Fix your TouchPad's lost audio | webOS Nation

Fix your TouchPad's lost audio 43

by Adam Marks Sun, 11 Sep 2011 8:01 pm EDT

This tip is only for devices running webOS 3.0 and higher

One of the most annoying bugs in webOS 3.0.2 has got to be when your sound just mysteriously just disappears. Some have said that this may relate to those using a "ringtone" for email notifications, but regardless, it is an issue that seems only to be fixed with a device reboot. However, PreCentral reader Lee Smith (@addiarmadar on Twitter) has given us a simple Homebrew solution that will restart your sounds without the need for a reboot. In order to accomplish this, you will need access to then command line, which can use access on-device with a homebrew app like Xecutah or if you put your device in Developer Mode and hook it up to PC and use webOS Quick Install.

Once you have access to the command prompt, run these two commands:

stop pulseaudio

start pulseaudio

You should see an output similar to the screenshot attached and your sound should return, all without the need to reboot your phone

Thanks to @addiarmadar for this tip

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)


ugh...figures pulseaudio is the bane of a lot of linux users especially linux on a laptop.

Why has nobody made a reset pulseaudio toggle yet? This has been an issue for months, and I don't have the know-how. Please and thank you.

Thanks for the tip. I was wondering why the system sound mysteriously disappeared!

better yet why not have a path that stops and starts the audio service by pressing the volume rocker to max three times. Or any function that a user would normally attempt when checking to see why the volume is gone. I'm sure at the minimum creating an app with one function to run a batch file containing the reset code could be created in a developers sleep.

Holy **** this has been driving me nuts. I can't believe it's this simple.

I still don't understand how Pulseaudio became the de-facto in place of alsa/oss, when so many distros have so many issues with it but install it by default anyway.

I have done a mute audio, unmute audio from top right menu and that worked. Dont know if my case was a particular one or same as the one you are describing.

Much easier to make a skype call(echo123 on skype "test call" if u don't want to call anyone). It fixes the audio every time.
Get skype working.
Type test in Just Type
& then hit dial out button (Echo / Sound Test Service)
When u hear the outgoing ring u know u fixed it.

I have found this to be only a partial fix. while it will get my audio back, i seem to constantly need to keep reactivating it with the volume doesn't seem to keep on with this solution. do u find different results?

Hasn't happend to me in awhile, but when it did it seemed to work fine.

Pro's are:

Works great for me when I'm out in the field with no access to PC/terminal access.

Faster than rebooting...

Confirmed by others here, setting email notification to vibrate will stop this problem mostly from reproducing. Otherwise resetting pulseaudio drops the problem.

I like many others had the sound stop working without any cause. Placing a quick skype call was a temporary solution, but the sound would stop working soon afterward. Only 'permanent' solution I've found is to set email and calendar notifications to not play any sounds. Not sure if calendar notifications are also needed, but I played it safe.

This resolved the problem for me. I used to encounter this issue daily until I changed the email notification to vibrate, and it has not happened since.

I've noticed that with Bluetooth OFF, I have yet to lose my sound.

If I turn Bluetooth on, I'll lose sound if my Pre and Touchpad are connected, and I walk out of range with my Pre.

Haven't tested that thoroughly, but since I turned off Bluetooth, haven't had a single issue with sound. Now I only turn bluetooth on when I want to do a speakerphone or something...

All in your mind. I never use bluetooth and have this issue.

I had this issue when I first setup my touchpad, and I let it restore data already in my palm profile from my phone.

It seemed to happen twice a day, quickly got to the point where I simply didn't bother trying to use it for audio.

Then I had cause to do a complete wipe on my touchpad, and the second time when I set it up I told it not to restore data from my Palm Profile. Since then I've not had the problem even once, and as far as I recall I'm running all the same apps. Now I can run audio apps as much as I want.

has anybody noticed that when the audion goes 3d games don't want to start up? I noticed this just the other day when I closed some open apps and did not hear anything then tried to open need for speed and the screen would turn black and then the game would close it self. Sparkle wouldn't even start. After reboot it will be fine. I wonder it its related and if this would fix that-

I have found that it never happens if the TP is being charged and always happens when in sleep mode off charge. It is surely related to the email notification tones when in sleep mode and off charge. Reset always fixes it for me.

