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#1 2015-07-27 19:05:01

conradk
Member
Registered: 2015-07-27
Posts: 4

Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Hello dear Arch users smile

I recently got started with Arch Linux on a Lenovo Thinkpad W541. Everything has been working neatly and the Arch Wiki has helped a lot. But there is one thing I can't fix: I sometimes (only sometimes) have no sound on my headphones.

The headphones are plugged in via a 3.5mm jack on the left side. They work fine with other devices.

The laptop's speakers play sounds just fine without any issues.

What I have tried:
- read at dozens of forum threads,
- the ALSA/OSS/PULSE Wiki pages,
- I have tried uncommenting lines below "Element Headphone" in "/usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/*",
- adding "options snd-hda-intel model=thinkpad" (also with "model=lenovo" and "model=auto") in a "/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf" file,
- check volume levels in "alsamixer" and "pavucontrol" (in both cases, headphones are unmuted and levels are at 100%, pavucontrol even shows a moving sound bar, but I can't hear any sounds through the headphones),
- playing with the "Auto-Mut" setting from the sound card in "alsamixer", but it didn't fix my missing sound issue.

Here's the output of "aplay -l":

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: HDMI [HDA Intel HDMI], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: HDMI [HDA Intel HDMI], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: HDMI [HDA Intel HDMI], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC3232 Analog [ALC3232 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

I don't know what makes the sound come back or go away.

I would appreciate any help, tips or hints smile

Thanks,
Conrad

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#2 2015-07-28 11:38:44

Karnash
Member
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Hi,

I've got exactly the same issue with the same laptop, just today. I tried some stuff with hdajackretask without success.

Let me know if you find a solution!

EDIT: I tried this solution (shutdown, disconnect the power source and the headphone, remove the battery for a few seconds), and it worked ! It must be a hardware issue.

Last edited by Karnash (2015-07-28 11:58:37)

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#3 2015-07-28 19:04:19

conradk
Member
Registered: 2015-07-27
Posts: 4

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Hi Karnash,

Thanks for the reply ! smile

I had tried with hdajackretask without success as well. Maybe I didn't understand how to properly use hdajackretask though. I tried removing the battery, but that didn't solve it for me.

At the moment, I have a workaround that makes the headphones work for me:
I boot the PC with the headphones plugged out, I wait till I reach the login screen (I'm using Slim), then I plug the headphones in, then I login. And then the headphones work.

I just saw that Slim (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/SLiM) is not fully systemd compatible according to the Wiki. I wonder if this has something to do with my problems.

Conrad

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#4 2015-07-29 16:20:16

wasutton3
Member
Registered: 2011-03-19
Posts: 27

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Hey I've got kinda the same issue with my T440P.

Audio always seems to work with headphones, but I can never get the speakers to work.

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#5 2015-12-17 10:51:24

Scifi
Member
Registered: 2010-02-15
Posts: 3

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

I have this same issue on W540. One fix that I have noted to work roughly 90% of the time is to start pavucontrol right after logging in, this seems to enable the output on the headphones (you can hear a pop and the headphones start to have a slight noise). This would indicate that the actual hardware is not properly enabling the headphone output.

Has anyone figured out a way to force the hardware to enable the output, or even ways to diagnose this issue as I cant find anything abnormal from the software side of things, just no sound coming out of the headphone jack.

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#6 2015-12-17 11:56:53

conradk
Member
Registered: 2015-07-27
Posts: 4

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

@Scifi: I've figured out a way that works quite well for me now. Maybe it can help you figure out an even better way for yourself.

I have completely uninstalled PulseAudio. This effectively means I can't use some applications that require it, but all applications I need go directly through the native "ALSA" driver.

Then, I put this in my ~/.asoundrc file (if this file does not exist on your system, simply create it):

pcm.!default {
	type hw
	card 1
}

ctl.!default {
	type hw
	card 1
}

Finally, I need to unplug my headphones before shutting down my laptop. And I need to not plug them in until after I've turned on the laptop and logged in successfully. If I do that, I have sound in the headphones, every time.

