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Old 01-18-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
The Pocket
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SoundBlaster 16 PCI not working in Ubuntu... anymore

My computer has a Creative SoundBlaster 16 PCI 4.1 Digital sound card, and when I first installed Ubuntu Linux 6.10, the sound was only partially working. XMMS wasn't putting out any sound, and there was no confirmation beep when I adjusted the volume (I dunno if Ubuntu does that or not). Later, though, when I installed and ran Amarok, it played my music just fine, and when I powered the machine down for the night, it played a shutdown sound.

However, today is different. This is only my second day of actually using this installation, but now the sound won't work in any application. Including Amarok. All I've done today that involved altering the filesystem is add a root password and install Flash Player 9 for Firefox. So what I want to know is: (1) Why did it only partly work before; (2) what happened to make it stop working altogether today; and (3) how do I get it working now?

Other relevant info: My sound driver thing (in the Sounds prefs window) is set to "Autodetect." I tried changing it to a couple of different things. I double-clicked the volume button to bring up the volume controls window and made sure nothing was set to mute.

Please be aware that I have never quite gotten the hang of Linux in general. I've never quite gotten the hang of how files are laid out or learned most of the commands (beyond the basics -- ls, cd, mkdir, sudo, etc). So if any of that stuff is involved I'll need very specific detailed instructions.
Old 01-18-2007, 12:15 PM   #2
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I can't remember precisely what sound management Ubuntu uses at the command line level, but I'm guessing as it's the current stable release you're using, it'll be alsamixer.

If you open up a terminal window, simply type in 'alsamixer' and hit return. You should be presented with a nice ncurses interface with a bunch of sound level bars. Make sure that all these channels are unmuted: master, PCM, external. I've had Linux distros that have randomly reset the volume levels in the past, or for some reason leave the external channel muted by default(Fedora Core 5 had this problem on a lot of laptops).

If everything in alsamixer looks kosher, quit out of it by hitting the escape key. Then, type into your terminal window:

cat /proc/asound/cards

and then:

cat /proc/modules | grep snd

If you could, copy and paste the results of those two commands in a reply and we'll go from there. If you have any questions about this, just lemme know.
University of Delaware
Network & System Services
Old 01-19-2007, 10:54 AM   #3
The Pocket
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That first thing was the problem. Thanks! Seems to be working fine for all the important programs now.
Old 01-19-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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Good to see you figured it out.


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