Creative Labs Sound Card
Drivers Tutorial

The Creative Labs sound card drivers tutorial walks you through the simple steps of installing sound card drivers.

If you want your new sound card to work correctly, you need to install the drivers. The steps below are similar for all types of sound cards.

This is Part 3 of a 4 part series on sound cards.

Part 1Sound Card Definition, explains what a sound card is, and discusses what today's audio cards are used for.

Part 2How To Install A Sound Cardwalks you through the steps of installing a physical audio card in to your computer. This is a simple process that anyone is capable of doing.

Is your Sound Card Not Working? Part 4 looks at your options for fixing sound card problems.

Now that you have your new audio card successfully fitted into your computer, the next step is to install the device drivers.

For this purpose I am using Creative Labs sound card drivers as an example.

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  1. Download Sound Card Drivers
  2. Install Sound Card Drivers
  3. Creative Labs Sound Card Drivers: Final Thoughts

Download Sound Card Drivers

If you have bought a new sound card, the drivers are usually on the CD that come with the card. Simply insert the CD into your computers CD/DVD Drive and follow the on screen instructions.

If this is not the case, you can download free drivers from the manufacturers web site.

There are a couple of things you need to do first before you can download the correct drivers for your audio card:

  1. Identify the model of your sound card. If you do not know, you may need to open your computer and look on the card itself.

    Note the make, model, serial number and/or model number. Part 2 shows you how to open your computer safely.

    Alternatively a free PC audit tool such as the Belarc Advisor (Opens New Window) is worth trying first to see if it can identify your sound card without having to open up your machine.

    To find your sound card drivers in this example, go to the Creative Products web page (Opens New Window) and select the Sound Blaster products link. This shows you how to identify your card:

  2. Select The Link To Find Your Product Drivers
    (Click Image To Enlarge)

    Creative Labs Sound Card Drivers Products

  3. Once you know what sound card model you have, go to the Sound Blaster products page (Opens New Window) and left click your sound card model.

    You now see the option to download the latest Creative Labs sound card drivers for your card type:

  4. Creative Labs Sound Card Driver Download
    (Click Image To Enlarge)

    Creative Labs Sound Card Drivers Download

    Most audio card manufacturers offer supporting applications for your sound card, such as the Creative Labs media toolbox, which is an audio manipulation package.

  5. Left click the download link for the latest drivers. Click Agree on the creative end-user software license agreement:

  6. Sound Card Drivers License Agreement
    (Click Picture To Enlarge)

    Sound Card Drivers License Agreement

The driver package will download to your computer. Next we look at the audio card installation steps.

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Install Sound Card Drivers

Drivers, or device drivers, are a software program that enables your operating system to communicate with your computers internal hardware components, such as graphics cards and hard disk drives.

When you first switch on your computer, your operating system detects the new card and looks to install the native Microsoft version of the driver.

A message similar to Detected High Definition Audio Device appears on your screen in this instance.

This is OK. However I always find installing the sound card drivers that are provided by the manufacturer are technically a much better option.

If you have the drivers on a CD that come with the sound card, simply put the CD into the CD/DVD drive.

If the driver installation process does not start automatically, go to your CD/DVD drive letter in Windows Explorer, and double left click the Setup.exe file.

If you do not have a CD, or you want to install the latest downloaded drivers as described above:

  1. Double left click the self-extracting file you downloaded. The driver files are extracted to a temporary location:

  2. Sound Card Driver Extract
    (Click Image To Enlarge)

    Creative Labs Drivers Extract

  3. Select your language (Shown below). Select Next then Yes to progress past the software license agreement

  4. Sound Card Language Selection
    (Click Image To Enlarge)

    Sound Card Drivers Language Selection

  5. After the read me file prompt and choosing to install to a specific directory, select the 'Typical Installation' option

  6. The drivers install once the status bar hits 100%. You may be prompted to restart your computer. Do this until the drivers are installed

  7. After restarting your machine, have your speakers switched on and turned up. You should hear sound from your computer. Test and confirm this is the case.

Make sure your computers sound is not muted! I can't tell you how many times this has caught an unsuspecting home computer user out.

The installation process described is specific to Creative Labs sound card drivers. However, the installation process is very similar whatever type of sound card you have.

If you require more direction on how to install Creative Labs sound card drivers, take a quick look at these installation instructions (Opens New Window).

Creative Labs Sound Card Drivers
Final Thoughts

One of the obvious problems you have if your drivers fail to install correctly is no audio!

The fourth and final part of the sound card tutorial series looks at what you can do if you find your Sound Card Is Not Working.

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