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Installing or Replacing a Sound Card

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This document applies to Windows 95, 98, Me, and XP.
This document provides step-by-step instructions to install, remove or replace the sound card in your PC.
View the printable version of this document and print it out. You can refer to this printout after the PC is restarted or when an Internet connection is not available.
NOTE: HP cannot be held liable for damage resulting from improper installation of software and/or parts, or the installation of parts and/or software that were not supplied by HP.

Before you begin

  1. You will need a Phillips screwdriver and a medium flat-blade screwdriver.
  2. HP strongly recommends using an anti-static wrist strap and a conductive foam pad.
  3. Find a clear, flat, stable work surface over a floor that is not carpeted.

Step 1: Removing the sound drivers

  1. In Windows XP, click Start, and right-click My Computer.
    In Windows 95, 98, and Me, right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
  2. Click Properties from the list that appears.
  3. In Windows XP, click the Hardware tab, then the Device Manager button.
    In Windows 95, 98, and Me, click the Device Manager tab.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) next to Sound, video and game controllers.
    CAUTION: Many HP Pavilions came with sound cards combined with modem cards. The sound device description will reflect this. If the sound card is a combination card, the modem and its drivers must be removed as well. Otherwise, the modem may fail.
  5. Click a sound device title that relates to the brand of audio card being used.
    Figure 1: Example of audio driver name in Device Manager
  6. In Windows XP, click Uninstall (the small picture of a computer overlaid by an X ).
    In Windows 95, 98, and Me, click Remove.
    Click OK when a warning window appears.
  7. Continue to remove sound devices that relate to the audio card brand (not Legacy) until all have been removed. If the device is a combination sound-modem card, remove devices related to the brand name listed under Modem as well.
  8. Close all programs and turn off the PC.

Step 2: Disabling on-board sound

Skip this step if the PC does not have onboard sound. If PC does have onboard sound, do the following to disable it:
  1. Turn on the PC and press the F1 key repeatedly at the first logo screen. "Entering Setup" should appear on the screen.
  2. In the Setup screen, press the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys to highlight Advanced.
  3. Press the DOWN ARROW key until Onboard Audio , Onboard Audio Options, or I/O Device Configuration is highlighted, press ENTER.
  4. If another menu appears, press the DOWN ARROW key until Onboard Audio codecs or Audio Codec is highlighted, press ENTER.
  5. Press the DOWN ARROW key until Disabled is highlighted, press ENTER.
    Figure 2: Example of one possible Onboard Audio BIOS setting
  6. Press F10, then the Y key, to save the settings and exit.
  7. Turn off the power and continue to Step 3.

Step 3: Opening the case

Use the following steps to open the case:
WARNING:The edges of metal panels can cut skin. Be careful not to slide skin along any interior metal edge of the computer.
CAUTION:This product contains components that can be damaged by electrostatic discharge (ESD). To reduce the chance of ESD damage, work over a noncarpeted floor, use a static dissipative work surface (such as a conductive foam pad), and wear an ESD wrist strap connected to a grounded surface.
  1. Unplug all cables except for the power. Write down each cable location if you do not already know where it connects.
  2. Unplug the power cable and with the power cable removed press the Power button on the front of the PC.
  3. Remove the screws on the rear of the PC.
    Figure 3: Side Panel screws (your PC may be different)
  4. Slide the side panel off from the rear of the PC.
    Figure 4: Side Panel removal (your PC may be different)

Step 4: Removing the sound card

Use this section to remove the sound card. If the PC was using onboard sound and you do not have to remove it, skip to Step 5 .
  1. Locate the sound card inside computer case. Use the speaker connections on the back as a reference.
  2. Disconnect any cables that are plugged into the back and sides of the sound card. Carefully note where each cable was installed.
  3. Remove the one screw that holds the sound card to the chassis. If a metal plate covers up the screw, then remove this plate first.
    Figure 5: Screw that attaches card to case
  4. Grasp the sound card by its edges and slide it out of its slot.
    Figure 6: Card removal
  5. If the sound card is a combination sound-modem card, disconnect all cables from the modem and remove it in the same way that the sound card was removed.

Step 5: Installing the sound card

  1. Insert the new sound card into an open compatible slot. If you have a sound-modem combination card, insert the new modem card into an open slot as well.
  2. Attach the card or cards with one retaining screw. Replace the metal plate if it was used.
  3. Connect all the cables back to their original positions.

Step 6: Replacing the cover

  1. Replace a side panel by matching the side panel tabs with the tab openings in the case.
    Figure 7: Side Panel tabs (your PC may be different)
  2. Insert the side panel and slide it forward.
    Figure 8: Side Panel insertion (your PC may be different)
  3. Fasten the screws to secure the side panel.
    Figure 9: Side Panel screws (your PC may be different)

Step 7: Installing the software and drivers for the new card(s)

  1. Connect all cables and turn on the PC
  2. Use the software installation instructions that came with the new sound card to install the software. Normally, a CD is inserted after Windows finds the new hardware and displays a message.
    NOTE:If the new sound card is a replacement for an original card that came with the PC, Windows should find and install the software automatically. If needed, you can install/reinstall the sound software using the HP Application Recovery software that came with your HP or Compaq PC.
    NOTE: Original and updated drivers may also exist on the HP Website. After installing the original driver, go to Software and Driver Downloads site and enter your PC model number to find software and driver downloads.
  3. If a window appears stating that it needs help finding particular files, place the driver disc from the soundcard manufacturer into a disc drive. If this does not help, browse to the following pathnames, one at a time, until the file is found:
    • C:\Windows\inf
    • C:\Windows\options\cabs
    • C:\Windows\system
    • C:\Windows\system32
      NOTE: If the files under these pathnames do not appear, open the C:\ from My Computer. Click Tools, Folder Options, and click the View tab. Remove the checkmarks from Hide protected operating system files, and select Show hidden files and folders. Click OK.
  4. Restart the PC and test for sound.

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