How to Test Sound Drivers

by Lysis
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

After you have installed a new sound card and its drivers, you can test the installation through the Windows Control Panel. The Control Panel has an icon that opens a sound console. Within the sound console, you can play integrated Windows sounds. If no sound is produced from the speakers, the sound card is bad or the drivers are not installed correctly. Sound cards come with drivers on a CD-ROM or DVD disk that can be used to correct the computer's drivers, or the problem is corrected by downloading new drivers from the sound card's manufacturer and reinstalling the latest version on your computer.

Step 1

Click the Windows Start button and select "Control Panel." This opens the Control Panel that holds a list of options and controls for your computer. The Control Panel in Windows is where several options and controls are used to configure your computer's hardware and software.

Step 2

Double-click the "Sounds" icon. In Windows Vista, the icon might be labeled "Hardware and Sounds" depending on the type of view you've picked in the operating system's settings.

Step 3

Select a sound from the list of Windows automated audio files. When you select and highlight a sound, the "Test" button at the bottom of the window is enabled. The sounds listed in this view are the ones connected with the general audio output for the Windows operating system, but they can still be used to test sound card drivers.

Click the "Test" button on the dialog window. Listen for the sound to play. If the sound plays normally, your sound card and drivers are installed properly.


  • If speakers are plugged in and sound card drivers are installed, the problem may exist with the sound card. If you have a spare sound card available, try swapping out the spare. If the spare sound card works, the problem is likely with the sound card hardware.


  • If sound does not play normally, check to make sure your speakers are plugged in and turned on. If sound still does not play, download the latest drivers from your sound card manufacturer's website.


Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Lysis is the pen name for a former computer programmer and network administrator who now studies biochemistry and biology while ghostwriting for clients. She currently studies health, medicine and autoimmune disorders. Lysis is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in genetic engineering.

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