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How do I Reinstall the Sound Driver on My Computer?

written by: Cindy Marcelle•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/3/2008

This article gives step-by-step instructions for reinstalling the sound driver on your computer.

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    I’ll admit it - I’ve deleted my sound driver more than once in an obliterating storm of data. I wanted my hard drive free of unnecessary and unused programs, files, and folders, and I wasn’t looking close enough to what I was eliminating to notice this oh-so-important computer feature disappearing from My Computer.

    Luckily the guys at RealTek have your back. I’ve used this service a number of times and I can say with confidence that it is an outstanding free and easy to use service; however, it should be noted that, according to the RealTek website:

    Audio drivers available for download from the Realtek website are general drivers for our audio ICs, and may not offer the customizations made by your system/motherboard manufacturer. To be sure you obtain the full features/customizations provided in your original audio product, please download the latest drivers from your system/motherboard manufacturer's website."

    After navigating your way to the Realtek Downloads page and confirming that you’ve read the above mentioned disclaimer you will be presented with your choice of Drivers & Utilities Software for AC'97 Audio Codecs, with each file ranging from 31k to 4570k in size.

    Realtek Drivers for Windows:

    • Windows 98Gold/98se/Me/2000/XP/2003(32/64 bits) for Driver only. For Windows 98 SE, DirectX(R)8 is required to enable advanced features. (Executable file)
    • README
    • Windows 95 for Driver only
    • Windows 98Gold/98se/Me/2000/XP/2003(32/64 bits) for Driver only. For Windows 98 SE, DirectX(R)8 is required to enable advanced features. (ZIP file)
    • Realtek Media Player(RtlRack)
    • Windows NT 4.0 for Driver only
    • Vista Driver (32/64 bits) Driver only (ZIP file)

    Realtek Drivers for Unix (Linux):

    • Linux driver ( 2.4 or 2.6 )

    After you have selected your platform and chosen the applicable driver, click on one of the three Go buttons found in the Download Site column on the right hand side of the page. Clicking this will open a download window with the following options:

    • Run
    • Save
    • Open

    Choose Save to assure the driver is properly downloaded and follow the instructions as prompted.