How to Find the Correct Audio Driver for a Computer

By TrevorM

i Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Finding the correct audio drivers for your computer soundcard can be a headache. However, if the soundcard did not come with an audio driver CD there are still several ways to locate the drivers. Even if you don’t know what kind of sound card you have you can still get the drivers using online resources. If there is no way to identify the card whatsoever, you can also use diagnostic tool software to tell you what kind of card you have.

Step 1

Run "dxdiag." In some cases you may be able to figure out the type of drivers you need by running a simple command. Click on your “start menu” in the bottom left corner of your computers task bar. Type “dxdiag” in the search bar, and press enter and a window will open. This window will display your video, sound and system information. Click on the “sound tab” to see your sound card information. You can use this data to find the sound card name and brand.

Step 2

Refer to your computer manual. An easy way of locating the correct sound drivers is by checking the manual that came with your computer. It will specifically tell you what kind of sound card your computer has installed. Once you figure out the soundcard model, you can download the drivers off the manufacturer’s website. If you have a specific brand computer such as a Dell, you can also look up the drivers using your computer serial number at Dell's website.

Step 3

Open your computer case. If you don’t have a manual or your computer isn’t a name brand, you can sometimes find the sound card model information on the card itself. Turn off the computer and remove the power plug. Remove the side panel and look for the sound card. It will be attached to the motherboard. You can tell which component the sound card is by tracing the cables from the speakers to the computer. On the card there may be a brand name or label identifying the card. In some cases you may not have a specific sound card and the speakers may plug directly into the motherboard. In most cases the motherboard will have a specific brand that can be identified in the case as well. Use this information to locate the manufacturer’s website and download the drivers.

Step 4

Use a diagnostic program. If you don’t have a computer manual or your computer is not a name brand, you can use software to find the correct drivers. Programs like Dr. Hardware can scan your computer and decipher the type of sound card you have.