How To Install a Sound Card on Your Computer

A sound card that has gone passive-aggressive on you means no music, no sound, and absolute silence. If you can’t stand the silent treatment, then this is not an option at all. If your computer is under warranty, you simply call the computer store or the manufacturer for a replacement and free installation. Do not open the casing of your computer is this is the case because it will automatically void it. If your warranty has passed, immediately go out and buy a sound card. Depending on how much you want to spend, sound cards start at $10.00 for basic ones when you only need to play your CDs or listen to stuff posted on the web, and $100 or more when you want sterling quality sound for some serious gaming. Once you have your sound card, here’s how to physically install it in your computer.

  1. Work on a static-free area. Choose an area that is not carpeted or is not rubber linoleum. These encourage static. Your kitchen or dining table is a good place and space for your workplace.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the installation manual. Also called a user’s manual, this booklet will tell you about the installation process, specifications, precautions, and installation.
  3. Prepare the current drivers. These can be found along with your newly-purchased sound card. Use this to prep your computer.
  4. Un-ground yourself. You can do this by purchasing an anti-static wrist strap. If you think you can do without one, you can touch the metal casing or chassis of the computer to dispel static electricity.
  5. Completely shut-off power. Turn off your computer and unplug it from the voltage regulator and the electrical socket.
  6. Remove every cord and peripheral on the external surface of your computer. Gently unscrew, unclip, and disconnect.
  7. Lay it down on its side. Very carefully lay your computer tower down on its side and take a power screw to open the casing. Set aside all the screws in one neat pile.
  8. Find the old sound card. Once you find it, remove everything that is attached to it including the CD-ROM sound cable.
  9. Remove the old sound card from the slot. First thing you have to remember is how your old sound card is installed face up on the slot. Remember how it looks like laying there before you can proceed to removal. You can do this by taking your power screw and unscrewing the clips holding the old sound card in place. Again, do this oh-so-gently being careful not to touch any of the sensitive chips surrounding your sound card.
  10. Replace with the new sound card. Remember how your old sound card was placed on the slot? Take your new sound card and install it right side up according to how you remember it in your mind. Give it a gentle push and screw it into place.
  11. Attach everything into your new sound card. These include cable and jack.
  12. Screw in the computer casing.  Use your power screw and screw in one at a time and then set the tower upright.
  13. Re-attach all the cords and peripherals. These are the ones that were detached externally.
  14. Turn your computer back on. As soon as your computer is fully back on, your operating system will detect a new hardware that was installed and will work with the drivers to complete the installation process.
  15. Turn your speakers up to full volume. If the installation was done successfully, you should be hearing what you want to hear blaring out of your speakers.

You can also reboot your computer after testing your sound card to make sure everything is working properly. On the other hand, if you feel like seeking the help of a professional computer technician because you’re uncertain about doing this yourself, go ahead but observe how it’s done so you can do it next time.


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