[sclug] Headphone socket on laptop

Tom Carbert-Allen tom at randominter.net
Sat Jan 19 21:52:41 UTC 2008

I concuor that older laptops had a physical switch (I have repaired more 
than one in the past) but my ~6 month old acer laptop will refuse to 
switch output modes if the driver crashs, you can restart it and get 
sound, but it won't switch outputs until the next power cycle. I suspect 
your laptop also is switching in software land not hardware if it is a 
more modern box.


John Stumbles wrote:
> The headphone socket on my HP laptop doesn't work. It doesn't play 
> through headphones or active speakers (I've tried both) nor does 
> plugging in the headphone jack cut out the internal speakers.
> Now what's this got to do with Linux I hear you ask? (Oh yes you do! 
> Oh no we don't? ... sorry, it's panto season out there :-))
> Well back in Ye Goode Olde Dayes there was an arrangement of contacts 
> which cut out the speakers when you plugged in a jack, and it even 
> worked quite well with half decent components. However I'm a bit out 
> of the loop on electronics and since my lappy doesn't even make any 
> hint of making contact with the inserted jack or cutting out the 
> speakers even if I wiggle the plug around I'm wondering if nowadays 
> there's a cunning arrangement which senses the load presented by the 
> inserted connector and does the switching in electronics driven by 
> software. In which case it could be a s/w problem.
> I haven't phoned up HP support yet, in anticipation of the IT 
> crowd-style scripted response:
>     Have yer tried switchin it off and on?
>     Are you sure it's plugged in?
>     Have you tried reinstalling windows?
> - which of course I haven't, just because I'm too bone idle to back up 
> 120G of Linux installation, go through HP's Vista reinstall and back 
> again to test it unless I'm sure that *could* be the problem.
> Debian Etch with 'laptop' options on the box.
> Any clue out there?

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