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[n00b@localhost]
Apprentice
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Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 211
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: W530 Sound Card Disappearing Reply with quote

I work as a consultant software engineer and managed to convince a client of mine (at a university) to buy me a Lenovo Thinkpad W530 for the project I'm doing for him. This was in April this year and since I got it it has had nothing but problems. Firstly, within two weeks, the charging circuit blew a fuse which stopped the battery charging. After phoning their technical support line and refusing to let them "remotely diagnose" the solution by connecting to the laptop (I didn't tell them I had Gentoo on it ;) ) the support representative insisted on sending out a new battery. I knew it was a problem with the charging circuit but wasn't going to turn down a free 9-cell battery. After it arrived, I phoned again, explained the situation and sent the laptop in to get repaired. This takes 5 working days from when the repair centre receives the laptop for them to repair it and send it back. Additionally I took a complete system backup using sysresccd when I received the laptop so that I can restore it to factory at any point. This means that whenever I have to send it in I have to backup my Gentoo installation, wipe anything sensitive from the hard drive, restore Windows from the backup and go through all the registration and update stuff that requires. Then, when it arrives back, I have to do the whole thing in reverse.

When it returned it charged batteries OK but the sound card had disappeared. It wouldn't appear in the lspci output and there is no switch in the BIOS to enable/disable the sound card. Otherwise the system was identical so I figured they replaced the motherboard with one that had a broken sound card. This time I let the support guy remotely log in after restoring Windows so that he could see the problem and he agreed to get the laptop sent in again to get fixed. By this time it is the middle of May.

Yesterday when I turned on my laptop and logged in to KDE a message popped up saying that the sound card had disappeared again. Again it isn't in the lspci output so I went and left a massive rant on Lenovo's Facebook and Google+ pages explaining the situation and that they'd pissed off a rather large university. I was hoping that since this is the 3rd time in two months that the laptop has broken that they would let me take it to an authorised repairer nearby rather than waste another 5 business days wiping/restoring/posting the laptop to get repaired. This morning however I received a reply which told me to phone tech support.

Yesterday evening when I turned my laptop on the sound card reappeared and was working. The hardware volume controls on the keyboard wouldn't work though although they did trigger volume change events in KDE causing the volume meter to show up on the screen and alsa mixer could still control the volume. This left me thinking that their might be a software solution to the problem. Maybe a power management setting or something that is disabling the sound card intermittently? Could this cause the link between the hardware buttons and changing the volume to be broken?

This morning when I switched the laptop on the sound card was there, listed in lspci and KDE. It even made a sound when Skype signed in but since then has been silent. I rebooted and it disappeared again and then rebooted a couple of further times to see if it would reappear but no.

Here is the remainder of the lspci output. The sound card is (was) an "Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)" with a Realtek ALC280 audio codec (I think that's the codec).
Code:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation QM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107GLM [Quadro K2000M] (rev ff)
02:00.0 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd PCIe SDXC/MMC Host Controller (rev 05)
02:00.3 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 PCIe IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 04)
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (rev 3e)


Does it look like there could be a simple/software fix to this problem? I'm under the impression that if it doesn't appear in the lspci output it doesn't exist so is a hardware problem. I really don't want to have to tell my client that I have to send the laptop away to get fixed a third time in two months as the project is way overdue as it is.

The laptop has nVidia Optimus controlling the Intel and nVidia cards. I have this working with Bumblebee but have heard that the nVidia card can also do HDMI audio output. Is this correct? Could it be that the laptop is incorrectly guessing that the system doesn't support Optimus so disabling something that also effects the sound card?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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[n00b@localhost]
Apprentice
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Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 211
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone care for a game of "spot the difference"?
Code:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation QM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107GLM [Quadro K2000M] (rev ff)
02:00.0 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd PCIe SDXC/MMC Host Controller (rev 05)
02:00.3 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 PCIe IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 04)
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (rev 3e)


I think I've uncovered a UEFI firmware bug. I went into the BIOS and disabled Intel Speedstep, CPU Power Management, PCI Express Power Management and switched the Display to Integrated Graphics. When I rebooted the sound card has reappeared! I rebooted twice, playing a sound each time and reenabling a BIOS option after every two reboots. It would seem, for now at least, that my sound card has returned. I'm not sure which BIOS setting in particular caused the sound card to reappear but the next time it happens I'll see if this works and try to find the exact culprit.
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roarinelk
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Posts: 434

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe boot the kernel with "pcie_aspm=off"
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nictki
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Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hy,

I don't now if it will help you, but:

i've as well W530, i've had simillar problems with kde and phonon "device not found, switching to default..." (something like this),
but since i'm using xmonad as my primery WM, such of problem is never occured (pure alsa).

Btw., all power saving options are enabled in kernel and in BIOS as well...
Not using UEFI

I've never tried HDMI, my nvidia card is blocked with bbswitch to get maximal battery life time
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[n00b@localhost]
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Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 211
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just tried booting with pcie_aspm=off and it made no difference.

I'm now thinking this is an intermittent recurring hardware error as it does not work when booting Gentoo (either in KDE or on the command line), Sysresccd nor Windows. The laptop beeps when I switch it on and, if it does not beep, then I know the sound card won't work when the OS loads.

I'm a bit concerned about sending this into Lenovo to get fixed however as if it happens to work when they test it I get charged £40 plus postage. I think I will wait until it breaks consistently and hopefully by that time the design fault with the motherboard will have been fixed.
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daniel4230877
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Joined: 25 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting. I'm running Gentoo right now and sound works perfectly on my W530. Then again I have UEFI disabled.
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