Audio stopped working on Ubuntu 13.04.

Hello Linux developers / enthusiasts.  I'm a Linux newbie. I don't know what happened,but some time ago my audio stopped working. I'm not be able to hear sounds anymore on my Ubuntu 13.04 workstation. I read a lot of tutorials and tried a lot of combinations to restore it,but without success right now. Can you explain step by step what I have to do to fix this problem ? Thanks.
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marietto2008Asked:
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
In a terminal window, run alsamixer. Check that at least the Master channel is not muted (MM at the bottom of the column). If it is muted, typing an "m" will un_mute
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marietto2008Author Commented:
I've attached a screenshot of the volume's situation. the master volume is not muted like the other ones. But I don't hear any sound.
Schermata.png
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
It all looks good. alsamixer only displays channels that are working, so all these channels are working.
Do you by any chance have a second sound card? F6 will select it if you do. Make sure that one is not muted as well (if you have another card).
Otherwise it sounds like a connector has come off.
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marietto2008Author Commented:
I've attached another screenshot. You can see that I have two sound cards with the same name. I don't understand why. What should I do ?
Schermata.png
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
Does lspci show 2 sound cards really?
Even if not, arrow down and try each card in turn. One of them may work.
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marietto2008Author Commented:
I don't know. check it by yourself,please :

root@mario-ThinkCentre-XXXX:/home/marietto# lspci

00:00.0 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Host Bridge (rev a2)
00:00.1 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Memory Controller 0 (rev a2)
00:00.2 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Memory Controller 1 (rev a2)
00:00.3 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Memory Controller 5 (rev a2)
00:00.4 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Memory Controller 4 (rev a2)
00:00.5 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Host Bridge (rev a2)
00:00.6 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Memory Controller 3 (rev a2)
00:00.7 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation C51 Memory Controller 2 (rev a2)
00:02.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation C51 PCI Express Bridge (rev a1)
00:04.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation C51 PCI Express Bridge (rev a1)
00:09.0 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 Host Bridge (rev a2)
00:0a.0 ISA bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 LPC Bridge (rev a3)
00:0a.1 SMBus: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 SMBus (rev a3)
00:0a.2 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 Memory Controller 0 (rev a3)
00:0b.0 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 USB Controller (rev a3)
00:0b.1 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 USB Controller (rev a3)
00:0d.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 IDE (rev f1)
00:0e.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 Serial ATA Controller (rev f1)
00:0f.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 Serial ATA Controller (rev f1)
00:10.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 PCI Bridge (rev a2)
00:10.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 High Definition Audio (rev a2)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF104 [GeForce GTX 460] (rev a1)
02:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GF104 High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)
03:08.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5788 Gigabit Ethernet (rev 03)
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
It does say there are 2 devices. One is at 00:10.1 and one is at 02:00.1.
Did you try selecting each in turn with alsamixer and doing a quick test?
I test by trying aplay english.au (attached - remove .txt extension)
english.au.txt
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marietto2008Author Commented:
I tried to hear your file. I don't hear anything. Also,I have tried to switch to the second audio device. It seems that the volumes are configured not correctly. The problem is that when I press the up arrow to increase them,it does not work. I have attached a screenshot.
Schermata.png
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
The second sound card is for HDMI (output from your graphics card). So the first card is definitely the one you want. It appears to be healthy. It seems there must be an audio connection problem or (less likely) output is being sent to the wrong card.
It's easiest to test for the wrong card first. You can tell aplay to send output to a particular card. Here are some experiments I tried
11:36:22$ aplay -L
null
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
default:CARD=SB
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    Default Audio Device
sysdefault:CARD=SB
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    Default Audio Device
front:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    Front speakers
surround40:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Analog
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=SB,DEV=0
    HDA ATI SB, ALC889A Digital
    IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=Generic,DEV=0
    HD-Audio Generic, HDMI 0
    HDMI Audio Output
11:36:29$ aplay --device=null  english.au.txt 
Playing Sparc Audio 'english.au.txt' : Mu-Law, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
11:37:05$ aplay --device=hdmi  english.au.txt 
aplay: main:696: audio open error: No such file or directory
11:37:54$ aplay --device=default  english.au.txt 
Playing Sparc Audio 'english.au.txt' : Mu-Law, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
11:38:25$ aplay --device=iec958  english.au.txt 
Playing Sparc Audio 'english.au.txt' : Mu-Law, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
aplay: set_params:1102: Sample format non available
Available formats:
- S16_LE
- S32_LE
- IEC958_SUBFRAME_LE
11:38:41$ aplay --device=front  english.au.txt 
Playing Sparc Audio 'english.au.txt' : Mu-Law, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
aplay: set_params:1102: Sample format non available
Available formats:
- S16_LE
- S32_LE
11:39:16$ aplay --device=sysdefault  english.au.txt 
Playing Sparc Audio 'english.au.txt' : Mu-Law, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
11:39:42$ 

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aplay --device=null returns at once, as do the others that return an error. The successful ones only return after the file has been played (but I hear the sound).

