Ubuntu: Sound on Gateway Laptop

This frustrated me for a while, until I found a solution on ubuntuforums.org right here.

Nothing I would have ever, ever figured out myself:

Right click on the volume icon in the top panel. Choose “Open Volume Control.”

In the Volume Control,  select VIA 8237 if it’s not selected.

Select  Edit/Preferences in the menu, and on the dialog that pops up, checkmark “External Amplifier.”

Now Volume Control should have a third tab, “Switches.” The only setting on that tab is “External Amplifier,” a checkbox.  Uncheck the checkbox.  Volia!  Sound!

In a way this is classic Linux insanely-weird-solutions-to-simple-problems. But we are also in a new era. Notice that the fix, arcane and improbable as it is, is entirely gui-based. No configuration files were edited, no command line utilities were run. It was checkboxes and tabs. That’s all.

It’s a different world out there with Ubuntu. They’re taking the guification seriously — so seriously that even arcane freaky fixes to stupid hardware problems are guified.

That’s pretty cool.

13 thoughts on “Ubuntu: Sound on Gateway Laptop”

  1. This is actually a Gnome issue, I’ve seen it on Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Suse. Granted, any one of them could have changed it, but they left it at the default that the Gnome folk set it at. It’s horribly annoying to have sound turned off by default, have the switch buried, and not document it.

    Viva Enlightenment!

  2. sorry, but i try your solution and dont response the sound :( :(, can you help me? i have a gateway 4028 and this is the output of “lspci -v &&
    cat /proc/asound/cards && amixer -c0”

    0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82852/82855 GM/GME/PM/GMV Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Memory at (32-bit, prefetchable)
    Capabilities:

    0000:00:00.1 System peripheral: Intel Corporation 82852/82855 GM/GME/PM/GMV Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0

    0000:00:00.3 System peripheral: Intel Corporation 82852/82855 GM/GME/PM/GMV Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0

    0000:00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 5
    Memory at e8000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=128M]
    Memory at e0000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
    I/O ports at 1800 [size=8]
    Capabilities:

    0000:00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: fast devsel
    Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=128M]
    Memory at e0080000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
    Capabilities:

    0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 5
    I/O ports at 1820 [size=32]

    0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
    I/O ports at 1840 [size=32]

    0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at 1860 [size=32]

    0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 3
    Memory at e0100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
    Capabilities:

    0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 83) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=0a, sec-latency=32
    I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00003fff
    Memory behind bridge: e0200000-e02fffff
    Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 30000000-33ffffff

    0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801DBM (ICH4-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 03)
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0

    0000:00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801DBM (ICH4-M) IDE Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 8a [Master SecP PriP])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at
    I/O ports at
    I/O ports at
    I/O ports at
    I/O ports at 1810 [size=16]
    Memory at 34000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]

    0000:00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at 1880 [size=32]

    0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC’97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at 1c00 [size=256]
    I/O ports at 18c0 [size=64]
    Memory at e0100c00 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512]
    Memory at e0100800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities:

    0000:00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC’97 Modem Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Generic])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 2030
    Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at 2400 [size=256]
    I/O ports at 2000 [size=128]
    Capabilities:

    0000:02:07.0 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev a9)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 168, IRQ 11
    Memory at e0203000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Bus: primary=02, secondary=03, subordinate=06, sec-latency=176
    Memory window 0: 30000000-31fff000 (prefetchable)
    Memory window 1: 36000000-37fff000
    I/O window 0: 00003400-000034ff
    I/O window 1: 00003800-000038ff
    16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001

    0000:02:07.1 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev a9)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 168, IRQ 10
    Memory at e0204000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Bus: primary=02, secondary=07, subordinate=0a, sec-latency=176
    Memory window 0: 32000000-33fff000 (prefetchable)
    Memory window 1: 38000000-39fff000
    I/O window 0: 00003c00-00003cff
    I/O window 1: 00001400-000014ff
    16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001

    0000:02:07.2 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C552 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 01) (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 203a
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 10
    Memory at e0202000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
    Capabilities:

