How to Reinstall a Sound Driver

By Gregory Hamel

A sound driver is piece of software that instructs a computer to properly use a sound card. A computer needs sound drivers to play sound. If you accidentally delete your sound drivers or install a new driver that makes your sound card stop working, you may need to reinstall your original sound drivers to regain basic audio functionality.

Step 1

Locate an installer for you original sound driver. This can be the biggest issue when one accidentally deletes a sound driver. Computers and sound cards come with driver CDs, but you may not be able to locate the original CD. If you can't find your driver CD, you will have to download the old driver from your computer manufacturer's website or from your sound card manufacturer's website. Use the device manager by right-clicking on My Computer, selecting Properties and then selecting the Hardware tab to look for sound, video and game controllers and to learn more about your sound device.

Step 2

Delete the currently installed sound driver before reinstalling the old one to avoid conflicts. To uninstall the driver, use the same device manager menu from Step One, select your sound device and click Properties. There should be an option under properties to uninstall the drivers.

Step 3

Run the auto installer on the original drivers. The installer will take you through several general steps, which will probably only require you to click Next a few times without changing any settings.

Step 4

Restart your computer when the driver installer is finished.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you changed operating systems, you will likely need to find new drivers for all of your devices that are compatible with the new operating system. For instance, Windows XP drivers may not work on Vista.