I recently bought an Alienware M14xR2 and installed ArchLinux on it.
Sound was OK if you forget about headphone jack detection but I could hear music and video. After some time sound started failing randomly depending on the boot, but since 2 weeks ago no sound at all is coming from my speakers.
I don't know if this is related to ALSA, Pulseaudio or even vgaswitcheroo, so I hope you can guide me through the process of debugging this.
What can I do for solving this issue?
It is a common problem with the Alienware (related to bios or hardware, I'm not sure). I have myself a M17xR4 (so the same generation than your M14), and sometimes, especialy after a kernel update, sound goes off… I am in dual boot with windows, and sometimes just a reboot from windows to linux is enought to break the sound.
First, you can try what is indicated in this thread : https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=154447, but I didn't need it myself, sound worked out of the box with the last versions of the kernel.
Second, you can try, like me (it works all the time, but sometimes after two or three attempts…), to purge the CMOS memory (look here, in the "solution" section : http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshoo … cid=530513). If it doesn't work at reboot, stop the laptop, wait a few minutes, reboot and it should work.
In short, sound on the last Alienware laptop generation is a mess !
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I decided to format the hard drive lask week. Everything ok since then.....
I will comment again if I have any issue. Alsa is being modified for kernel 3.9.
After lots of kernel updates I have to say that audio doesn't fail any more. Since kernel 3.9 or 3.10 things seem to be very stable.
Jack detection is fine but only works in one of the two audio outputs.
There's one jack for headphone (mono + microphone) working and other jack port for earphones (stereo) that works but no automute.
I don't know where to start looking for a fix and can't fill a bug in alsa as their bugtracker is down.
Any hint on this?