I purchased a used Sony, which originally came loaded with Windows Vista.
Due to a serious problem with the hard drive, I had to replace it with a 160 GB
SATA drive, but as I didn’t have the original backup discs I decided to load
Windows XP SP 3. Upon installation of the OS, it identified the sound card but
noted there were no drivers installed. I have obtained a set of compatible
drivers but although these are now loaded, the laptop still does not recognize
the Realtek High Definition Sound Card, which is installed on the motherboard.
I’ve tried installing different versions of the Realtek drivers; de-installed
them and then reinstalled the drivers but I still cannot get the sound card
activated. Everything else on the laptop works perfectly and I’m at my wits
end. Have you any suggestions?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #65, I look at a downgraded computer that is having problems with
sound card drivers.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Fixing sound card drivers
Unfortunately, none that are practical.
The issue here, I believe, is it’s very possible that the drivers required
for that specific sound card don’t exist for Windows XP. They probably exist
for Windows Vista since that’s the operating system originally installed on
One of the issues with moving forward with different operating system
versions is of course that manufacturers begin to stop supporting the older
Manufacturers have the option of no longer creating drivers that are
compatible with Windows XP because Windows XP isn’t being sold anymore. Windows
XP is actually on the way out, so they focus their limited resources on
creating drivers that work in whatever the current operating system would
So, I think there’s a very strong possibility that you’re kind-of, sort-of
out of luck when it comes to Windows XP.
Upgrade the system
Now, there are two different things you can try. One major one; one
The major one of course is to bite the bullet and install Windows Vista.
Or Windows 7 I would assume would have a compatible sound driver as well.
USB sound card
The other approach (if it’s worth to you) would be to basically give up on
the sound hardware on that laptop. Get a USB, an external sound device. You can
get external speakers that are basically driven off of the USB port. Those
kinds of drivers have actually been around for quite some time.
I would make sure that they work and make sure that you have a return
possibility if they don’t. But the fact is: they may in the long run be a
much simpler solution to get sound out of your laptop without having to fight
the battle against these drivers that in all honesty, simply may not
Next from Answercast #65 – Can I
swap my third mouse button for the left button?