Making the cs4237b soundcard work on old Dell CP and CPi laptops

Making the cs4237b soundcard work on old Dell CP and CPi laptops is hard. Therefore I've compiled this page, consisting of my experiences with it. All this was made on Debian Sarge and Etch, though it will probably apply to other distros too, though it ain't tested. I personally own a Dell Latitude CPi D300XT, which the following tips do work on, and the person that told me how to make Alsa work had a Dell Latitude CP M233ST. Thus these instructions will probably work on all CP and CPi laptops in that serie (M166ST, M200SD, M233ST, M233XT, D233ST, D266XT, D300XT). And these instructions will probably apply to some other laptops with the same sound card. I would love to have this confirmed, though.

Making OSS work

The sound card is automatically detected by OSS and the cs4232 driver is used, however, when trying to play something, the sound either stutters or is way too slow, ie downpitched. To fix this, open up /etc/pcmcia/config.opts and comment out:

include port 0x100-0x4ff

You may have to change these boundaries instead of commenting them to make pcmcia still work. After this, reboot.

Making Alsa work

To make alsa work, you will have to run 'setpnp 0f on' before the snd-cs4232 module is loaded. To make it always do this, see the setpnp docs. Setpnp is from the package pnpbios-tools in debian, btw. And alsaconf should be able to detect the soundcard without any problem, if you just tell it to try to detect legacy cards and select the cs4232. Otherwise, just modprobe snd-cs4232.

If you have any suggestion on how to improve this page, find any error, have any question on it or just want to tell me that a tip on this page worked for you, please e-mail me and say so. That will give me motivation for improving it.

E-mail me (Alexander Toresson)

Contents