How to Install an Audio Output Device for Vista

by Cameron Easey

A computer that is running Microsoft Vista can use many types of audio output devices. Some of these devices may need to be installed directly into the computer or attached externally. An audio output device is normally used to hear the sound from music files, movies and computer programs such as games.

If your computer has a sound card, connect a device such as desktop speakers to the computer's on-board audio line-out output. The line-out for the computer's on-board audio is usually color coded. Green is a common color code that you will be looking for, but refer to the computer's user manual for the specified color that is used for the audio line-out. If your computer does not have a sound card built in, continue to step 2.

Install a sound card in the computer. A sound card is used to add a way to get audio out of your computer system. Adding a sound card requires opening the computer case.

Loosen the screws on the back of the case and remove the side panel. Find a free PCI slot for the sound card. A computer generally comes with at least three free PCI slots for expansion. Insert the card into the open slot and use a screwdriver to tighten the plate to the case.

Turn on the computer and make sure Vista recognizes the device. A plug and play bubble should appear in the lower right to indicate that a new device has been detected. Windows Vista will automatically install the drivers necessary for the sound card to work with the system. If the drivers are not automatically installed, refer to the manual that came with the sound card for instructions on how to install the sound card driver.

Connect a device to the line-out output from the sound card. A line-out from a sound card can use a 1/8-inch mini jack. You can also purchase adapters to convert the 1/8inch audio connector to an RCA-type connection. A stereo receiver can be connected to a sound card using the RCA jack connection.


  • check Install the software and drivers that came with the sound card. Go to the manufacturer's website to see if there are any software updates for the sound card.


  • close Always turn off and disconnect the power from the computer before opening the case.

Items you will need

About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera speaker image by Aditia Patria Warman from