A Multifaceted Approach to Fixing Sound Card Problems

Most sound card problems can be traced to outdated drivers. When they aren’t working properly, it’s very likely that your sound card won’t be able to play back any sound. This audio card depends on functioning drivers for audio playback. So, if you want to continue to enjoy music and movies on your PC, you’ll need to update those sound drivers.
How do Sound Drivers Work?
Drivers take all of the information from the sound card and transmit it to the operating system so that the OS can then process it and play back sound. In this way, drivers are facilitators of sound. However, it’s important to realize that they are actually packets of code, not hardware devices. So, they’re only useful in that they can give your audio card the comprehensibility it needs to transmit sounds.
Sound cards, on the other hand, are actual functioning pieces of hardware. They are located inside the hard casing of your desktop. Laptops don’t use sound cards, rather, they use what’s called “integrated sound processors.” These processors function similarly to sound cards, except they’re smaller and work with smaller packets of information.
It can be very useful to know a bit about sound cards, as you’ll be able to pinpoint whether a hardware or software malfunction is responsible for your poorly performing audio card. As such, you should read over all installation manuals that come with your card. Also, if there’s a “readme” on your installation CD, pay close attention, because you might be able to learn something from it.
Test Drivers to Pinpoint the Problem
You can always test your sound card by opening the Devices and Printers menu, found within the Control Panel in Windows 7. This is a subcategory which basically manages all of the Devices found within Windows 7. If one of your devices is having a problem, then you’ll notice it here. A yellow exclamation mark will clearly indicate that a driver or device isn’t working properly.
You can also right-click on the device and click “Properties” to learn more about the specific problem. If you’re dealing with outdated drivers, you should probably apply a Windows Update to your machine. Here’s how you can do this:
1. Click “Start.”
2. Open “Control Panel.”
3. Click “System and Security.”
4. Click “Windows Update.”
Your machine will immediately begin searching the Windows database for any possible updates. If you can apply any updates, the machine will inform you of this. You then have the option to download and install the updates.
Be patient, as sometimes Windows takes it sweet time in downloading these updates. However, once all of the updates have been downloaded and installed, you’ll need to restart the machine. When your computer boots back up, Windows will literally implement all of the updates. Again, this will take a while.
Manual Updates and Driver Update Software
Manual updates are another option available to PC users. If you want to update things manually, then you’ll need to know how to locate and install the drivers yourself. Of course, you can always download drivers directly from the manufacturer. Most manufacturers offer driver updates in the “Support” or “Downloads” sections of their websites.
There’s also software available for PC users who want to fix all of their driver problems at one time. These programs will search your system for all outdated drivers and then replace them with new ones. This is a wonderful way to fix sound card problems.

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