Sound was working fine on Windows, but yesterday after installing Kubuntu 12.10 the headphones in windows stopped working. The victim is an Asus N53SN laptop.

In Kubuntu sound works like a charm, but in windows only speakers are working, once I plug in the headphones, silence everywhere.

I've uninstalled windows drivers, I've restored the system, I've messed up with everything. I've restarted the system, with headphones plugged and unplugged.

I know this is not windows support forum, but wait: Headphones are working now, after leaving the laptop without AC and battery.

I've read that it is possible that linux is leaving the audio device in a way windows can't understand, and disconnecting the lap from AC would "solve" it temporarily. How can I solve it forever and ever?

Link found: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1221097

Edit: As requested, a capture of alsamixer: alsamixer

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    Don't know if it is windows fault or linux fault, but as I don't expect windows on moving a finger for me, I've posted this problem here. If linux changed something, then linux can change it back again. Feb 6, 2013 at 8:05
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    "I've read that it is possible that linux is leaving the audio device in a way windows can't understand" Right now, it's unlikely anyone here can answer your question. But if you were to tell us where you read that (provide a link if it's an online source), then it might be possible for someone to combine their knowledge of Ubuntu with the information there and devise a solution. Feb 6, 2013 at 12:46
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    Me too have read that in a forum, but i don't remember the link. My laptop also have same problem. And as mentioned, I removed the battery while in linux, and booted to windows, then headphone was working fine. otherwise not. I think linux is editing something related to audio, which windows can't access or modify. Feb 8, 2013 at 19:44
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    I have voted to re-open this question. Could you perhaps add a screenshot of alsamixer? Thanks.
    – Seth
    Feb 9, 2013 at 21:12
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    I just had this problem today. I was listening to music on my headphones while installing Ubuntu 12.10 via wubi. Then I put music on in the linux instalation and it worked. Next I rebooted my system and went back to windows and the headphones don't work anymore. I have literally not done anything on windows since I installed Ubuntu (besides opening chrome to listen to music).
    – csiz
    Feb 25, 2013 at 0:38

4 Answers 4


I just resolved this issue.

You have to log into Windows, uninstall sound driver and then Shutdown the PC (not Restart! it has different behavior).

After that turn on your PC and the sound should work back again. If it wouldn't be automatically installed after logging to desktop, install sound driver manually.

  • are you sure @bari? Have you started ubuntu -> restarted -> started windows without sound problems? Can you please test the following also: on windows, with both battery and AC connected, remove the AC wire, leaving the laptop with battery only. Yesterday the sound went off doing this (was not intended, the power went out). Apr 8, 2013 at 10:15

I had exactly the same problem with the asker and tried the same things (reinstalling windows drivers, rebooting etc) but with no success.

Just shutdown the laptop from windows, leave it turned off for a few seconds (no need to remove AC supply or battery at least for me) and turn it on again and boot in windows. Your sound should be fine.

That way i managed to get my sound back in windows after having booted in ubuntu. (where the sound is working perfectly by the way)

The important part is that reboot doesn't work because it does not reset the power supply.

Specifically, i had sound in windows, booted in ubuntu, then in windows and the sound was off. I restarted and booted to windows again and no sound. I shutdown and turned on and booted in windows and the sound was there.

Hope this helps.

  • This is not a solution. Every time you reboot windows after coming from ubuntu the problem will appear again. Also this temporal solution is already provided in the question. Apr 17, 2013 at 13:20
  • This problem is so difficult to relate to ubuntu in the first place that most windows users would beg even for a temporary solution. If you have a permanent one please tell us. And it is not provided exactly like this because i dont recommend a driver uninstallation and/or powersupply/battery removal. Just a simple shutdown.
    – goh
    Apr 21, 2013 at 12:11

I had this problem, but I realised that linux distros somehow modify hardware...on linux mint, bluetooth adapter on toshiba is affected (in my case windows 8 bluetooth manager got fixed) and kubuntu fails my headphone audio device as mentioned above....I don't think there is a solution

  • I think this is a problem with the laptop, with the hardware, not linux/windows related. Is it an ASUS? Jun 26, 2013 at 10:54
  • I've had this problem with several machines on several platforms. E.g. Samsung/HP on Fedora17-18, HP on Ubuntu 12.10. Booting to Linux and then halt -fp is a remedy.
    – Mati
    Nov 20, 2013 at 4:11

I couldn't find the reason for this behavior. But Best workaround that I found for it is to just put your laptop into sleep and wake it up again. At least it's so faster than restarting or shutting the system down and turning it on again.

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