Inspiron 530 - no sound

Greg Trigg trigggl at
Wed Dec 30 10:55:54 CST 2009

It's a long standing tradition to have sound problems on a Linux
computer.  My 530 used to have perfect sound, but now the only sound I
can get out of the speakers is the system bell.  I got tired of Ubuntu
and installed Gentoo on it as well.  I have a dual boot and neither
distro has working sound.  I'm wondering if this could be a hardware
problem, but I do get the system bell and the volume of it goes up and
down with the mixer slider.  I think I have all of the proper kernel
modules installed.  I'm about to cannibalize my daughters computer for
her soundblaster card since she keeps complaining about the need to fix
the sound on the Dell which is the main computer of the house.  Her's
isn't even hooked up to a monitor.  I don't want to go through all of
that work to reconfigure and recompile a kernel, though if I'm somehow
able to get the on board sound working again.  I've been running Linux
for 6 years, so I'm aware of all the obvious fixes/configurations/mixer
settings/mute buttons/etc...

Is it possible that my motherboard is bad and the system bell audio is
just somehow hardwired to the audio output?  Here's the relevant output
from lspci.

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio
Controller (rev 02)
	Subsystem: Dell Device 020d
	Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr-
Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
	Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort-
<MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
	Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
	Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 22
	Region 0: Memory at fdff4000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
	Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
		Flags: PMEClk- DSI- D1- D2- AuxCurrent=55mA
		Status: D0 PME-Enable- DSel=0 DScale=0 PME-
	Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Count=1/1
		Address: 0000000000000000  Data: 0000
	Capabilities: [70] Express (v1) Root Complex Integrated Endpoint, MSI 00
		DevCap:	MaxPayload 128 bytes, PhantFunc 0, Latency L0s <64ns, L1 <1us
			ExtTag- RBE- FLReset+
		DevCtl:	Report errors: Correctable- Non-Fatal- Fatal- Unsupported-
			RlxdOrd- ExtTag- PhantFunc- AuxPwr- NoSnoop+
			MaxPayload 128 bytes, MaxReadReq 128 bytes
		DevSta:	CorrErr- UncorrErr- FatalErr- UnsuppReq- AuxPwr+ TransPend-
		LnkCap:	Port #0, Speed unknown, Width x0, ASPM unknown, Latency L0
<64ns, L1 <1us
			ClockPM- Suprise- LLActRep- BwNot-
		LnkCtl:	ASPM Disabled; Disabled- Retrain- CommClk-
			ExtSynch- ClockPM- AutWidDis- BWInt- AutBWInt-
		LnkSta:	Speed unknown, Width x0, TrErr- Train- SlotClk- DLActive-
BWMgmt- ABWMgmt-
	Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel <?>
	Capabilities: [130] Root Complex Link <?>
	Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
	Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

Here are the relevant parts of lsmod.

snd_hda_codec_realtek   177596  1
snd_hda_codec          48400  2 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
snd_hwdep               5992  1 snd_hda_codec
cx88_alsa               8896  0
snd_pcm                50616  3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,cx88_alsa
cx88xx                 64248  3 cx88_alsa,cx8802,cx8800
snd_timer              16192  1 snd_pcm
snd                    43844  9
btcx_risc               3772  4 cx88_alsa,cx8802,cx8800,cx88xx
soundcore               5140  1 snd
snd_page_alloc          7228  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm

I have a Digital TV card installed as well.  I don't know if that would
cause a conflict.  I may have to pull it to test it.

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