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Old 03-28-2017, 04:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rad57 View Post
OK, I tried the Linux Mint 18.1 live install and the audio works. When I opened the 'Sound Settings' box from the audio icon in 18.1 I noticed that 'Analog Output' was selected by default. In 17.3, the digital output had been selected by default. I couldn't remember if I'd ever tried changing it before so I rebooted in 17.3 and switched from digital to analog output and it worked. Prior to this I hadn't noticed that S/PDIF was the digital output (I'm new to this) but I had noticed that in Alsamixer (in 17.3) each of S/PDIF, S/PDIF Default PCM, S/PDIF 16 were all set to 0 and the up/down arrow keys wouldn't move them. The output level indicators on all of the other settings move when the arrow keys are pressed but not the digital output indicators - they're stuck at 0.

Glad you got it working!

You know, although I didn't mention it, I wondered if the default device might have been the problem. I wrongly guessed the analog was the default by what I saw in your report...

!!Aplay/Arecord output


**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC887-VD Analog [ALC887-VD Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 1: ALC887-VD Digital [ALC887-VD Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
This a learning experience for me, don't assume the default device...ask. A few years ago, I knew a command that would tell you what the default was but I've forgotten it. Lord willing, it looks like I'll have to make another effort to find it. My apologies for the "indirect" solution.

Originally Posted by rad57 View Post
Understandably, I have no idea why digital output just doesn't work in my computer (in Mint 17.3 at least - I haven't yet tried it in 18.1) but it appears that for me at least this is a workable solution because analog output works in both 17.3 and 18.1. If there are no instances in which digital output is necessary then this is solved. Thanks *very* much to both of you. I don't know if it was as difficult for you when you were new to this to work things out but it's very difficult for me.
You're welcome, when I first started using Linux (Ubuntu 5.10) as a personal OS, it was an intense learning experience for me, as I had been used to Windows. Learning how to use the command line and individual commands, resolving bugs and getting devices and software to work at times was quite challenging. Linux has also matured quite a bit since that time (2006-2007.) As Rickkkk mentioned, if you're only using speakers, analog will be fine.

Originally Posted by rad57 View Post
Although the audio now works in 17.3, I'm considering loading 18.1 anyway because I'm assuming it'll be supported longer. This is a separate question (should I post it as a new thread?) but in case there are other problems with 18.1 that show up as I use it, can I partition my drive and set it up to do a dual boot with 17.3 and 18.1 (as can be done for a dual boot with Linux and Windows)? From this thread here, it sounds like it can be done (although this talks about using live distros so it may be different)
Yes, you can.

Originally Posted by rad57 View Post
In any event thanks again very much for the help!
You're very welcome. Feel free to post again with any other questions or problems you might have.

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