Novice installing new soundcard - any advice?

  TimCDC 14:47 23 Nov 03
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I'm about to install a new soundcard, which will be the first time I have opened up my computer. I've backed up all my files in case anything goes wrong, but I'm wondering if anyone can give me any advice, or point me to a website that can give me more detail. I understand its as straightforward as plugging the new one into a PCMCIA slot - but surely its not quite that easy? Will I have to remove the old card and its driver? Thanks for any help - don't want to ruin what I've already got in an attempt to upgrade! Thanks

  Gongoozler 15:00 23 Nov 03

TimCDC, it is normally very simple. If the old sound card is integrated into the motherboard, then you will need to disable it in BIOS.

Remove the old sound card drivers in Device manager, and remove the old card itself. If you put the new card in the same slot as the old one came from, this will reduce the risk of resource conflicts. The new card documentation will probably give detailed instructions on driver installation. Some cards have sophisticated installation software that looks after the driver installation for you, in which case you just follow the instructions. If this isn't the case, Windows will detect the new hardware and ask for the drivers, in which case you may have to steer the installer to the correct .INF file on the cd. If you need to do this, it is a good idea to search the cd first in Windows Explorer to see if you can locate the .INF file for your version of Windows.

  Cretin07 15:10 23 Nov 03

remove old drivers, install new drivers. power down pc, ground yourself, take out old card insert new card screw down. Power up pc, new hardware found wizard, make auto search for drivers and insert your cd if it doenst install drivers automatically.

  pj123 18:03 23 Nov 03

Is this a Laptop computer? because you mention PCMCIA (which is for laptops) slot and it is very difficult to open up a laptop comuter. or do you mean an ordinary desktop computer and a PCI slot???

  TimCDC 19:04 23 Nov 03

which I have printed off and stored for when I take the plunge! pj123, its a desktop, and I meant to say pci slot, but thanks for asking! Gongoozler, you mentioned disabling the old card in the BIOS - does your advice about device manager do that, or is there something else I should do? And presumably I can tell if the old card is integrated if it doesn't come out when I tug it? Its a Via AC97 that came preinstalled with the desktop, but for some reason it doesn't seem to recognise incoming signals, and previous advice on PC advisor helproom has led me to try this upgrade...

  Gongoozler 19:12 23 Nov 03

TimCDC, you have to disable the onboard sound in BIOS, or Windows will keep trying to reinstall the drivers. It will be like having 2 sound cards.

  TimCDC 20:20 23 Nov 03

for coming back to me with that...sorry to keep on at this one, can you tell me how I do disable the sound in BIOS...and I guess I have to re-enable it afterwards? Thanks!

  Gongoozler 20:44 23 Nov 03

Hi TimCDC. How to disable it in BIOS depends on the motherboard. In the case of one motherboard, the Syntax SV266A for which I happen to have the manual, it is as follows. At boot up, when the prompt shows, press Del to initiate BIOS setup. Using the Up/Down arrow keys, select "Integrated Peripherals" and press Enter. In the Integrated Peripherals sub menu, use the Up/Down arrow keys to select "On Chip PCI Device", and press Enter. Select "OnChip AC97 Audio" and use the Page Up/Page down keys to change between Enabled and Disabled. Leave the setting at Disabled, then press the F10 key to save the setting and exit setup. The BIOS doesn't then need to be changed for the new card, it is only to disable the onboard sound chip. You need to find the manual for your motherboard to see what the specific key presses are for that, but I doubt that they will be very different. If you can tell us what your motherboard is, we may be able to help you find the manual for downloading.

  hugh-265156 21:58 23 Nov 03

i just fitted a new soundcard myself a few weeks back,upgrading from my previous onboard sound.all very easy.

every bios will be different in how it is layed out,but i dont think you should have to much difficulty,heres what i did using xp home and an ami bios.

check in control panel/performance and maintenance/system/hardware/device manager and look for "sound video or game controllers"

find your onboard device listed here,if it is then right click it and select uninstall.

shut down the computer.insert the new card and as soon as you turn the computer on,enter the bios straight away,dont let windows start.

click here for popular keys to press to enter the bios.it will also say on your screen something like"hit F2 or DEL to enter set up"

once in the bios disable your onboard device(mine was listed under the advanced/peripheral configuration menu)

as said above use the "up/down/left/right" arrow keys to navigate the screens and "enter" key to select an option,up down to change it and enter again to set it.

save your changes(will say at the top or bottom of the screen which key to press to save and exit)for me this was the F10 key.

boot into windows,it should find the device and prompt for drivers to be installed.

place your cdrom driver cd in the drive and point windows to this to install them.

its a five min job.

  TimCDC 19:53 24 Nov 03

Thanks everyone for all this advice - I've explored device manager and bios now, and think I know how to do this. The sound card should arrive by post any day now, and I will post back on here my success (hopefully not my failure!) Thanks again (and looking forward to that nice green "resolved" tick!)

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