Ubuntu 10.04 Tip: How to fix Waiting for sound system to respond problem
When you have Ubuntu 10.04, and you login as root, you cannot change the sound volume or settings with the sound applet in the gnome-panel.
Go to System->Preferences -> Startup Applications
Make sure you're in the tab ‘Startup programs'
-> Click on ‘Add'
Name: Pulseaudio daemon
Comment: Start the sound daemon
Now logout, then login again