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What Sound Card Do I Have?

Updated on June 21, 2010

Do You Have Sound Problems?

Sound errors or lack of sound output is a common problem for many computer users. There are many reasons why you might have issues with your sound card. The most common reason for sound problems are the following:

  • Out of Date Sound Card Drivers
  • Registry Errors
  • Virus or other Malware infection
  • Damaged Hardware

Before you can diagnose the problem, you first need to identify what kind of sound card is in your system.

Identifying your Sound Card

There are numerous types of sound cards made by many different manufacturers.  You sound card may be integrated into your motherboard or a separate expansion card.  There are even external usb sound cards. 

Sometimes you already know exactly what sound card you own.  If you have the box you purchased it in or if it’s external you could simply look for a manufacturer and model or serial number on the device.  Unfortunately it’s not always that simple. 

If your sound card is internal and you could try a few things.  If you have old drivers installed you can check device manager to see if it lists the installed model.  To do this in Windows XP or Vista click the Start Button, then right click Computer or My Computer (for Vista, click Continue if you get the User Account Control Popup) and click on Manage.  In the left column select Device Manager. In the center column expand Sound, video and game controllers. If drivers have been previously installed you may find enough information here but often times all you get is a basic description and no model to go on.

A more technical approach to identifying an internal sound card would be to actually open your computer case and locate the sound card.  I don’t advise this unless you are comfortable working with electronic components as it is easy to damage them if you aren’t careful.  If you do decide to try this go ahead and open your case.  If your sound card ports are on an expansion card, look on this card for any stickers or lettering directly on the circuit board.  If the sound ports are connected to the motherboard then just find a stick or letting on the motherboard itself.  Here you should find a manufacturer and model or serial number.

Fixing Sound Problems

You’re most likely trying to identify your sound card to diagnose some sort of problem.  Since out of date drivers are the most common cause of sound problems I’d like to recommend a handy tool that may help you.

Locating sound card drivers can take a lot of time and patience.  To avoid the frustration involved I like to use an automatic driver update tool.  As a computer tech I’ve tried many different tools and the one that I always come back to is Driver Detective.  This powerful software will scan your computer to identify the installed hardware devices.  It then matches these devices with the proper drivers in it’s database.  You can have your complete system updated in just minutes.  It sure beats searching for what may take hours or even days in some cases.

I highly recommend giving it a try to see if it fixes your sound problem.  A free scan can be obtained by visting the following link.

>>Scan Your Computer For Driver Updates<<

Did This Help You Identify Your Sound Card?

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    • profile image

      Simon Griffin 

      7 years ago

      Some nice neat USB Sound card Solutions

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice post. I have PC no sound problems. will try it later.


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