If I forget to unplug the headphones before shutting down, or I plug them in too soon, I don't have any sound. In that case, here's what I do to get back to normal: I unplug the headphones, shut down the laptop, remove the power cable and unplug the battery for a few seconds. Then I turn on the laptop, log in and plug the headphones in.

This is not perfect, obviously, but it is reliable.

Let us know if you figure out a better solution (maybe one that works well with Pulse Audio ?).

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#7 2015-12-30 01:26:32

demian
Member
From: Frankfurt, Germany
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 709

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

conradk wrote:

Let us know if you figure out a better solution (maybe one that works well with Pulse Audio ?).

What works on my Thinkpad W541 with pulseaudio is simply suspending.

1. Boot with headphones plugged in
2. No sound on headphones sad
3. Suspend
4. Sound on headphones!


no place like /home
github

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#8 2016-01-01 17:44:13

Saend
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-25
Posts: 11

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Same issue with Thinkpad T450s on Gnome3.

Thank you demian for the workaround.

Edit: fixed, see below.

Last edited by Saend (2016-08-21 18:57:59)

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#9 2016-01-05 15:01:32

mattelacchiato
Member
Registered: 2016-01-05
Posts: 2

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Having the same problem with Thinkpad T540p with (shame on me) Xubuntu 15.10. So it really seems to be a hardware/driver issue.
demian's workaround works for me, too.

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#10 2016-01-20 00:56:55

deeenes
Member
Registered: 2015-08-28
Posts: 6

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Same with X240. Suspend helps! Thank you so much demian! smile

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#11 2016-01-23 16:16:48

isaacaggrey
Member
Registered: 2012-06-01
Posts: 4

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

I can also confirm demian's suspend workaround on my W540. Thanks demian!

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#12 2016-01-25 02:37:50

lersek
Member
Registered: 2015-03-15
Posts: 37

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

demian wrote:
conradk wrote:

Let us know if you figure out a better solution (maybe one that works well with Pulse Audio ?).

What works on my Thinkpad W541 with pulseaudio is simply suspending.

1. Boot with headphones plugged in
2. No sound on headphones sad
3. Suspend
4. Sound on headphones!

Works for me as well (W541), thanks!

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#13 2016-01-25 11:12:32

kyoni
Member
Registered: 2016-01-24
Posts: 8

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

I just wrote a little "howto" about how to fix this "properly" cool :

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=208039

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#14 2016-04-20 07:19:31

typekpb
Member
Registered: 2016-04-20
Posts: 1

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Same issue with Thinkpad W540 with RHEL 7.2 and Gnome 3.
However demian's workaround worked! Thanks!

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#15 2016-04-20 09:06:46

kyoni
Member
Registered: 2016-01-24
Posts: 8

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

Your problem is that the sound is sent to the HDMI output per default...

Test this:
- do you have sound on your HDMI monitor when the sound does not work on your laptop?
- do you have sound on your laptop when you unplug the HDMI monitor?
- does "aplay -l" return HDMI as card "0" and PCI as card ="1" ?

If so, you need to prioritize the sound outputs the way you want them... PCI > HMDI instead of HDMI > PCI (default) (read the link I posted above).

Last edited by kyoni (2016-04-20 09:15:04)

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#16 2016-08-21 19:05:18

Saend
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-25
Posts: 11

Re: Sometimes no sound on Lenovo Thinkpad W541 headphones, speakers fine

It turns out the issue on my Thinkpad came from IRST, which I disabled and replaced with delayed hibernation. It's actually way faster than IRST, since it doesn't copy 12GB from RAM to disk and back, and doesn't mess with the sound card for some reason.

Anyway, two of my biggest annoyances fixed in one go. It's a good day.

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