Home Computer Hardware II Replacing the Add-On Cards/Here are the steps for replacing a sound card.

Replacing the Add-On Cards/Here are the steps for replacing a sound card.

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Sometimes we need to get better performance of our PC regarding video’s or audio’s. If this is the case then it’s time to replace your VGA card or sound card.

Replacing a VGA card:

One may need to replace a video card if it fails or if he/she wants a newer one with better specifications. The VGA card is very important in many software applications like video-editing, animations, CAD, or else. When you decide to replace your old VGA card you must know in advance that the newer one will meet your requirements and has compatibility with the motherboard.

steps of replacing a VGA card.

Video cards are pretty reliable, though some of the newer ones run so hot that they have their

own cooling systems, and if the fan fails, the video processor can’t be too far behind. Almost
all systems you crack open these days will feature an AGP video card, only the oldest system have PCI video and only the very newest feature PCI Express. The first step to installing a video card is opening up the case, which varies with non-standard systems, but for a normal mid-tower, it means two screws at the most. You want to remove the side that’s above the motherboard, which you can easily determine by looking at the back of the case. The I/O core at the bottom with the ports is attached to the motherboard. As soon as the lid is off, we remove the video card hold-down
screw.

There are few PC jobs easier than installing the video card. Most AGP slots lack the latch that the cards were designed to accept on the back edge. That latching point is clearly visible on the old
video card we’re replacing, you can see the “L” shape under the four video memory chips on the right side of the card. If the motherboard had supported a lock, it would have closed over the

“L.” In fact, the primary failure mode for AGP video cards is when they pop partially out of the slot on their own (or because the monitor cable pulls them up), so before you assume any video card is dead, you should reseat it in the slot and give it another try.

Our replacement 3D AGP video card is shown here over the brown AGP slot.. You can see the
key slot in the card edge that with a few orphan exceptions, will prevent you from installing the
wrong voltage video card in the slot. Only the oldest 1X and 2X AGP video slots had any
compatibility issues. The 4X cards were probably the most common, they are now being replaced
by 8X AGP, but PCI Express will take over soon, so the majority of PCs in use will never feature
the 8X AGP cards. You usually have to replace an AGP video card with the same speed since the
existing card will be the fastest the motherboard could use. Handle the video card by the corners

and don’t touch the gold contact fingers because the oil from your skin can degrade the electrical
signals.

Once you have the video card positioned properly over the AGP slot, seat it evenly by pressing down on the top edge at both the front and back of the card (left). Once it’s seated, install the

retaining screw on the back rail (below), then inspect the card to make sure it’s still fully seated in the slot. On poorly designed motherboards or cases, installing the screw can cause the video card to pivot on the back of the slot and lose contact with the front of the slot. That pretty much covers how to replace an AGP video card, unless you count installing the software drivers as a step.

Just use the CD that comes with the video card and hopefully there’ll be a wizard.

Replacing other Add-On cards:

Sometimes we need to replace a sound card, a modem, or even a network card. In modern systems, these cards all occupy a PCI slot on the motherboard so the procedure for replacing one of them will the same for others.

Sometimes we need to replace a sound card if we want a better performance of audio software. Also some sound cards have better audio quality, or support more channels if we are using a subwoofer or a system of speakers.  Replacing a modem is required sometimes if we need a faster browsing of the internet or additional features of the newer one.

Network cards have many different feature, one of the most important is the speed. So, we need to replace it if it fails or if we need a newer one with better performance.

Here are the steps for replacing a sound card.

Sound cards don’t have a particularly high failure rate but they get replaced more often than any other
adapter, with the possible exception of modems. The reason is that older PCI sound cards that came stock with systems offered pretty lousy performance, so gamers and musicians often find they have to replace the sound card just to work with the programs they buy. The first step is to unplug the

PC and open the case.. You only need to remove the top lid on the average midtower – two screw, slide back a couple inches, and off. You can see the original sound card connectors in the center of the adapter bay original sound card is secured in the case The with a single screw. If you’ve done this before,

you’ll see that there’s something missing along the top edge. This PC was built without an
analog audio lead connecting the CD drive to the sound card, which means it never would have
been able to play music CDs. This is an extremely common issue with PC’s that were
built without any quality control or a CD was installed at a later date by somebody who had a
lazy attack. We remove the old sound card, and also a blank bay cover next to it, because our

PCI 5.1 upgrade sound card needs two slots for the SPDIF riser.

Speaking of the SPDIF (Sony/Phillips Digital Interface), we now connect this daughter card, or riser, to the new sound card. This connector is keyed the top left hole on this 2×5 connector is blocked to
match the missing corner pin on the board connection block. You can also see just above the
forefinger the 4×1 connector where we’ll later connect the CD audio lead. To the right of those connectors is the silk screen explaining which is which..

can see the small SPDIF daughter Here you board held above the basic sound card. It’s a 5.1 sound card, five regular channels (front left and right, rear left and right, center) plus a low
frequency or sub-woofer channel. When you’re upgrading a sound card, a 5.1 is pretty much the
minimum I’d consider. Newer motherboards come with 6.1 and even 7.1 sound built into the
motherboard, so this isn’t anything you should have to fool around with a newer PC. The game
port is quickly becoming obsolete, replaced with USB game controllers, but many replacement
sound cards, like this one, still feature a legacy game port.

Whenever you install a sound card or other adapter in your PC, you should be careful not to touch the
contact edge (the gold stripes) when handling the adapter, and ideally, you should only touch them on
the metal bracket or unused real estate on the card. You must seat this adapter in the PCI slot with even pressure on the bracket and the back edge of the sound card. Immediately after installing the sound card, secure both it and the SPDIF riser with one screw each through the bracket on the back rail. That covers how to install a sound card, now you have to get the internal and external connections made right.

Now we attach the CD audio lead to the sound card. Obviously, we have to attach the other end
to the CD/DVD drive or it won’t do much good. The other connector blocks on the top of the
sound card are for modem inputs, lets you play your phone through the speakers or use a system
mike with a voice modem rather than plugging a separate mike into the modem card.

The last mentioned steps are basically the required for replacing a sound card.
May be replacing other Add-On cards will take same steps but the specifications will
be different as mentioned above.

There is an important thing to remember after replacing an add-on card which is
that you must have drivers for the new ones. When you mantle a VGA card you must
then setup the drivers for it. Each operating system has a different driver for a
specific card. This also applies for sound cards, modems, network cards and other

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