How To Install a New Sound Card in Your Dell Desktop PC

Most motherboards come with a built-in sound card that allows you to connect your PC to a set of speakers, an audio system, or a headset. While this integrated sound function may be enough for most people, some people desire better audio quality.

If that is the case with you, then you will want to know that you can buy a separate and specialized sound card and install it on your PC, yes, even on your Dell desktop computer. This upgrade is fairly easy to accomplish even for someone with only basic working knowledge of computers. To help you through the process, here is a simplified guide to follow.

  • Deactivate the on-board sound card. Before proceeding with the installation, you will have to disable the on-board sound card on your motherboard. To do this, turn on your PC and navigate to the BIOS interface of your motherboard. The instructions for this can be found in the user manual that came with the board. Follow the steps to deactivate the on-board sound card. Once that is done, shut off you PC and disconnect the power cable.
  • Open the chassis. Dell uses a lot of different types of casings and chassis for the computer it sells. For your particular computer, you will want to consult the manual on how to open up the chassis. Normally, you would need to open up the left side panel and this can be done by way of removing the screws holding the panel in place and sliding the panel out. However, some casings will have a different procedure so check the manual first.
  • Preparing the chassis for the new card. Once you have accessed the chassis, inspect your motherboard, particularly the lower part. Below the PCIe slot for the video card, you will find elongated but shorter slots. These are PCI slots. Choose one for your sound card and open the faceplate relevant to at the rear.
  • Insert the sound card. Grab the sound card and align it along the PCI slot. Make sure that the rear faceplate of the card lines up with the rear open slot of the chassis. Press the card firmly down onto the slot until it locks into place. Once set, screw the card in place at the rear faceplate. To complete this phase, if necessary, connect the power cable and CDROM connection to the sound card. Some card may not require these connections but if yours does, then make sure to connect them.
  • Seal the chassis. Now that you have installed the new hardware, seal up the access panel of the chassis.
  • Set up the card. Connect the speakers to the ports of the new sound card at the rear and power up your PC. Once your operating system loads, it will detect the new hardware. If the operating system has the drivers for it, it will complete the installation of the new hardware automatically. If not, then you will need to insert the sound card installation CD and install the drivers.

Once the sound card is operational, test it out by playing some tunes. If sound comes out with no signs of error or static, then you have successfully installed your new sound card.


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