How to Detect a Sound Card

Four Methods:Windows 8Windows 7 / Windows VistaWindows XP / Windows 2000Troubleshooting

The sound card in your computer is responsible for controlling and processing the input and output of all audio on your machine. If you’re having problems with audio on your computer, or have recently installed a new sound card, you can verify that the sound card is being detected by Windows.

Method 1
Windows 8

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    Point to the lower right corner of the Start screen on your Windows 8 computer. The Search function will display on-screen.
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    Type “Control Panel” into the search field, and select the program when it displays in search results. The Control Panel window will display on-screen.
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    Type “Device Manager” into the search field at the top of Control Panel, and select the program when it displays in search results.
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    Click on “Sound, video and game controllers” to expand the list.
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    Double-click on the name of your sound card. The properties of the sound card will display on-screen.
    • If no audio card is listed, your computer is not detecting the sound card, and further troubleshooting may be required.
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    Verify that the audio card is listed as “This device is working properly. This indicates that your Windows 8 computer is successfully detecting the sound card.

Method 2
Windows 7 / Windows Vista

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    Click on “Start” and select “Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open and display on-screen.
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    Click on “System and Security,” then click on “Device Manager.[1]
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    Click on “Sound, video and game controllers” to expand the list.
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    Verify that the audio card is listed as “This device is working properly. This indicates that your computer is successfully detecting its sound card.
    • If no audio card is listed, your computer is not detecting the sound card, and further troubleshooting may be required.

Method 3
Windows XP / Windows 2000

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    Click on “Start” and point to “Settings.
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    Click on “Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open and display on-screen.
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    Click on “System” and select “System Properties.
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    Click on the “Hardware” tab, then click on “Device Manager.
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    Click on “Sound, video and game controllers” to expand the list.
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    Verify that the sound card is listed as “This device is working properly. This indicates that your computer is successfully detecting its sound card.
    • If no audio card is listed, your computer is not detecting the sound card, and further troubleshooting may be required.

Method 4
Troubleshooting

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    Move the sound card to another slot inside your computer’s motherboard if you recently installed a new sound card. This can help make sure the sound card is properly seated inside your computer in the event you physically installed the hardware incorrectly.[2]
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    Try updating audio card drivers and the BIOS for your computer if no sound card is being detected. In some cases, the software on your computer may be outdated.
    • Download updated drivers from the computer manufacturer’s website, or contact the manufacturer directly if you require further assistance with updating the BIOS or audio card drivers.
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    Use Windows Update to verify all software is up to date on your computer. In some cases, your sound card may not be detected if you’re running older, outdated software.
    • Windows 8: Windows Update runs automatically.
    • Windows 7 / Windows Vista: Click on “Start,” search for “Windows Update,” click on “Check for updates,” and select the option to install any available updates.[3]
    • Windows XP / Windows 200: Click on “Start,” point to “All Programs,” select “Windows Update,” click on “Scan for updates,” then select the option to install any available updates.[4]

Tips

  • If you use Mac OS X, the “sound card” is automatically built and integrated into OS X on all Mac computers and laptops, and cannot be detected. To view the specs of your Mac’s sound card, open the Utilities folder under Applications, click on “System Profiler,” then click on “Audio (Built In).”[5]

Article Info

Categories: Hardware Maintenance and Repair