I recently bought a new laptop, a Dell Inspiron 15 7560 i7, and have dual booted Ubuntu Gnome 17.04.
I am facing an issue with the sound card, it just randomly stops working, no sound produced whatsoever. Normally when this happens I am on a headphone or just connected a headphone (like, removed and reconnected etc). The headphone is a standard JBL mic+speaker headphone with a 3.5 audio jack.
I have already tried installing alsa, using alsamixer to change volumes, restarting pulseaudio
(pulseaudio -k && sudo alsa force-reload) etc. Output of aplay -l:
$ aplay -l **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices **** card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC3246 Analog [ALC3246 Analog] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0 card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0 card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0 card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
When this happens Ubuntu starts showing some additional HDMI (DisplayPort) devices in Sound settings (screenshot), and headphone option even after removing headphones, these devices are not listed normally. If I restart, it boots and shows a 'Dummy Output' under sound settings. This is how it looks when broken:
The only thing I have seen to work so far is a shutdown, wait, and a startup (not a restart command), that too not guaranteed, but sound does come back again a few restarts later.
Interestingly, if I restart into Windows 10 when it is broken, even Windows does not produce sound, shows a 'red cross' on the speaker icon in system tray. Dell support has already upgraded my BIOS, motherboard drivers and Sound drivers in Windows because of this, but I do not see how that matters, except for BIOS upgrade.
Is this a hardware issue?
- I figured out while trying different things that if I use an external sound card, i.e. the digital adaptor for headphones to provide USB connectivity or a USB headphone itself this issue does not occur.
- If before disconnecting the headphones I switch the output device to 'Speakers built-in audio' in settings and then disconnect headphones the issue does not occur. But I have to do this every time; or a shutdown is required.
This does not look like a hardware issue based on the two points above. It seems like a software issue. Hoping some update to OS fixes it.
- When I am trying to do a shutdown to reset audio devices, I am seeing better success when the power is disconnected while this shutdown-restart-cycle.
- I need to switch the output device to built-in and disconnect headphones before closing the lid or the issue occurs on wake.