How to Install an Audio Device

by Jason Artman

An audio device can be an ideal upgrade for a gaming or entertainment computer. It can increase the speed of the computer in some applications and provide greatly upgraded sound quality over the computer's built-in sound. Both internal and external audio devices are available, and either type can be installed in 30 minutes or less.

External Audio Device

Insert the driver CD included with the audio device into your computer. The installation program should launch automatically. Click "Next" when prompted. At some point during the installation process, you may be prompted to connect the device to your computer.

Connect the power cable to the back of the audio device and to a wall outlet.

Connect the USB cable to the back of the device and to your computer, either when prompted by the installation software or after the software is finished installing. Turn the device on, and Windows will complete the installation automatically.

Connect your computer speakers or stereo system to the back of the audio device. You should now be able to hear music played by the device.

Internal Sound Card

Turn your computer off and disconnect the power cable from the wall outlet. Open the computer.

Locate an open upgrade slot on your motherboard. Behind the upgrade slot will be a metal backplate, secured by a screw. Unscrew the backplate to make room for your sound card.

Push the sound card into the upgrade slot using firm but gentle pressure. The card should slide in easily. Secure the card using the screw that formerly held the backplate in place.

Connect your computer speakers or stereo system to the sound card. The primary output of an internal sound card is generally color-coded green.

Close your computer, reconnect the power cable, and turn the computer on. When Windows loads, you may be prompted to point the computer to a driver file. Click "Cancel."

Insert the driver CD. The installation program should start automatically. Follow the prompts until the process is complete. You may need to restart your computer after the software is installed. After the computer has restarted, your sound card will be installed and ready to use.

Tip

  • Before purchasing an internal sound card, confirm that you have the required upgrade slot on your motherboard. Most sound cards use either PCI or PCI Express upgrade slots.

Warning

  • Always install the drivers for an external audio device before connecting the device to your computer. If the device is connected before the drivers are installed, it may not operate properly.

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About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.

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