Ive had this problem twice now and eventually figured it out myself, but i keep forgetting, so this guide is for any of you out there that need help setting it up as well as a reference for me for everytime my system messes up.
First of all, open a terminal window (Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal)
Type in: lspci
You will see a big output, mine was near the bottom, find:
This means I have an ATI Radeon 2600, which im writing this guide for, if you have anything different, you are welcome to follow these instructions but I do not guarantee them working nor do I take any responsibility.
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV630 [Radeon HD 2600 Series]
01:00.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc RV630/M76 audio device [Radeon HD 2600 Series]
Go to: http://www.amd.com/uk/Pages/AMDHomePage.aspx
On the right, under Download Drivers:
Component Category = Graphics
Operating System: Linux x86 (if you have a 64bit system select the 64bit one)
Product Line: Radeon
Product Model: ATI Radeon 2xxx series
Click View Results
There was only 1 result for me, click Download, save it to your downloads folder.
When fully downloaded, go back to the terminal window and type in:
cd /home/paul/Downloads (change paul to your username)
sudo sh ati-driver-installer-10-3-x86.x86_64.run (if the filename is different, then change the name).
You will be asked for your password, enter it, it will take a few seconds then launch an installer.
Select the first option, then click next, then use all the reccomended options. When finished, restart your computer.
To get sound working right click on the sound icon on the top right, click sound preferences.
Go to Output and select the RV630 or whichever your one is.
If the sound still doesnt work, go into a terminal window again and type:
sudo alsa force-reload
Enter your password, press enter. Sound should work
This is just what worked for me after hours and hours of research, so I thought I would put it all in one place to help you people out. I tried to keep it as SIMPLE as possible. I take no responsibility for any loss of data, broken keyboards, cracked screens, melted mousemats etc etc, use at your own risk.
Anyone else feel free to add commments or suggestions other users may use to make this even easier
Edit: Dont forget to enable desktop effects, its well worth it:
Right click on the Desktop
Click Change Desktop Background
Click Visual Effects tab
Select Extra, it can take a while and the screen goes weird while it makes changes.