September 5, 2009

KDE ate my soundcard

My sister has pink MSI MS-1221 (PR200) laptop with Fedora 11 running on it. She brought it to me so that I can fix some Skype and webcam issues she has. This is the same laptop that System76 uses in their line of Linux laptops (Darter Ultra 2) so I thought that this laptop should have no problems running Fedora 11.
The issues were

  • webcam didn't work (it works uder Ubuntu with System76 driver package)
  • audio didn't work on skype
  • internal microphone doesn't work

I installed 2.6.31 kernel on Fedora 11 from Rawhide repost - that fixed webcam issue. Now cheese skype, and other apps worked ok with webcam.
After installing new Skype 2.1 beta sound didn't work until I disabled in skype "Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels", after that it worked without problems. This is a know bug in Skype that PulseAudio devs are working on with Skype devs.

Then I tried testing internal microphone with skype (and other audio recording applications) but couldn't record audio from internal microphone. But when I connected external microphone audio recording (and skype) worked.

So I had 2/3 things working ok. I couldn't record from internal microphone, which wasn't such a big issue, but I still wanted to try and fix it.

I googled around and tried a few parameters for snd-hda-intel module for this particular laptop, and I found some. I tried them by removing the module (rmmod -f) and then loading module back with different options. Whatever I tried internal microphone still didn't work, not perfect but acceptable.

I was doing all configuration while in Gnome, and now that I had fixed most of issues I wanted to go back into KDE, because that is what my sister prefers using.

I switched back to KDE, without restart, just logged off from Gnome and logged into KDE. KDE immediately popped up a window saying:
KDE detected that one or more internal sound devices were removed: * Output: HDA Intel, INTEL HDMI (HDMI Audio Output)

And now sound was gone! Completely gone!

I tried reloading snd-hda-intel module, logging back to gnome, restarting, but nothing helped :(
The even more strange thing is that now in PulseAudio mixer I can see that internal microphone is working!?!

Now can I troubleshoot and fix this?

Why and how can KDE interfere with PulseAudio so much that it also messes up sound in Gnome?!?

This has really pissed me off! And I returned laptop to my sister in worst state than she game it to me

Any suggestions are more than welcome, so please give any suggestions you have.
Also if you need more info just tell me what do you need.

Here is some extra info:

  • Smolt profile for laptop

  • lspci output

  • etc/modprobe.d/dist.conf (modprobe.conf is depracated)
    alias char-major-116-* snd
    alias sound-service-*-0 snd-mixer-oss #options snd-hda-intel
    model=laptop-eapd probe_mask=1