lspci -v //to list all of the pci hardware available
look for audio/sound
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
IF YOU DON'T SEE IT ABOVE THEN YOU MIGHT BE IN TROUBLE... If your soundcard is an onboard sound card, then it might be disabled in the system's BIOS.
Research your hardware (e.g. Intel 82801 AC'97)
dpkg -l alsa //will show you if you have anything installed sudo modprobe snd-[tab] to see if you have anything installed
ALSA modules are denoted by the prefix 'snd' followed by the dash ' -
the first step is to remove any corrupted installations - be careful as it may uninstall gdm or ubuntu desktop
sudo apt-get --purge remove linux-sound-base alsa-base alsa-utils sudo apt-get -y install alsa-base
alsamixer Letter M Key - Mutes/unmutes. If a channel is unmuted, then there is a green box underneath the volume slider.
sudo alsactl store 0