    0000:02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
    Subsystem: Rioworks: Unknown device 202d
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at 3000 [size=256]
    Memory at e0202800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities:

    0000:02:09.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Unknown device 17f9:0002
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 32, IRQ 10
    Memory at e0200000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]

    0 [I82801DBICH4 ]: ICH4 – Intel 82801DB-ICH4
    Intel 82801DB-ICH4 with AD1981B at 0xe0100c00, irq 10
    Simple mixer control ‘Master’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
    Playback channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Mono:
    Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Master Mono’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Mono: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Headphone’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
    Playback channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Mono:
    Front Left: Playback 5 [16%] [on]
    Front Right: Playback 5 [16%] [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Headphone Jack Sense’,0
    Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Mono: Playback [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘PCM’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
    Playback channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Mono:
    Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Line’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pswitch cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Playback channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [on] Capture [off]
    Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [on] Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘Line Jack Sense’,0
    Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Mono: Playback [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘CD’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pswitch cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Playback channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [on] Capture [off]
    Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [on] Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘Mic’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Playback channels: Mono
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Mono: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Front Left: Capture [off]
    Front Right: Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘Mic Boost (+20dB)’,0
    Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Mono: Playback [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Mic Select’,0
    Capabilities: enum
    Items: ‘Mic1’ ‘Mic2’
    Item0: ‘Mic1’
    Simple mixer control ‘Video’,0
    Capabilities: cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Front Left: Capture [off]
    Front Right: Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘Phone’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Playback channels: Mono
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Mono: Playback 31 [100%] [on]
    Front Left: Capture [off]
    Front Right: Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘IEC958’,0
    Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Mono: Playback [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘IEC958 Playback AC97-SPSA’,0
    Capabilities: volume volume-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Capture channels: Mono
    Limits: 0 – 3
    Mono: 3 [100%]
    Simple mixer control ‘IEC958 Playback Source’,0
    Capabilities: enum
    Items: ‘AC-Link’ ‘A/D Converter’
    Item0: ‘AC-Link’
    Simple mixer control ‘Aux’,0
    Capabilities: pvolume pswitch cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Playback channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Playback 0 – 31
    Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [on] Capture [off]
    Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [on] Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘Mono Output Select’,0
    Capabilities: enum
    Items: ‘Mix’ ‘Mic’
    Item0: ‘Mix’
    Simple mixer control ‘Capture’,0
    Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Limits: Capture 0 – 15
    Front Left: Capture 0 [0%] [on]
    Front Right: Capture 0 [0%] [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Mix’,0
    Capabilities: cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Front Left: Capture [on]
    Front Right: Capture [on]
    Simple mixer control ‘Mix Mono’,0
    Capabilities: cswitch cswitch-joined cswitch-exclusive
    Capture exclusive group: 0
    Capture channels: Front Left – Front Right
    Front Left: Capture [off]
    Front Right: Capture [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘External Amplifier’,0
    Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Mono: Playback [off]
    Simple mixer control ‘Stereo Mic’,0
    Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
    Playback channels: Mono
    Mono: Playback [on]

    any solution?
    thanks for your time :)

  3. I solved the problem changing the plug & play support to “WinXP” in the lap’s BIOS.

    I have a Gateway MX6934.

    I hope this can help.

    Esli Mendoza.

  4. Thanks! I also had to uncheck the Sense Audio Jack, to get it working on my m220 gateway.

  5. This worked for a Gateway 4535 as well (for this model the audio device to select is Intel 82801db-ich4 (alsa mixer) instead of via 8237)

  6. fer crissakes, this is STILL an issue even with the latest Ubuntu 9.04. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!

  7. Thank you for pointing out this rather simple, yet strange fix. After installing/uninstalling/reinstalling various sound drivers and going through walkthroughs, I eventually just gave up on sound on my laptop. But last night, your post inspired me to just reinstall Ubuntu and give this a shot.

    And it worked. It was beautiful. Sometimes I almost think Linux could be ready for a more mainstream audience, and then I come across problems like this…

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