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Home > Windows > Hardware Installations > Sound Cards > How To Install A Sound Card Into A Desktop Computer
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Document Title:
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October 12, 2013
Article Content:
Document Title: How To Install A Sound Card Into A Desktop Computer
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Creation Date: October 12, 2013
Last Modified: Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:44 PM
Article Bookmarks:
Document overviewDocument Overview Hardware specificationsHardware Specifications Installation walkthroughInstallation Walkthrough
Applies To:
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
PCI Based Sound Cards
Document Overview:

Sound Card installation is indeed simple and rather straight forward, that is,when you know how to do it. Opening the system unit can be a scary task for some of us, especially if we have not performed this task before. The key is to be calm,take your time,and make it fun. Look forward to looking inside the computer and see just how many components you can readily identify. Remember to touch a doorknob or any grounded metal object to remove static electricity from your body. To install your new sound card,let's perform the following steps outlined in this article.


Key Terms and Definitons:
ISA ISA is an acronym for Industry Standard Architecture and it is a type of 16-bit expansion bus introduced into a PC. The expansion bus allows for the data to flow between expansion boards and various other devices such as the CPU and memory.
PCI PCI is an acronym for Peripheral Component Interconnect and is a type of 32-bit expansion bus introduced into a PC. Cards utilizing the PCI form factor are able to transmit data at much faster speeds, and are generally better devices.
Sound Card A sound card is a small expansion board used to provide sound capabilities to a personal computer.


Hardware Specifications:
No data available currently.
Installation Walkthrough:

Completing The Hardware Installation

Open The System Unit

Remove the system unit cover and locate an empty expansion slot. Note that the rear cover of the slot may have to be removed on most computers. Using a standard phillips screwdriver to remove the screw from the metal bracket blocking the slot.

Before touching anything, ground yourself to remove any buildup of electrical static charge from yourself. Touching the computer case or a doorknob will do the job.

With the cover removed from the system unit,lay the computer on its side. You may have to remove other connections or devices to have clear access to the empty card bay. Take notes of any devices or connections that you make so that you can refer to them during installation of the new card. New sound cards must be installed in a PCI slot. After removing the small rear cover, remove the new card from its protective wrap. This wrap is intended to keep the card away from electrical static charge.

Installing The Sound Card

  1. Grasp the card and align it with the PCI slot.

  2. Slowly but firmly press the new car completely in the PCI slot handling it by its sides.

  3. Check to be sure no part of the yellow contacts can be see when the card is pushed in.

  4. Secure the sound card to the system unit by using the screw that you removed when removing the rear cover. Use this screw to secure the card to the case.

  5. If you have on sound installed on the motherboard and you want to install another card, most systems will disable the motherboard integrated sound. If not, consult your computer
    manual to find the correct jumpers to disable the motherboard sound. A setting in the BIOS usually turns th onboard audio on or off so consult your motherboard manual for further information about how to get this step done.

  6. Now the cdrom audio cablemust be connected. Insert one end of the audio cable for the cdrom or dvd drive into the CD-IN socket of the sound card. The other end is inserted into the audio-out socket of the cdrom or dvd drive.

  7. Check and double check all connections before you replace the system unit cover. If all connections are good, replace the cover and reboot the system after all peripherals are reconnected.

Replace The System Unit Cover

Upon restart of the system, the computer should automatically detectthe new card and attempt to install the device drivers needed to communicate with the card.

Windows should prompt you to install the software required to allow the card to communicate with the computer.

The new card should have come with a cdrom with device drivers and other software for the card. Insert this cdrom in the cdrom drive and select the cdrom installation when prompted.

Test the new sound card by re-booting the computer. You should hear the Windows startup sound if the card is operational. In some cases,the new card will be operational without rebooting your computer.

Installing or upgrading your sound card is that easy. You will need a quality speaker system to take full advantage of your new sound card. Get a speaker system with a super woofer for maximum sound quality.

Those new games and your new music cdroms will be much more exciting with that new sound bursting from the new sound card. If you're blessed enough to have two computers, install the card in the other system, at your convenience. This will give you the added training of installing computer components.


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