The first thing I ever had to do in Linux was fix my sound. I spent more than a day looking for a good fix after Husse's general ICH fix did nothing for me, so I just realized I should share this with everyone else to save people a lot of searching (hopefully). My fix was a complete switch to OSS, as is detailed in this walkthrough: Open Sound System: Building OSSv4 from source.
This should work for anyone with an Intel sound card (I've helped a few people with different cards through it, and no one has had a problem). Now, there are a few things to consider before doing this:
1. After this, you will be using OSS rather than ALSA, meaning any problems you have later on (with a specific application for example) will require a different fix than for the general Linux population. You'll want to go to the Open Sound forums for tech support.
2. If you're using KDE, kmix is not compatible with OSS at the moment (due to a bug which is apparently being worked on). To remedy this, you'll have to use a few bash scripts as a workaround (see below for more information on that).
So, if you've decided this is the way for you, there are a few extra things you should know post-install. For one thing, after the last step (sudo make install), an error will be repeated a bunch of times (module is already in use). This is normal. Restart, and you should have fully functioning sound. Next, in order to make applications work without too much configuration, open the Sound menu from the control center, and change everything there to OSS rather than ALSA. This will make applications default to OSS, saving you from a lot of hassle later on in life.
This section is based completely on my own experiences. I've tested this method in KDE, Gnome, and XFCE, and it has worked flawlessly in all three desktops, other than these minor hiccups which I've found easily remedied.
1. Workaround for KMix (and media consoles/volume hotkeys as well): Follow this guide. After saving the scripts, you'll need to give them execute privileges
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chmod +x /path/to/file
2. Sound is too quiet/my volume controls don't work: You need to open your sound mixer (as long as you're not in KDE. In KDE, the only fix is the one above), set it to OSS, and basically play around with the switches until you find which one is actually controlling your volume. As far as I can tell, the reason OSS works while ALSA doesn't is that OSS hooks into every hardware piece involving sound, meaning you have access to many switches that don't actually do anything. For me, sound is controlled by the switches vmix0-outvol and misc.mix21. It'll be different for each person.
3. Flash is too quiet: This is a common problem with Linux due to Adobe's bad flash packaging. I've found it's somewhat helpful to switch to their official package
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apt remove --purge flashplugin-nonfree & apt install adobe-flashplugin
Other than that, I haven't had any problems. The first thing I do now on a fresh install is switch everything to OSS. It makes my life easy and full of music Good luck, and happy minting.