Upgrader - Installing a new sound card

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.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?