Before you begin: when replacing an existing sound card, make sure you completely uninstall all of its software prior to physically removing it. Also, make sure you consult your card's documentation, as installation procedures may vary from vendor to vendor.
1 Turn off the PC and remove the cover. Locate a free PCI slot and remove the metal bracket from the case. If possible, find the slot that is farthest from your video adapter, as this may help reduce interference.
2 Gently insert your new card into this slot and make sure you securely screw it down. It is important that you screw the card down, as some cards may use their mounting bracket for grounding.
3 You will now need to connect your CD audio cable from your CD-ROM drive to your sound card, making sure you use the correct jack on the card. Consult your manual for any other cables that you may need to hook up, such as those used for DOS emulation.
4 This is the end of the basic hardware installation, but don't put the cover back on the PC just yet - in case you need to do some troubleshooting.
Boot up the PC now and have your driver discs ready for the software installation.
Once you've reached Windows, it should detect your new card and prompt you to install the drivers for it. Insert the driver disc and consult your manual for their location.
5 After you've completed the software installation, make sure that everything is working correctly by looking at your system's Device Manager (in the Control Panel, under System). If there are no yellow exclamation marks and your sound card is correctly listed, that means you've succeeded.
6 Now plug in a pair of speakers to the line out jack and play a test sound. If all seems OK but no sound comes out, make sure the "Master" and "Wave" controls of the Volume Control are not muted or too low.
7 Install any other bundled software such as applications or utilities that came with your card.