And I thought it was just me. :-)

Agghh!! This damned bug caused me to be extremely late for recent gig I had! Used the alarm in Simple Clock to wake me up - it went off but there was NO SOUND!


*Do NOT use the Touchpad for alarms!*

The sound simply isn't reliable for when you really need it

I was fortunate to realize this when I didn't have to be anywhere. Don't use the TP as an alarm clock if you ever get this audio problem.

And this is not an easy homebrew app why...?

why has this still not been fixed?

I wonder why this GLARING issue has not been mentioned before. It's A HUGE flaw, along with the horrible keyboard precision. I know that this is a webOS promoting site but not addressing issues like these actually hurts the platform because when new entrants pick it up they're left wondering what's happening, and end up believing webOS is a piece of ****

where is this "Xecutah" app?

I've been looking for a decent TouchPad terminal app and there doesn't seem to be any, which is very odd. (one that doesn't require to install X11)

By the way, I haven't experience this audio issue before. What triggers it usually?

Xecutah is in the webos-internals testing feed. It installs Xserver and Xterm, and it is essentially a launcher app that launches them in another card.

I guess this is an example of the "great" software that we were to expect from HP. Doesn't sound that great. (pun intended :-)

I can't imagine 'regular' users who don't frequent this site are too happy about this. It is basic bugs like this that killed the platform.

Are the TPs currently trickling out of TigerDirect et al returns rather than the new stock HP promised?

I haven't had a single issue with the audio on either of my Touchpads. I haven't actually had any complaints about them except their delivery date! C'mon, HP! Where are my TP's!

I work for HP and recently fixed this issue. Should be coming in the next OTA update.

and when can we expect this OTA update? oh wait let me guess "Soon" :/

"jizyjuice" works for HP?

Yeah man. Its just an alias. But yes I do work for HP, at least for now.

you gotta watch out when googling images of your alias.
It would be nice to get this OTA update because it is annoying to say the least. It happens to me at least three times a day which mean three long **** reboots.

Since you work for HP any chance we will get to see new back plates? Mine is already cracked in three places.

seriously, when is the next OTA?

and thanks for all the hard work JJ. I know all about SDL and what a pain programming bugs can be.

Next ota should be coming really soon. But this specific fix wont be until the next one after. We recently saw the problem not too long ago and the fix didn't make it in time for the immediate next update.

For the record: I have been experiencing this issue since BEFORE 3.0.2, so it was not introduced with the update. Also, I have not changed any of the sounds, so my TouchPad is completely stock and has the sound loss issue.

Wait, you mean that's not what they meant by Touchpad, beats audio?

Certainly a strange issue and probably why it's taking so long to fix. I had the problem all the time with 3.0.0. HP had me reinstall the ROM with webOS doctor and when that didn't resolve they replaced the TP. Since then I haven't had the problem with 3.0.0 or 3.0.2. Perhaps HP used a different audio chip version in some TPs and for whatever reason something in the OS trips it up.

Anyone else notice the sentence that says "all without the need to reboot your phone" at the very end?

I've developed using audio on the Touchpad. I have noticed that sound will get killed if audio is being loaded in the background when the Touchpad screen is off. It will cause audio objects to fail and will only be fixed with a device reboot.

In case anyone is interested, I was fighting a similar problem with webOS 2.x on a Pre2, where VoiceDial kills sounds. Fix is the same, stop and start pulseaudio, but I wanted an app to do the kill/restart automatically. Got an initial version up to the webos-internals testing feeds, and if all goes well should move into the normal feeds after a bit. Called PulseAudio Restarter, does exactly what it says on the tin. Should work on Touchpad as well as phones.

Preware now has a Pulse Audio Restarter app available: