How to Detect & Install Sound Drivers

by Lita McLeary
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

If your computer emits no sound, the sound card driver may not be installed. The sound card driver enables the sound card to communicate with the computer. You need to detect and install the sound card driver to start enjoying music and video on your computer.

Step 1

Turn on the computer and check if the sound driver is installed in the computer. Click “Start”, “Control Panel”, “System”, “Hardware” and “Device Manager”, and then check under “Sound, Video and Game Controllers”. If there is a yellow question mark beside the name of your sound device, you need to install the driver.

Step 2

Insert the sound device installation CD in your optical drive. The installer should automatically launch a few seconds after the optical drive detects the installer. Read and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. Reboot the computer.

Step 3

Navigate back to the "Device Manager" window (See Step 1) and see if the yellow question mark has disappeared. If it has, the sound card driver was successfully installed. If not, then try reinstalling the driver, and if this is unsuccessful, seek the assistance of a computer professional.

Plug a headset or speakers into the audio port, and then play an audio or video file. If you hear sounds, the sound card driver was properly installed. If you do not hear sounds, the driver may be corrupted, or the output device you are using is not functioning. In this case, troubleshoot the output device, and check again for a driver as in Step 1. If this doesn't solve the issue, then see a computer professional.


  • Whenever sound problems occur, you may need to update the driver of your sound device to keep it in working condition. To do this, open the “Device Manager” window (See Step 2), right-click on the name of your sound device and click “Update Driver”. If the “Update Driver Wizard” prompts you that there are no updates available but the computer is still not emitting sound, there may be a problem with the driver installed or the sound device may be malfunctioning.


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Lita McLeary started writing professionally for the "Philippine Inquirer" in 1989, a daily national newspaper. She has written for private online clients for over seven years. At present, she writes full-time for various websites. McLeary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from the University of the Philippines.

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