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I have a problem on one of my computers. The device has two soundcards, the internal one mounted on the mainboard, and an additional, relatively old PCI one I still like to use. The issue I'm having is that while both devices are detected without issues in Alsa (aplay -L shows them), PulseAudio only shows one of the cards. Which card works varies seemingly randomly with each boot, with no pattern that I can figure out.

I'm running Debian Buster (testing) on the computer. The issue only started a few weeks ago, although I can't remember what got updated prior to me first noticing this. I'm also dualbooting Windows (8.1), and both sound cards work fine there, so I don't think it's a hardware issue. I also tried disabling the internal card in the UEFI setup, and taking out the PCI card. This only leads to the remaining card being detected intermittently, so I suspect it's not an interoperability issue between the cards.

Apart from enabling the PulseAudio network server, I haven't changed my config. Disabling the network server didn't fix the issue.

I haven't found anything helpful via Google. I'd be grateful for any help in either solving or troubleshooting the issue, because I don't even know where to look at this point.

Edit: More details as requested:

aplay -l

**** Liste der Hardware-Geräte (PLAYBACK) **** Karte 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], Gerät 0: ALC892 Analog [ALC892 Analog] Sub-Geräte: 0/1 Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0 Karte 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], Gerät 1: ALC892 Digital [ALC892 Digital] Sub-Geräte: 1/1 Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0 Karte 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], Gerät 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0] Sub-Geräte: 1/1 Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0 Karte 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], Gerät 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1] Sub-Geräte: 1/1 Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0 Karte 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], Gerät 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2] Sub-Geräte: 1/1 Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0 Karte 2: DMX6Fire [TerraTec DMX6Fire], Gerät 0: ICE1712 multi [ICE1712 multi] Sub-Geräte: 1/1 Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0

lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RD9x0/RX980 Host Bridge (rev 02) 00:00.2 IOMMU: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RD890S/RD990 I/O Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) 00:02.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RD890/RD9x0/RX980 PCI to PCI bridge (PCI Express GFX port 0) 00:04.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RD890/RD9x0/RX980 PCI to PCI bridge (PCI Express GPP Port 0) 00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40) 00:12.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller 00:12.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller 00:13.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller 00:13.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller 00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 42) 00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) (rev 40) 00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 LPC host controller (rev 40) 00:14.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge (rev 40) 00:14.5 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI2 Controller 00:15.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB700/SB800/SB900 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 0) 00:16.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller 00:16.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller 00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h Processor Function 0 00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h Processor Function 1 00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h Processor Function 2 00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h Processor Function 3 00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h Processor Function 4 00:18.5 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h Processor Function 5 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107 [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti] (rev a1) 01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GP107GL High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1) 02:00.0 USB controller: ASMedia Technology Inc. ASM1042 SuperSpeed USB Host Controller 03:06.0 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies Inc. ICE1712 [Envy24] PCI Multi-Channel I/O Controller (rev 02) 04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 06)

  • Some more details would help. A good start would be adding the output of aplay -l and lspci – Outurnate Jul 24 '18 at 14:57
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Guess: Something else is using your card on boot before Pulseaudio starts. As ALSA only allows one process to use the hardware device, Pulseaudio detects the device is in use, and therefore doesn't claim it.

I just had this problem on my machine, the culprit turned out to be timidity, which I though I had disabled on boot, but during some update the config file apparently got overwritten.

Test: Use aplay -D hw:X some_wav_file.wav where X is the currently assigned number of the card that is not shown (probably 0, if you have a program that claims the first device). If you get an error, something else is using it.

You can use lsof /dev/snd/pcm* (as root) or something similar to find out which process is using the device.

  • That turned out to be my exact problem. aplay errored out with device busy, and lsof pointed out timidity. It was marked as automatically installed, although there doesn't seem to be a package depending on it. I removed it, did an apt autoremove to check that all other package dependencies were satisfied, and now it works. Thanks for the help! – JanKrAppel Jul 28 '18 at 8:40
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Intermittent detection of audio hardware could be due to Windows affecting power state for audio device(s) on card during hybrid shutdown

Disable fast-boot and hibernation in Windows

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