The latest manufacturer and model specific Audio Drivers are necessary for your Audio Card to produce Audio through your speakers with clarity and fidility. Incorrect audio card drivers can either cause no audio from your pc. If the audio drivers you are installing are not specific to your exact audio card model number and manufacturer, then Windows will give you a warning message. Never ignore it. Many people have ended up with damaged audio card just by installing the wrong drivers against the warnings given by Windows during audio drivers installation.
Don't Know How To Download Audio Drivers?
If you are not sure of the manufacture and model number of your audio card or do not know how to download and install audio card drivers, then I strongly recommend you Download Driver Detective - Automatic Driver Update Tool. After you download it double click on the downloaded file to install it in your PC by clicking next, next, next buttons as it appears. After you install it, run Driver Detective. Click on Update Drivers when it asks you. That is all. Driver Detective will automatically download and install the latest audio drivers, video drivers and all other hardware drivers from the original manufacturer website of each of your hardware. It saves so much of time and frustration. I have been using it for a couple of years now almost every month to get all the new drivers that keeps my computer performing at peak performance.
New Audio Drivers
New Audio Drivers are regualrly released by your Audio hardware manufacturer fixing reported bugs and introducing many new features which were developed after your hardware was sent out of their factory. All reputed audio hardware manufacturers do a lot of research and development to ensure that their customers get the maximum benefit from their product. In case of computer hardware these benefits continue to come to you in the form of new drivers.
Update Audio Card Drivers
Thus Downloading and installing every audio driver update released, will ensure that your audio card continues to perform even better than when it was new. This includes new capabilities in terms of the rate of processing audio data, new frequency bands that can be reproduced by your audio card even though it was not designed originally to do it and improved performance from your audio card which in turn will increase your overall computer performance in addition to giving superb audio output with you investing any extra money. Most reputed audio hardware manufacturers release new audio device drivers many times a year with a lot of bug fixes and introducing many new features for your old audio card. So you need to update your audio card drivers regularly at least once a month to ensure your audio card gets all these benefits and speedup yourcomputer performance.
Windows produces audio frequencies in its own machine language and sends it to your audio card for processing into various individual frequencies separating it into various audio channels meant to be sent to your stereo speakers, woofer, tweeter, surround speakers, left and right channels in 2.1 channels, 5.1 channels, 7.1 channels and even 9.1 channels etc. Unfortunately the machine language of windows cannot be understood by your audio card hardware. Thus you need to install audio driver files that will translate these audio data from Windows language into a language that your audio card understands before being sent to the audio card for processing.
Model Specific Audio Drivers
Audio Drivers are manufacturer and model specific. An audio driver meant for Creative audio card will not work with an audio card manufactured by SoundMax. Similarly, an audio driver meant for Creative audio card model no 1234 will not work with Creative audio card model number 1235. Thus you need the correct and latest manufacturer and model number specific driver for your audio card.
Audio Drivers are Windows Version Specific
Your audio drivers that worked with a certain audio card on Windows XP will not work with Windows Vista and Windows Vista audio card drivers will not work with Windows 8 or Windows 7 for the same audio card. So if you are upgrading your audio card on the same Windows version then you need a new set of audio card drivers. And you also need a new audio driver version for the same audio card if you are upgrading your Windows version.
How to Find Windows Version Specific Audio Card Drivers
You may check your driver disk of each hardware if a compatible audio card driver for the new Windows version is already provided in the Driver CD. If not then you can allow Windows to Search for the necessary Audio Drivers. Very often updating your Windows Online or Downloading the latest Windows Update should be able to get the necessary Audio Card Drivers.
If you are finding it difficult to get the correct audio drivers for your audio card, then I strongly recommend this small software called Driver Detective which is an Automatic Driver Download and Driver Update Tool designed to work on all 32/64 bit Windows operating system. Driver Detective has machine intelligence to identify the manufacturer and model number of each and every hardware installed in your computer as well as identify the driver versions installed for each of these hardware in your computer. It will then locate the latest drivers released online by each of these hardware manufacturer. Now you will be given a comprehensive driver scan report which informs you which of your drivers are corrupted, missing and how may of your drivers are out of date as well as which all new drivers are available online for download.
Using this Driver Scan Report, you can either download the drivers from each of your hardware manufacture website or you can click on the Update Drivers button in Driver Detective to Download and Install these latest windows drivers Automatically in a few minutes. This automatic feature of Driver Detective saves you a lot of time and difficulty you would have faced trying to find out the manufacturer and model numbers of each of your hardware and then trying to locate all the necessary drivers on the internet.
Download Audio Card Drivers from Manufacturer Websites Only
You may find your Audio Card Drivers at many websites. But Download Audio Card Drivers only from your authentic manufacturer website. This is because there are millions of websites hosting drivers files on the internet. Many of them packs virus and spyware along with the drivers they provide. And when you give permission to the audio driver files, the spyware and viruses also take this permission to get installed in your PC/Laptop and you will not even come to know till they harm your computer. Never ignore the warnings issued during the installation of Audio Card Drivers.
WHQL Certified Audio Card Drivers
The term WHQL stands for Windows Hardware Quality Labs. Your audio hardware manufacturer will send their drivers for inclusion into the latest Windows version under development or to be included in the Windows Updates to be released. Microsoft will put these audio card driver files through a series of compatibility and stability checks. Once the audio card drivers pass these tests Microsoft will issue a WHQL certificate and include a digital certificate inside the driver files now compiled into a .exe or .zip file format. These audio drivers are the safest to use on any Windows computer it is certified for.
Non-WHQL Certified Audio Card Drivers
All drivers are not WHQL certified. But now a days most audio hardware manufacturers include their own digital signatures in the audio driver files. This is recognized by Windows during installation. But if a publisher is not listed in its database then your will get a Windows Warning message about this. As long as you are sure that these audio card drivers were provided by your audio card manufacturer for your specific audio card model number in the driver CD or you downloaded these audio card drivers from the manufacturer website, you can confidently continue to install these audio drivers in your PC or Laptop.
64 Bit Windows Needs WHQL Certified Audio Drivers
If you are running 64 bit Windows version, then you will always need to download WHQL certified audio card drivers. This is because 64 bit Windows does not allow you to installa a non-WHQL certified audio drivers or any other driver. This is implemented by Microsoft as a safety feature because 64 bit Windows are used only in scenario where security is very important and non WHQL certified drivers are known to be carrying virus, spyware and other malware. So whenever possible go only for WHQL certified drivers. If no WHQL certified audio card drivers are available, only then go for other digitally signed audio drivers for your audio card hardware. Experts recommend using Automatic Driver Download Software Driver Detective to download WHQL certified audio drivers.
Driver Detective is an Automatic Driver Download and Driver Update software that can locate, download and install the latest WHQL Certified Device Drivers for all hardware installed in your PC/Laptop specific to your Windows operating system in less than 3 minutes. Driver Detective can even make a back up of all your installed drivers from your computer to a CD/USB in a single mouse click. Updating all the latest device drivers for all the hardware in your PC may take many hours. But with Driver Detective you can accomplish this task in just 2 mouse clicks and a few minutes. Updated Drivers give bug fixes and ensures you get all the latest features in your old hardware without spending any extra money and will also speedup your computer performance. Driver Detective is used by over 125 million PC users world wide from over a 100 countries. I have been using it for over 2 years and strongly recommend it.