Sound Card Troubleshooting Guide

I. Making sure you have a card and drivers for it installed.

First, be sure that you have a sound card installed on your system and have speakers or headphones connected to it. The sound card is usually a card in the back of you machine, although some newer machines have them installed on the motherboard. Check that the wire from your speakers or headphones is connected to the "Speaker Out" or " Spk Out" slot on the back of you machine.

Once you have checked these connections and you know that you have a sound card and headphones or speakers, follow this guide:

Check that you have the drivers for the card installed:

  1. In Windows 95/98/NT, go to "Start" - > "Settings" - > "Control Panel" and double click the "Multimedia" icon. This should bring up the "Multimedia Properties" box.
  2. On the Audio tab, you should see two areas: Playback and Recording. If these are greyed out and have "None" listed under Preferred device for these sections, then your sound card drivers have not been installed.
  3. If you have a device listed here, such as "AWE64 Wave Out" or "Sound Blaster 16" then your drivers are installed. Make sure to check the "Show volume control on the taskbar" option.

If you do not have drivers installed.

  1. Consult your sound card documentation or follow this basic guide on how to install drivers for your sound card. You will need the disk or CDROM that came with you sound card.
  2. Switch to the "Devices" tab of the Multimedia Properties box.
  3. Click "Add."
  4. Choose "Unlisted or Updated Driver" and his "OK."
  5. Enter the path to the disk or CDROM that came with the Sound Card and hit "OK."
  6. Select your card and click "OK"
  7. Your machine may need to reboot.
  1. Checking Sound Levels and Speaker Volume

Once you know you have a card and drivers installed, check the volume and make sure it is at an audible level.

  1. Go to the system Volume Control by double clicking the small speaker icon next to the "Time" field on the taskbar. If you do not have this icon, follow the instructions above on getting to the "Multimedia Properties" box and click "Show volume control on the taskbar."
  2. (Actual Volume Control Options may vary slightly depending on your configuration.)

  3. Make sure the "Play Control" or "Master" and the "Wave" controls are set to a high enough level and make sure that your speakers have the volume turned up high enough.
  4. If the sound level available from your card is too low, you may need to use headphones or amplified speakers. Before doing this you should ensure that both master volume and "wave" levels are set to their maximum, and not muted. if you add speakers be sure the power supply is plugged in, and the power switch is on.