How to Install a Sound Card on a Computer

How to Install a Sound Card on a Computer. These instructions will work for the majority of Intel & AMD PCs running Windows XP/Vista. If your computer currently has a sound chip (called "on board sound") or if your sound card requires a change in jumpers or IRQs, installation will be much more complicated and you might want to consult a professional.

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Shut down the computer.

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Unplug machine from the surge protector.

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Disconnect all peripherals from the computer.

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Remove the cover of the chassis and lay computer on its side if it is a tower.

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Ground yourself to the computer. If you have a grounding strap, put it on and follow its directions. Otherwise, ground yourself by touching a metal part of the chassis.

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Remove the back panel, if necessary.

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Locate the existing sound card if there is one already installed. If it is screwed in on the side of the slot hole, unscrew it and pull the card out firmly.

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If the computer doesn't already have a sound card, find an open slot.

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Knock out or unscrew the metal plate on the card's slot holder on the back panel.

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Insert the sound card gently but firmly into the slot. Rock it into position if necessary, but don't force it. Don't touch any connectors on the card.

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Connect cables from the CD-ROM drive to the sound card.

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Replace the back panel and any removed screws. Screw sound card into slot holder if it has a screw hole.

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Reconnect monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Connect speakers to the sound card's ports.

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Turn on the speakers and restart the computer.

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If Windows detects the sound card upon startup, follow instructions to install the card's driver and additional software. If Windows doesn't detect sound card, manually complete the installation using the Add New Hardware control panel.

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Play music CD to test sound card.

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Shut down computer.

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Replace cover of computer. Reboot computer.