Before you consider replacing your sound card, check to make sure all your audio drivers are up to date. Next make sure one of the kids didn’t put you on mute. It has been known to happen. The easiest way to check this is to reset all your audio settings to the factory default. You should be able to do this by going to hardware and then to audio systems.
If you have checked everything else and still have no sound, it may be time to replace your audio or sound card. This is a little tricky, but it can be done. Keep in mind that a sound card is not a card; it is more like a circuit board. Just remember throughout the process that force is not an option, be gentle.
First you need to find a new sound card that is compatible with the rest of your computer system, mainly the motherboard, power supply and speakers. If you use your computer for gaming, listening to music or watching DVD’s this could be a good time to consider upgrading to a better sound card as well. There are some really nice options out there now, most of which do not come standard on a computer.
Once you have the sound card, you need to unhook all the peripherals from the back of the computer including the power cable. Next move the case to an area where you have room to work and good lighting, a work bench or kitchen table are good options. You just need somewhere clean with plenty of room, because you are going to have to lay your tower on the side to work on the sound card.
Look on the back of your case and you will see where all the speaker connection are, these are the colored pegs where you plug the speakers in at, usually these are pink, green, blue and yellow. There should be tow screws there that need to be removed. Remove them, but put them somewhere you can find them you will need them again.
Then open your case, there should be one more screw holding in the sound card, remove this screw and keep it separate from the other two. Gently rock the sound card to work it loose. Do not pry or force it out that could damage the connections. Once you have it out gently remove the connecting cables and attach them to the new sound card.
Insert the new sound card, making sure that it is lined up correctly. If it does not want to slide into the slot the old card was in, remove it and make sure nothing is blocking the slot then try again. This is where the patience comes in; forcing the card could damage it.
Once you have it installed and everything is lined up replace the screws you removed, first the one inside and then the two outside the case. You should be all set.