How to Install a New Sound Card in Your HP Laptop PC

by Contributor

HP laptops, like most laptops, include an integrated on-board sound card. If you want to improve the sound quality, or you want to use advanced editing and recording functions, you may have to install a new sound card in your HP laptop PC. There are two different kinds of sound cards available for laptops. Below are the instructions for installing each.

Installing a PCMCIA Sound Card in Your HP Laptop

Step 1

Locate the PCMCIA slot on your HP laptop. On most laptops from HP, the PCMCIA slot is located at the left side of the front of the computer.

Step 2

Press the "PC Card Eject" button.

Step 3

Remove the PC card cover. Retain it so that you'll have it if you remove the new PC card later.

Step 4

Insert the PC sound card with the upper label facing up. Push it gently into place.

Step 5

Your computer will make a sound to indicate that the card has been recognized.

Install the necessary drivers and software from the CD that came with your new sound card.

Installing a USB Sound Card in Your HP Laptop

Step 1

Turn the computer on.

Step 2

Plug the USB sound card into the appropriate USB plug on your laptop.

Step 3

Wait for the computer to recognize the new USB device.

Insert the sound card manufacturer's CD if prompted to do so.


  • You can install the PCMCIA card while the computer is running if your computer supports hot-swapping. The operating system will automatically recognize the new hardware and find the software for it.
  • The newest laptops ship with no PCMCIA slot, only the ExpressCard slot. As of this writing, there are no sound cards that fit the ExpressCard slot. You'll need to use a USB sound card or system. If you really want to use a PCMCIA sound card in your HP laptop with no PCMCIA slot, you'll need an express to PCMCIA card adapter like the Duel Systems adapter (see Resources below).


  • Some sound-card manufacturers include an express install CD with their hardware. If a CD is included with your sound card, follow the instructions on the CD, but only install the drivers and software needed for your computer model and operating system.

Items you will need

  • Software and driver CD
  • Sound card
  • HP laptop

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