Ubuntu: Why do my audio devices keep disappearing?



Question:

I have Ubuntu 16.04.3 running on my Dell Inspiron i5559 laptop. Sound works normally for maybe a few days, then it just stops. At first there is no indication that anything is wrong, other than the fact that the sound no longer works. After a minute or so I can see in the sound settings that no audio devices are detected. It will list only "Dummy Output" as my audio device. If I look at my hardware from the BIOS, it lists the audio controller as "(none)". I've tried all sorts of fixes, some of which seemed to work for a day or so, but the problem always comes back.

I had this problem not too long ago when I was still dual-booting with Windows, but then I could boot into Windows which seemed to fix the sound in Ubuntu. Then I switched to Arch, which had no problems, and then back to Ubuntu, and then the problem came back.

Diagnostic details:

upload=true&script=true&cardinfo=  !!################################  !!ALSA Information Script v 0.4.64  !!################################    !!Script ran on: Fri Dec  8 06:29:01 UTC 2017      !!Linux Distribution  !!------------------    Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS \n \l DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS" NAME="Ubuntu" ID=ubuntu ID_LIKE=debian PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS" HOME_URL="http://www.ubuntu.com/" SUPPORT_URL="http://help.ubuntu.com/" BUG_REPORT_URL="http://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/" UBUNTU_CODENAME=xenial      !!DMI Information  !!---------------    Manufacturer:      Dell Inc.  Product Name:      Inspiron 5559  Product Version:     Firmware Version:  1.3.0  Board Vendor:      Dell Inc.  Board Name:        0WTXH9      !!ACPI Device Status Information  !!---------------    /sys/bus/acpi/devices/ACPI0003:00/status     15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/ACPI000C:00/status     15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/DELLABCE:00/status     15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/DLLC6B2:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/DLLK06B2:00/status     15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/INT33A1:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/INT33D0:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/INT340E:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/INT344B:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/INT3F0D:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/LNXPOWER:00/status     1  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/LNXPOWER:01/status     1  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/LNXPOWER:02/status     1  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/MSFT0101:00/status     15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0103:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C02:03/status      3  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C02:04/status      3  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C09:00/status      15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0A:00/status      31  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:00/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:01/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:02/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:03/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:04/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:05/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:06/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/PNP0C0F:07/status      11  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/device:4e/status   15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/device:4f/status   15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/device:53/status   15  /sys/bus/acpi/devices/device:66/status   11      !!Kernel Information  !!------------------    Kernel release:    4.10.0-40-generic  Operating System:  GNU/Linux  Architecture:      x86_64  Processor:         x86_64  SMP Enabled:       Yes      !!ALSA Version  !!------------    Driver version:     k4.10.0-40-generic  Library version:    1.1.0  Utilities version:  1.1.0      !!Loaded ALSA modules  !!-------------------        !!Sound Servers on this system  !!----------------------------    Pulseaudio:        Installed - Yes (/usr/bin/pulseaudio)        Running - Yes      !!Soundcards recognised by ALSA  !!-----------------------------    --- no soundcards ---      !!PCI Soundcards installed in the system  !!