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Troubleshooting RealTek Driver Problems for Windows XP

One of the best things about personal computers is that they can act as an all-in-one entertainment media center, be it for reading the latest books and magazines, watching movies and television, or listening to the most recently released songs. Being able to do this of course, means you need to have all of the necessary hardware in working order.

If you’re one of millions of PC users still running Windows XP, then you know just how hard this task is, as more and more hardware and peripherals manufacturers release products that don’t readily support this old and reliable workhorse operating system. This is particularly apparent with audio cards manufactured by RealTek. Fortunately, this doesn’t necessarily you need to switch operating systems just yet.

A Question of Drivers

The main issue that prevents RealTek’s newer sound cards from working properly with Windows XP has to do with drivers, or the software that manages the interface between any piece of hardware and the installed operating system. Some hardware falls under the classification of ‘Plug and Play’ which means the required drivers are already preloaded into an operating system, with no need for installing any additional software. Some pieces of hardware, such as Realtek’s sound cards, need a driver in order to function properly. The problem seems to be in finding the that work with Windows XP.

Finding and Updating Your Drivers

Whether you the sound card you have come integrated with the motherboard or was bought separately, it normally comes with a CD containing the driver. If you have run the CD and restarted the computer without results, there are some steps you can take to rectify the situation. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that this driver is installed on your computer.

To check if it’s installed go to the Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs. Look for “RealTek HD Audio Driver” on the list of programs. If it is there but the sound card still doesn’t seem to work, then it might not have installed correctly. Select this program on the list and uninstall it. Then try reinstalling the driver and restarting your computer. If after all this your soundcard still doesn’t work, you might have to locate the appropriate driver for your sound card at this website. If you’re not sure exactly how to update your drivers, the provided driver should have a function that allows it to be done automatically.

Updating Windows XP

If none of this seems to work, then the problem could lie in Windows XP itself. Some of the latest hardware being released requires certain Service Packs and updates to be installed. Fortunately, this can be done quite easily by accessing Microsoft’s Windows XP update page. Once the updates are installed, try uninstalling and reinstalling and then updating your drivers again. If this still doesn’t work, then there’s the possibility that the hardware itself might be defective.

You can check the state of your installed hardware by accessing the Device Manager, which can be done by right clicking on the My Computer icon, selecting Properties, clicking on the Hardware tab, and selecting Device Manager. Locate your sound card on the list of devices and see what diagnosis your computer has made about the device.

With a few troubleshooting steps, you can fix your problem in no time.

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