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I am using ubuntu 10.04 LTS desktop and I don't have any sound output from the built-in speakers in my Dell N5040

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You need to edit this file /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf and then add a line in its end.

Use the following commands in a terminal

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf &

Now add the following line at its end:

options snd-hda-intel model=generic

Now reboot your computer. It should solve your problem. If the solution doesn’t work it is likely that the term model = generic may not work in all the cases as sometimes it depends on the model of your sound card.

Find your sound card by typing aplay -l | grep card in a terminal

You can try replacing the word generic by the following words depending upon your model of Dell laptop:

options snd-hda-intel model=ref


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