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I solved the problem as follows:
1. In my home directory i removed all resource files (dot-files, xml-files in dot-directories), having to do with sound (ls, grep), except those in application-directories (like ".mozilla"), and except the file ".pulse-cookie".
2. I logged out and in again.
3. In "Volume Control" (sound preferences) I newly set alert sound (sound theme) and keyboard beep (options).
3a. There are three alert sounds at the same time after this.
4. I muted keyboard beep in "Volume Control" (two sounds remain).
5. In .bash_profile I included the following:
if [ $TERM = xterm ]; then
xset b off
The chosen alert sound remains.
Edited by: 951921 on Nov 18, 2012 5:25 PM
The problem came back after plugging a stereo sound recording webcam (Logitech C910) into an usb socket and playing around with "volume control" to make it record sound (which did not work).
Therefore (though still not completely sure) I can state more precisely the first step of my recent post:
rm -r .gconf/desktop/gnome/sound .gconf/apps/gnome-volume-control .pulse
I also booted between steps 1. and 2., but think, this is not necessary.