--------------------------------------    00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio (rev 21)      !!Advanced information - PCI Vendor/Device/Subsystem ID's  !!-------------------------------------------------------    00:1f.3 0403: 8086:9d70 (rev 21)      Subsystem: 1028:06b2      !!Modprobe options (Sound related)  !!--------------------------------    snd_pcsp: index=-2  snd_usb_audio: index=-2  snd_atiixp_modem: index=-2  snd_intel8x0m: index=-2  snd_via82xx_modem: index=-2  snd_atiixp_modem: index=-2  snd_intel8x0m: index=-2  snd_via82xx_modem: index=-2  snd_usb_audio: index=-2  snd_usb_caiaq: index=-2  snd_usb_ua101: index=-2  snd_usb_us122l: index=-2  snd_usb_usx2y: index=-2  snd_cmipci: mpu_port=0x330 fm_port=0x388  snd_pcsp: index=-2  snd_usb_audio: index=-2  snd_hda_intel: model=auto  snd_hda_intel: single_cmd=1  snd_hda_intel: probe_mask=1      !!Loaded sound module options  !!---------------------------      !!ALSA Device nodes  !!-----------------    crw-rw----+ 1 root audio 116,  1 Dec  7 13:53 /dev/snd/seq  crw-rw----+ 1 root audio 116, 33 Dec  7 13:53 /dev/snd/timer      !!Aplay/Arecord output  !!--------------------    APLAY    aplay: device_list:268: no soundcards found...    ARECORD    arecord: device_list:268: no soundcards found...    !!Amixer output  !!-------------      !!Alsactl output  !!--------------    --startcollapse--  --endcollapse--      !!All Loaded Modules  !!------------------    Module  rfcomm  ccm  bnep  nls_iso8859_1  snd_soc_skl  snd_soc_skl_ipc  snd_soc_sst_ipc  snd_soc_sst_dsp  snd_hda_ext_core  snd_soc_sst_match  snd_soc_core  snd_compress  ac97_bus  joydev  i2c_designware_platform  snd_pcm_dmaengine  i2c_designware_core  snd_hda_intel  dell_wmi  sparse_keymap  snd_hda_codec  snd_hda_core  dell_laptop  dell_smbios  dcdbas  rtsx_usb_ms  dell_smm_hwmon  memstick  snd_hwdep  snd_pcm  arc4  snd_seq_midi  snd_seq_midi_event  iwlmvm  snd_rawmidi  mac80211  snd_seq  intel_rapl  x86_pkg_temp_thermal  intel_powerclamp  coretemp  kvm_intel  kvm  uvcvideo  videobuf2_vmalloc  videobuf2_memops  videobuf2_v4l2  videobuf2_core  videodev  hci_uart  btusb  btqca  btrtl  btbcm  btintel  bluetooth  snd_seq_device  snd_timer  media  snd  hid_multitouch  irqbypass  intel_cstate  intel_rapl_perf  soundcore  iwlwifi  cfg80211  mei_me  mei  input_leds  serio_raw  shpchp  idma64  virt_dma  intel_lpss_acpi  intel_lpss_pci  intel_pch_thermal  intel_lpss  tpm_crb  dell_rbtn  mac_hid  acpi_pad  acpi_als  kfifo_buf  industrialio  parport_pc  ppdev  lp  parport  autofs4  btrfs  xor  raid6_pq  algif_skcipher  af_alg  dm_crypt  dm_mirror  dm_region_hash  dm_log  hid_generic  rtsx_usb_sdmmc  usbhid  rtsx_usb  crct10dif_pclmul  crc32_pclmul  ghash_clmulni_intel  pcbc  i915  aesni_intel  aes_x86_64  crypto_simd  glue_helper  cryptd  i2c_algo_bit  drm_kms_helper  syscopyarea  sysfillrect  sysimgblt  fb_sys_fops  r8169  drm  ahci  mii  libahci  wmi  i2c_hid  hid  pinctrl_sunrisepoint  video  pinctrl_intel  fjes      !!ALSA/HDA dmesg  !!--------------    [   34.129894] input: Dell WMI hotkeys as /devices/virtual/input/input14  [   34.131090] snd_hda_intel 0000:00:1f.3: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)  [   34.131276] snd_hda_intel 0000:00:1f.3: bound 0000:00:02.0 (ops i915_audio_component_bind_ops [i915])  [   34.160883] snd_hda_intel 0000:00:1f.3: Codec #0 probe error; disabling it...  [   34.262486] snd_hda_intel 0000:00:1f.3: no codecs initialized  [   34.308799] input: DLLC6B2:00 06CB:75BF Touchpad as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:15.0/i2c_designware.0/i2c-4/i2c-DLLC6B2:00/0018:06CB:75BF.0003/input/input16  

Troubleshooting Attempts

Here is a list of solutions I've tried or considered, along with how they worked out for me:

  • Unmute everything: There were no audio devices to mute, but I ran an "unmute_all" script anyways. It had no effect.
  • Add my user to the pulse group: I have an administrator account, but I ran sudo usermod -a -G pulse ian anyways. Nothing happened.
  • Add options snd-hda-intel model=auto to alsa-base.conf:
  • Reload ALSA: If I run sudo alsa force-reload or sudo alsa reload, my computer just stops responding to input and I have to reboot.
  • Install oem-audio-hda-daily-dkms from the alsa-daily repo: Seemed to work after one or more reboots, but then the problem came back about a day later.
  • Reinstall Ubuntu: Worked for maybe a few days.

Edit:

Every time I reinstall Ubuntu the sound comes back. I just reinstalled it the other day and it's working for now. This time I've set up snapshots with lvm, so when the sound goes away again I'll see if I can narrow down the cause and post it here.


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