How to replace your computer’s sound card

Very well! We finally decided to breathe new life into your PC providing it with the latest in audio technology available.

Proceeding step by step, we should not have any problems of any kind, just follow the usual recommendations:

  • Always remove the power plug of your PC before working download, touching a metal body, any static electricity from your body before handling electronic components;
  • take the time you need: nothing is more likely to go wrong with an installation made in a hurry.


That said, we see in detail how to proceed. in its interior;


Preparing for Installation

Before opening the PC is a good idea to look good for our card: expected to have a multitude of inputs and outputs and is therefore well acquainted with what we will actually use. For example, connect the audio cable of the CD-ROM bto the card to incorrect, (eg AUX-IN instead of the CD-IN) will create a discrepancy in the management software and maybe it will take an afternoon to figure out why the volume control on the CD does not work at all! So be careful: it is good to adopt the manual and highlight the location of the various connectors to use. In general these are the speaker outputs (generally referred to as ‘1’ and ‘2’ or ‘Front’ and ‘Rear’), Microphone Input (‘Mic’) and the input for the audio cable from the CD-ROM drive. If you have a DVD decoder card to a card Radio / TV equipped with internal output, you can connect them to turn to the auxiliary inputs on the card, perhaps by creating a memo summarizing the correct matches.

Many CD players have digital audio output, and most of the cards has an analogue input. You should use this type of connection to avoid interference and distortion of the audio stream, releasing addition, the CD-IN input on the card which can be used for another player or one of the other internal devices listed earlier.

sound card

Uninstall the old card

Assuming that your PC is already equipped with a sound card, you had better to uninstall the drivers of management before removing it physically from the computer. To do so, open the
Control Panel (Start-Settings-Control Panel) and then, by double-clicking, open the properties of the system. By selecting the tab for the Hardware manager you access to the list of devices installed in your PC. By clicking on the [+] of the subgroup ” Sound, Video and Game “identified the driver of the old management board. To delete the entry, select it and press the button ‘Remove’. Then you can shut down your computer.


Physical removal of the old board

When you stop the system and disconnect the PC from the mains, you have to open the cabinet (containing the PC) and find the old card. On the sound card you will also notice a thin cable that connects the CD-ROM drive. Disconnect the cable from the module and pull even the wires leading to the speakers outside the base and carefully remove the screw (or mechanical interlock) that assures the board to the cabinet. Next, always carefully release the card from the connector on the motherboard.

You should not push too hard to avoid warping the motherboard with the risk of damage if the card proves difficult to remove, proceed in small incremental movements. Little by little, the card should leave the embrace of the connector.


Inserting the new card

At this point you just need to identify a PCI slot free where to insert the new card.
Attention, probably the “window” to exit the base outside of the card will be enclosed by a metal plate. Some of these plates are fixed with a screw, exactly like the cards and, in this case, simply remove the screw itself to be able to mount the card. Other cabinet, however, have fake sideburns attached to the container itself, which must be removed by breaking the contact points.
This can be dangerous because some PC chassis are extremely sharp corners and edges. Never use your bare hands, then, to try to break these occlusions: push them out of office by a slight pressure with a screwdriver if necessary helping you with electrician’s pliers to break the contact points. Liberated the exit, we carefully align the connector on the motherboard with the board and, using gentle pressure, insert the card, reminding us to fix it after the PC chassis using the screw provided.


internal Connections

It is important, as mentioned earlier, the right way to connect the audio cable from the CD-ROM drive. This is generally composed of three wires, one for the right channel or ‘Right’ (red), one for the left channel or ‘Left’ (white) and one for the mass or ‘Ground’ (black). Referring to the manual of the card we can put the cable in the right way. Many cards also provide specially designed cables that make impossible assembly errors. If in the delivery of your card there are audio cables you should use them, replacing those in the PC. Probably will also be supplied with a digital audio cable, the optimal solution in the case where the CD-ROM is provided with this release.

Check the manual of the device to verify its presence. If necessary, check the connection panel of the reader the presence of a socket marked ‘Digital Out’ or similar. At this point you should also connect external devices, such as the microphone and the speakers now that the computer is in working position will be easier to identify the correct connectors.


Installing sound card and Updating Drivers

Close the PC and restart the system, Windows will notice the presence of a new device. In general, sound cards require the use of a special “setup” for the configuration and, in this case, you should cancel the automatic installation process, go into Windows and launch the appropriate installer from the CD provided by producer.

This will configure correctly the card and all of its features. Some cards, however, are to be installed using the procedure “canonical” in this case, you just insert the CD-ROM into the CD provided by the manufacturer at the time of approval of the board and, if necessary, specify the correct location of the driver management. Obviously the details of the installation of the drivers is always good to keep on hand the manual provided by the manufacturer. Performed these steps, in most cases, you just have to restart your PC to make our sound card set up and working perfectly.