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No Sound from Your Computer ?
There are many causes for sound not coming from your PC or Laptop. First check if the sound card if available in your PC is inserted properly. Check the volumes are not zero or muted. Then check if your speakers are powered up. Check that your audio out jacks are inserted into the audio out slot. If all these are ok, then you have to check if the sound drivers are installed correctly. To check this press "Windows" Key with "R" key on your keyboard to get the run dialog box (you can also use the "Start" button and click run..") Then type the word devmgmt.msc in to the run.. dialog box to open the device manager. See if the drivers are installed. If you see an unrecognized hardware device or a yellow triangle next to any sound device then the driver is not compatible and needs updated drivers. To update drivers you must go to the hardware manufacturer website and download the latest model specific drivers. If you are not sure then we recommend you Download Driver Detective - An Automatic Driver Download Tool.  Driver Detective automatically detects all your computer hardware including those you are not presently connected to your PC and then downloads latest manufacturer and model specific drivers for all your hardware in 3 minutes. It is designed for Updating drivers on all Windows computers (XP, Vista, ME, 98, 2000, 2003, 2008 & Windows 7) Driver Detective also sends you an email whenever a new driver is released for your PC or Laptop hardware. 

What is AC'97 Sound Drivers ?
AC'97 is a short name for Audio Codec '97 and MC'97 is short for Modem Codec '97. Both these are standard developed by the Intel Architecture Labs in 1997 and so 97 ws added to it. These audio codec are used mainly in motherboards, modems, and sound cards. AC'97 defines a high-quality, 16- or 20-bit audio architecture with surround sound support for the PC that is used in the majority of today's desktop platforms.[vague] AC'97 supports 96,000 samples/second in 20-bit stereo resolution and 48,000 samples/second in 20-bit stereo for multichannel recording and playback. AC'97 was later replaced by HD Audio or Azalia because When AC‘97 was initially developed, people were only listening to only music and movies with stereo sound. With the success of DVD movies encoded with Dolby* Digital and DTS* multi-channel audio formats, full surround sound with six to eight speakers became popular, Intel invented High Definition Audio.

What is High Definition Audio or Azalia ?
Intel High Definition Audio  now a days also called as HD Audio or Azalia refers to the specification released by Intel in 2004 for producing high-definition audio that is capable of playing back more channels at higher quality which is designed specifically for the high-quality multi-channel audio experiences. Newer audio and video encoding/decoding algorithms also enable a higher-quality listening experience than previous integrated audio codecs like AC'97. During development it had the codename Azalia. The Hardware which are manufactured based on Intel HD Audio specifications is capable of delivering 192-kHz 32-bit quality for two channels, and 96-kHz 32-bit for up to eight channels. Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and later Windows versions include a Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) class driver which supports audio devices built to the HD Audio specification. But you should update your Sound Drivers tot the latest version from original manufacturer website of your Audio hardware. It is recommended to use an Automatic Sound Driver Download Tool for this purpose.

What is Realtek Audio Drivers?
Realtek Corporation is One of the world’s leading IC (integrated circuits) design houses that makes the famous Realtek Semiconductors.  Realtek designs and develops a wide range of IC products for communications network, computer peripheral, and multimedia applications. AC'97/High Definition Audio Codecs etc are also part of their program. The Realtek drivers are provided with Realtek manufactured sound hardware.

What is Audio Codec?
Audio Codec refers to the encoding and decoding of sound signals from one format to another. Your computer will understand a song file in .wav or .wma or .mp3 or .rm etc only if you have installed the required audio codec in to your PC. Audio components integrated into chipsets consists of two components: an AC'97 digital controller (DC97), which is built into the I/O Controller Hub (ICH) of the chipset, and an AC'97 audio and modem codecs.

How does a Computer Produce Sound?
Sound is reproduced by all the modern computers. Some have inbuilt speakers like your Laptop. Even Desktop Computer Monitors often come with inbuilt small speakers. These reproduce sounds generated by Windows operating system. Also there are small one inch speakers inside all computers that are directly connected to the motherboard of your computer to reproduce DOS sounds or sounds that you hear as beeps when there is a problem during startup or when you press a key. These sounds are heard because there are special hardware that are either built on the motherboard itself of inserted as an extra sound card into the expansion slots of your motherboard.

What is a Audio Driver or a Sound Driver?
All hardware inside your computer are manufactured by different manufactures. Even your motherboard has different component which are made by different companies using different technologies. Windows gives instructions when you play a song on your Windows Media Player. But the sound hardware may not understand the machine language sent by Windows. So the manufacturer of each hardware gives a set of files called Audio Drivers or Sound Device Drivers which convert these instructions from Windows into a language that the Sound card or your audio hardware understands so that the song you played on your media player can be accurately heard without the loss of quality on your speakers. 

How to install Sound Drivers?
Usually Windows installs most of the generic hardware drivers including the Sound Drivers required by your audio hardware if it was already present during Windows installation. Windows will also install the required audio drivers when you install a new sound hardware. If Windows does not have the required sound drivers then it will ask you to insert the Driver CD that came with your Sound hardware. Once you insert the driver CD, windows will automatically search and installs the required drivers from your driver CD and may ask you to reboot the PC. On restart your speakers will start playing sounds and songs.

What is Generic Sound Drivers?
Windows is packed with a few drivers that can make you computer start working with all hardware functioning with their basic features and you start getting some sound from your speakers. But for advanced features of your sound or other devices to be available you will need to install the drivers provided by the hardware manufacturer. These drivers can be found on the driver CD that came with your audio driver CD or other hardware like your motherboard driver disk. But you should always download the latest drivers for all your hardware from original hardware manufacturer. 

How to Update Latest Sound Drivers?
Updating Sound drivers is very important because all the audio drivers that came with Windows are older than Windows itself and even the sound drivers that came with your sound hardware driver CD are also old. So it is recommended by experts that you should always go to the original manufacturer website and download the latest updated drivers specific to your sound hardware model number. Use this Automatic Driver Update Tool  that will automatically identify your audio hardware model, search, download and install latest drivers from original manufacturer website in less than 3 minutes.

Why to Update Sound Drivers?
Hardware manufacturers release new drivers that fix bugs and give more new features to your old hardware. You don't have to purchase any new sound hardware. Just download the latest sound drivers and you can make your old audio devices work like new with all the latest features. Most reputed hardware vendors like Realtek, Creative and other sound card or audio hardware manufacturers release updated drivers very frequently almost every month. So it is very important to regularly update sound drivers to ensure that you always get the best sound quality and maximum features and performance from your costly sound hardware.