Need help with the sound card!!

David Kelly dkelly at
Wed May 21 18:09:53 PDT 2003

On Wed, May 21, 2003 at 03:23:37PM -0400, Konokrad wrote:
> On Tue, 20 May 2003 22:13:40 -0500
> David Kelly <dkelly at> wrote:
> > I suggested loading all at once so as to learn if any worked. 
> > Apparently not. You didn't say if the soundccard was ISA or what?
> The card is indeed on ISA. Loading modules does nothing. The message in
> dmesg (sb_reset_dsp failed) that I used get with the kernel with the snd
> drivers in it does not appear when I kldload snd.ko. I checked kldstat
> and the modules are there (a lot of them) but I saw no output anywhere.
> Looks like the soundcard is either unsupported or I'm doing something
> obvious wrong.

Most sound cards are supported. Problem is ISA sucks big time.
Plug-and-Play, a.k.a. "PnP" was a bandaid attempting to make
configuration easier for the masses but was implemented in typical
half-assed effort so its widely known as Plug-and-Pray.

Suggest for further reading you check the manpages for "pnpinfo" and
"pnp". These are tools and driver for reading the PnP info on ISA cards.
Also finds some stuff on PCI whose designers wanted ISA compatibility.
Doesn't see my PCI ethernet cards but does see the sound cards.

Ultimately when you find the right PnP settings the permanent values
need to be place in (I *think*) /boot/kernel.conf.

If you have not already, boot into the kernel's visual config. During
the boot when the loader starts the 10 second countdown, abort it and
type "boot -c" (config) or "boot -v" (visual). From either of those two
you can play with PnP probes looking for your soundcard. You can even
force the IRQ and I/O settings within reason. IIRC this utility can also
write the values to /boot/kernel.conf but might not automatically save

> Also trying to unload modules does reboot this machine and when I load
> modules at boot I don't see them in kldstat when I get to the root
> shell.

This should unload all the snd stuff that was kldloaded with the same

# kldunload snd.ko

On reboot the modules will not have been reloaded no matter that you
used kldunload or not. Once you find the right one it can be placed in
/boot/loader.conf something like this from a Dell Optiplex I have with
built in sound:

snd_mss_load="YES"              # Mss

The above line was found and copied from /boot/defaults/loader.conf like

# grep snd_mss /boot/defaults/loader.conf >> /boot/loader.conf

then I changed NO to YES in /boot/loader.conf with vi.

David Kelly N4HHE, dkelly at
The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its
capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.

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