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Sound or audio cards, whether it is a stand-alone device inserted into an expansion slot or embedded sound controllers in the motherboard, require specific device drivers in order to function and produce sound. This low-level program is responsible for processing the data between the sound card hardware and the operating system.
Most sound cards are bundled with the appropriate installation CD when purchased, but this will only carry device drivers available at the time of purchase or when the installation disc was produced. New updates will not be included.
Problems that users can encounter with the scenario above are sound cards operating at sub-par performance. More serious cases will have some features missing or unavailable, while worst case scenarios will have the user ending up with no sound at all -- or left with a bunch of high-pitched screeches and warbles.
To prevent the problems described above from ever occurring, the computer system should have the most updated and most accurate device drivers installed.
Intel Driver Update Utility
Realtek High Definition Audio Codecs
VIA HD Audio Driver 8700A
VIA Vinyl Envy24 controllers: MT/DT/GT/PT/HT-S v5.40A
IDT/Sigmatel HD Audio driver
Creative Sound Blaster audio driver
C-Media audio driver
AC'97 Audio Codecs
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