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How to Install Sound & Audio Devices on a PC

Updated April 17, 2017

"Sound and Audio Devices" is a Control Panel category on Windows computers that lists your speakers, microphones, sound card and other audio components. You can use "Sound and Audio Devices" to change the settings of your sound-based peripheral devices as well as to update the drivers. Some components, such as speakers, do not require additional drivers to be installed, but you should alter your settings in the "Sound and Audio Devices" selection in the Control Panel.

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  1. Shut down your computer. Remove all cables and peripheral devices.

  2. Remove the left side panel while facing the front of the computer case. You may need to remove screws or manipulate latches. If you are unsure of how to remove your side panel, please see your computer manual.

  3. Attach the antistatic wrist bracelet's clip to a metal object, then secure the strap to your wrist.

  4. Locate a slot that matches your card type, and remove the slot cover screw. Slide out the slot cover. You will likely need to install your audio cards in a PCI-Express or PCI slot.

  5. Line up the card's gold pins with the slot, then insert the card. It will click into place when inserted correctly. Do not force the card into the slot. If you have problems inserting the card, remove it, ensure that you're inserting the card in the correct direction, and retry.

  6. Secure the card with the slot cover screw.

  7. Connect sound cables to optical drives, if necessary.

  8. Remove the antistatic wrist bracelet. Reattach the side panel and secure it. Plug in all cables and peripheral devices. Start the computer.

  9. Start the computer. Allow Windows the opportunity to detect and install the drivers.

  10. Insert the disk that shipped with your sound device. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the audio device software.

  11. Start the computer.

  12. Plug in the external device into an available and compatible slot, usually a USB slot or an audio-out or microphone sound card port.

  13. Windows will detect and install the drivers.

  14. Insert the disk that shipped with your sound device. Follow the on-screen instructions to install audio device software.

  15. Click on "Start," then "Control Panel". Click on "Classic View" in the left column.

  16. Double-click "Add Hardware." Click "Next."

  17. Select "Install the hardware that I manually select from a list." Click "Next."

  18. Double-click "Sound, video and game controllers."

  19. Scroll to the manufacturer of your sound or audio device in the left column. Select the specific hardware device in the right column.

  20. Click on "Have Disk" to install drivers from an optical drive or floppy drive, and continue to the next step. Click on "Next" to allow Windows to install drivers. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Windows-based driver installation.

  21. Insert the disk, then click on the "Browse" button. Navigate to the folder that contains your drivers, then double-click the file. Click "OK," follow the on-screen instructions to complete the driver installation.

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Things You'll Need

  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Antistatic wrist bracelet
  • Installation disk

About the Author

Candace Benson has nearly five years of experience as a volunteer coordinator and has worked for non-profits and state agencies. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Benson wrote for a number of video game websites and blogs and worked as a technical support agent. Benson currently writes for eHow.

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