to stop the service from starting in the first place, as in reboot and not have it come up at all.

Quote:
Now, from looking at the /etc/pcmcia/config.options, sound is on irq 7, and irq 7 is excluded from pcmcia usage...
There's also a section in there about io port usage as well. I was fortunate enough to come across this page which gave me a clue as to what might have been conflicting. You might have similar luck if you search for your model at the Linux on Laptops site.
 
Old 04-24-2006, 02:16 AM   #8
Emmanuel_uk
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
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dvd playback on pentium II 300 MHz (side note)

Hi there, hope you are making progress.
I have not managed to find why sound was skipping in icewm and not windomaker.
I do not think I will try to find out for a long time.

As a side note, ~160 mb ram, pentium II 300 MHz,
mplayer *not* compiled from source
is there any chance to play a dvd with this gear or it is hopeless?
Any tricks?

The best I could come with was checking hdparm /dev/hdc was fine
and then in single mode (mplayer 1.07 or 1.03pre2 I think)
mplayer dvd://1 -framedrop -vc sound=30 -cache 8192 -vo vesa
(disabling zoom option in /etc/mplayer.conf or another conf file helped)

And this is not watchable: the sound is fine, but image so slow

- hardframedrop does not work
- increasing cache does not help
- video card is neomagic, but vesa mode works fine

Could not find a way to make the picture smaller during playback
 
  


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