Locate an empty expansion slot in the computer that will accept your new sound card.
If your computer doesn’t have an empty slot, you’ll have to remove another card before you can install the new one. If you removed an existing sound card, you can use the same slot if your new card uses the same type of expansion slot. Check your computer’s documentation if you need to determine the types of expansion slots it has available.
Gently place the sound card on top of the slot. Line up the pins on the sound card with the slot and push the card gently down so that it sits in the slot. Be sure that the card is pushed all the way in and that it’s secure. If the pins on the card aren’t perfectly aligned with the pins in the expansion slot, the card won’t work properly.
If your computer has an audio cable that connects the CD drive directly to the sound card, plug it into the card. Check the information that came with your sound card to determine the location of the CD audio connector on the card. This cable is rarely necessary with current audio hardware, and in most cases, plugging it in is optional.
Screw the sound card to the frame. Don’t bend the sound card or the frame while tightening the screw. It might be best to tighten the screw barely more than you can tighten it with your fingers.
Close the computer case and replace any screws you removed when opening the case. Plug your speakers into your new sound card and, if applicable, plug your microphone in too.
Plug your computer back into its power source and then turn it on.
Windows will install the necessary drivers for your new sound card. If your sound card came with a disc containing software, install that now. Check the information that came with your sound card for the installation steps.
If your card isn’t working properly, check Windows Update for a newer driver for the sound card. For more information, see Update a driver for hardware that isn’t working properly and Sound cards: frequently asked questions.