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I bought a used laptop on Craigslist (a Toshiba Satellite M115), and promptly wiped the drive and installed Ubuntu 11.4 (Natty).

(This was a big deal for me, since every computer I've ever owned [20+ years' worth] I've built from scratch. So buying a system that was built by someone else was... challenging.)

Unfortunately, I'm having issues with the sound. The internal speakers don't seem to work at all, and the headphone jack gives me VERY quiet audio. While I'm 95% positive I heard sounds in Windows before I installed Ubuntu, now I'm doubting myself and I'd like to check the physical speakers.

On my desktop this would be a cinch... I've got half a dozen devices around the house I could plug them into to verify that the speakers themselves are working. However, I'm not sure how to do this with the laptop speakers.

In general is it possible to physically test the speakers on a laptop? If so, where should I begin?

Edit: Just to clarify, I'm at the point I need to physically test the laptop speakers. As in, I need to open the laptop and get access to the connecting wires. I have experience splicing cables together, but I've never worked specifically with speakers. How would I go about testing them to see if they are good?

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To test the speakers themselves you would need to disassemble the notebook, unhook the speakers and then use another audio source to test them.

A multi-meter (or continuity meter) might be enough to tell you if the speaker coils are fried or not.

Before doing that though, I'd try another OS install (LiveCD, WinPE, or alike so you don't have to reformat) and see if it gives the same results (no speaker sound, low headphones). This will (hopefully) help determine if it's a hardware or software problem.

Also keep in mind that many/most notebook also have a physical volume knob or control. :)

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Yep, I'm aware of the volume knob :) I've tried various linux live cd's, as well as rebuilding the alsa drivers. That's why I'm wanting to physically test the speakers. – Benjamin Chambers Sep 2 '11 at 17:55
If you're at that point that you want to test the physical speakers, then your at the point that you need to physically disassemble the notebook. Or at least enough to get at the speakers. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 2 '11 at 17:59

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