I am missing a sound driver. Can you help?
Missing Sound Drivers
Sound drivers go missing every now and then for a number of reasons. Sometimes they become corrupt due to an unexpected shutdown. Other times they may be replaced or removed by other software installations or removals, operating system updates, and even computer viruses. You may never know what caused the driver to disappear, but hopefully you'll be able to recover it without too much difficulty.
Recover Sound Driver Using System Restore
If the sound driver just recently disappeared, the easiest way to restore it is to use System Restore. As long as you have a restore point from before the driver disappeared, you should be able to roll your computer back to its earlier condition.
System Restore is located in your System Tools folder. Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. You'll be presented with a list of the most recent restore points made by your system (so long as you have System Protection set to create restore points). Choose a date where you know your sound driver was working, but try not to go too far back in time. Follow the prompts to restore your computer.
Keep in mind that System Restore only affects your system and program files, not data. You may need to reinstall recently added programs and hardware as well as re-update your operating system and antivirus program, but you won't lose any of your data files.
Using Device Manager to Install Sound Drivers
If System Restore isn't an option, the next step is to try the Device Manager which is located in the Control Panel. Launch Device Manager and you'll see a list of device categories. Most likely, you'll notice that there's a yellow alert icon on the category labeled "Sound, video, and game controllers." Go ahead and click that category to expand the list. Double click the sound device that is marked with the alert. You should see an error message in the display box. Click the Driver tab and click on Update Driver. Windows will now search for a device driver for that particular sound device.
Manufacturer Sound Drivers
If Windows doesn't find one, you may need to go directly to your sound card's manufacturer's website for a device driver. This process varies from one manufacturer from the next but is usually fairly easy. Look for the Support > Driver Download section and search for your exact sound card model. You'll need to be sure to choose the exact version for your sound card as well as your operating system. You may need to install the driver manually or it may be self-executing. Either way, the manufacturer will likely provide you with details in how to install the driver.