Troubleshooting in Build: Audio

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Audio Troubleshooting

You're going along your build checklist just fine. You thought it was odd that no Ubuntu drums were audible when you booted up, but you would be reaching the sound test portion of the build later on, so you didn't worry. Only, now IS later on, and you have no sound. Here's what to do:


Notes and Detailed Instructions

As always, recheck your connections

1) Is the speaker wire connected to the "outgoing" speaker port in the system (usually color-coded green)? If yes...

2) Are the speakers plugged in to a power outlet and "on" at a reasonable sound level? If yes...

3) Click the sound icon on the desktop's top panel. Is it unmuted and set to a reasonable level? If yes...

4) Plug the speaker cable into the front panel's headphone icon and see if any sound comes from the speakers. Sometimes you'll be able to play audio CDs and Files, but no sounds come through in basic check. If so...

5) Disable the plug-and-play option in BIOS if it exists. If that still doesn't do the trick...

6) If you're using a sound card, you may need to disable an on-board sound option in BIOS if it exists.

"There is no sound on the 'Sound Check' step of the 'Basic Check' Checklist"

First thing you want to do is click on the small speaker icon located at the top right portion of your monitor and make certain nothing is muted, and the "Output Volume" is set to a moderate level. If this still doesn't work, open a terminal and type in alsamixer. You should see a screen with an interface of many different volume control levels. Go to both "Master" and "PCM" by using your arrow keys and set each to around 90.

If there is no sound, and you have no front speaker plug, try this...

You will need to look at the Front Panel Motherboard Pin-outs and go to the "Front Panel Audio" section and find these pins in your own system. Once you locate them, you will want to jumper the pins labeled 6 and 5, as well as 10 and 9. This will enable the rear audio plug to work.

Both Right and Left come from the same one speaker in the "Sound Check" step of the "Basic Check" Checklist

Oftentimes if the front headphone plug isn't hooked up properly on the motherboard, it will wreak havoc on the on-board sound card. Check for any missing plugs coming from the front panel. There should be a plastic casing around the tip of the plugs that will tell you what it is for. Check the motherboard for "AUDIO" written next to corresponding pins. Use the Front Panel Motherboard Pin-outs to guide you on how to do the hookup. If this still doesn't work, simply shut down the system, replace or put in a new sound card, and plug the speaker chord into that sound card.

"I have sound, but my CD-ROM/DVD Player isn't working"

See the Optical Drives guide for further troubleshooting tips. If these measures don't yield results, locate a staff person or Build Instructor in the build room and ask them for further assistance with the system.

Audio displays a mute icon that cannot be changed.

This means Ubuntu couldn't find the sound card. Most likely the audio is disabled in the BIOS. Restart the computer, enter the BIOS, and see if you can find something that looks promising. If this doesn't fix it, it's possible that the computer needs a new sound card.