Can't un-mute Toshiba A-305 S6916

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http://askubuntu.com – The Toshiba Satellite A-305 S6916 laptop has six semi-touch buttons above the keyboard. The 'buttons' are capacitative touch areas which toggle on and off. They are back-lit when on, dark when off. The buttons are audio controls -- mute, media, play, stop, back and next. When I touch the 'mute' button to disable it, it goes off for about half a second, then comes back on. There is also a volume dial on the front of the laptop. When I scroll the dial, I see the software volume slider supposedly moving the volume up and down, but I get no sound. If I start Rhythmbox and change the volume usin (HowTos)