How to Download an Audio Driver for Windows XP

By John Smith

When you buy a Windows XP-based computer, your system should be fully set up from the beginning. Drivers and other software will be available on a separate CD, and if you purchase a new audio device it should also come with a software CD. Without a driver disc, you will need to go online to find audio drivers for XP. There are a number of places to look for drivers if Windows XP can't automatically install the correct drivers.

Step 1

Open "Windows Update" by opening your Internet Explorer web browser and clicking "Tools" then selecting "Windows Update."

Step 2

Click "Personalize windows Update" located on the left pane, then check the box next to "Display the link to windows Update Catalog under See Also." Click "Save Settings."

Step 3

Go back to the main Windows Update catalog website and click on "Express Install" and let the catalog search your PC for Audio driver updates. It will notify you if a new driver is available. Highlight the audio driver update and click "Install Updates." If none are found, continue to the next step.

Step 4

Search the website for the manufacturer of your Audio device. Usually the drivers will be listed under the support section of the web page, often under the downloads section. You can search for the product and see what is available. Once you find it, click on the download button and choose to save the file to your computer.

Step 5

Search the manufacturer for a Windows 2000 driver or a Vista driver, if there is no audio driver available for Windows XP. While this isn't the preferred option, sometimes drivers for alternative versions of Windows can work in XP. Click on the download button and save the drivers to your computer.

Step 6

Search for your audio device online using a search engine to see if there is a third-party driver available. Type in the name of your audio device plus the words "XP drivers." While Microsoft may not have an official driver available for download, some users might have found an alternate, unofficial, workaround to get the audio device working in XP. They will have a link to download the driver on the forum and download page, but be sure to run the file through a virus scanner before clicking on the file.