How to Enable Onboard Sound in Computers

By Larry Simmons

With advances in motherboard technology and particularly chipsets, it's common to find your motherboard includes support for sound in chipset. The sound solution offered onboard often includes full surround-sound capability with up to 7.1 speakers supported without the need of an added sound card. In order to use your onboard sound, however, you'll need to enable the sound in your BIOS, the onboard programming that controls the general setup parameters of your PC. Once enabled in BIOS, the operating system automatically installs the drivers you need to offer full functionality for both speaker and headphone setups.

Turn on your PC and wait as it displays the Post information on boot-up. Post information includes such info as the BIOS version running your system and available memory. Wait for the computer to display a message directing you to press a specific key to enter the BIOS setup. Common key choices are "F1," "F2" or "Del."

Press the directed key and wait for the BIOS setup menu to load.

Navigate through the main menu in BIOS using the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight and then select the "Advanced" submenu. In Advanced, choose "Integrated Peripherals," then locate the listing for "Onboard Audio." Press the "+" key to change the setting to "Enabled," then press "F10" to save the selection and exit from BIOS.

Reboot the PC into the operating system. After boot, Windows will go into device discovery mode and install a driver for your new sound device. Allow the system to go online to install the latest driver for your sound chip. The system may need to reboot to enable full functionality. If so, allow it to do so, then use the new sound device as you would any installed sound card.