I don't know why my system didn't find the hdmi device. Maybe it was because no HDMI is plugged in. If you can plug in an hdmi device with audio output then you could try playing to that (your television? My monitor has an hdmi connection but no speakers).

Audio connection: Try plugging headphones into the green audio socket instead of your speakers. If no sound, remove the enough of the case that you can access the motherboard and verify that the cable from the audio sockets to the motherboard is plugged in. If still no sound, obtain and install an extra sound card and try that.
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
Be sure that when you are testing with aplay and there is no error, then there is a delay while the file plays (whether you can hear it or not).
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marietto2008Author Commented:
marietto@mario-ThinkCentre-XXXX:~$ aplay -L
default
    Playback/recording through the PulseAudio sound server
sysdefault:CARD=NVidia
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    Default Audio Device
front:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    Front speakers
surround40:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Digital
    IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
dmix:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=NVidia,DEV=1
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Digital
    Direct sample mixing device
dsnoop:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=NVidia,DEV=1
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Digital
    Direct sample snooping device
hw:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=NVidia,DEV=1
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Digital
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
plughw:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Analog
    Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=NVidia,DEV=1
    HDA NVidia, AD198x Digital
    Hardware device with all software conversions
hdmi:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=0
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    HDMI Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=1
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    HDMI Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=2
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    HDMI Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=3
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    HDMI Audio Output
dmix:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=3
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=7
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=8
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=9
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample mixing device
dsnoop:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=3
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=7
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=8
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=9
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct sample snooping device
hw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=3
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=7
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=8
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=9
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
plughw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=3
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=7
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=8
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=NVidia_1,DEV=9
    HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
    Hardware device with all software conversions
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marietto2008Author Commented:
marietto@mario-ThinkCentre-XXXX:~/Scrivania$ aplay --device=null english.au
Riproduzione in corso Audio Sparc 'english.au' : Mu-Law, Frequenza 8000 Hz, Mono

root@mario-ThinkCentre-XXXX:/home/marietto/Scrivania# aplay --device=front english.au
Riproduzione in corso Audio Sparc 'english.au' : Mu-Law, Frequenza 8000 Hz, Mono
aplay: set_params:1081: Formato campione non disponibile
Available formats:
- S16_LE

no sound. Under Windows the sound works.
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
You need to try aplay -device=default english.au or aplay -device=sysdefault  english.au These are the only 2 that work for me
18:51:11$ aplay --device=front  english.au.txt 
Playing Sparc Audio 'english.au.txt' : Mu-Law, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
aplay: set_params:1102: Sample format non available
Available formats:
- S16_LE
- S32_LE

Open in new window

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marietto2008Author Commented:
root@mario-ThinkCentre-XXXX:/home/marietto/Scrivania# aplay -device=default english.au
Riproduzione in corso Audio Sparc 'english.au' : Mu-Law, Frequenza 8000 Hz, Mono

root@mario-ThinkCentre-XXXX:/home/marietto/Scrivania# aplay -device=sysdefault  english.au

Riproduzione in corso Audio Sparc 'english.au' : Mu-Law, Frequenza 8000 Hz, Mono

no. it does not work,I hear no sounds.
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
I am sorry but I have run out of ideas.
I have found the good people at the Alsa development project to be very helpful in the past (all my channels were muted), so I suggest you contact them.
Download alsa-info.sh and run the script you get (it's name has changed recently). It will gather a whole lot of info that they will need and mail it to them. Then send them an email describing your particular problem. They only accept plain-text emails. You could offer to send your images of alsamixer but I wouldn't attach them first time - they've been having troubles with spam so who knows what they reject.
Please post the solution they give you.
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marietto2008Author Commented:
I've found an old sound card and I have tried to use it. This is the model :

Bus 002 Device 008: ID 0ccd:0077 TerraTec Electronic GmbH Aureon Dual USB

I've plugged the green cable that starts from the speakers into the both holes of the USB sound card,that are : SPK/OPT OUT and MIC IN. And I have plugged the headphones cable into the SPK/OUT and MIC IN holes of the same sound card. After this,I have configured the new sound card volumes on the alsamixer configuration panel. I hear No sound at all in any combination. Check the screenshots.
Schermata.png
Schermata-1.png
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Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
Like I said, send your problem to the Alsa folks. They help people like you and me.
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