The motherboard is a FIC with the VIA P4M800 integrated chipset. ALSA detects the VIA 8237 sound system and loads the 82xx drivers as it should. The machine also has a Realtek ALC655 chip but I don't see any drivers for that in the system config, so that seems a possible source of trouble. I've tried messing with ALSAmixer and it says that the master volume and the various subsystems are not muted and have non-zero volume. The machine has a very poor builtin speaker. I have plugged external speakers into the earphone jack. This works fine when I boot the Windows XP installed on the other partition. I get the Windows startup and shutdown sounds loud and clear. So the hardware does work.
Edited by Alchemist, 18 December 2010 - 04:56 PM.