How to Install a Sound Card in a Dell XPS 420

Written by rex molder
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The Dell XPS 420 desktop computer uses a sound card that is integrated with the computer's motherboard, providing 7.1 channel high-definition audio output. This is fine for basic computing, but if you want to attach the computer to higher-end audio components or input audio into the computer, you need to add a separate sound card. The computer's motherboard has three PCI card slots where you can install the internal sound card.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • PCI sound card
  • Antistatic wrist strap

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  1. 1

    Shut down the computer. Unplug the computer from the power supply and wait one minute. Detach any external devices and cables. Press the power button to ensure the system is grounded.

  2. 2

    Arrange the computer so you are facing its front panel, and lay it on its left side. Push the side cover release latch, located on the computer's top, to the rear. At the same time, lift the left edge of the side panel and slide it to the left to remove the bottom hinges from their notches. Remove the side cover.

  3. 3

    Press the two release tabs on the card retention door outward and swing the door up.

  4. 4

    Connect the antistatic wrist strap to you and to an unpainted metal part of the computer case.

  5. 5

    Slide the metal filler bracket out of the opening that corresponds to the PCI slot where you plan to insert the sound card.

  6. 6

    Align the card with the PCI slot, ensuring that the notch on the card corresponds with the tab on the slot, and press the card down to seat it in the slot. Make sure the rear card bracket slides into the groove. The notch on the card's rear bracket should fit around the alignment tab on top of the alignment bar.

  7. 7

    Rotate the card retention door downward until it locks into place.

  8. 8

    Replace the side cover by inserting the bottom hinges into their grooves and then rotating the top of the panel down onto the computer case until the latch engages. Set the computer upright and reconnect the peripheral devices and power supply.

  9. 9

    Boot the computer and insert the installation disc into the CD/DVD drive. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the device drivers.

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