How do I remove a computer sound card?

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

A picture of a computer's sound card.Most sound cards are built directly onto the motherboard of your computer, making them irremovable. If you do have one of the removable variety, that is, a card which connects to a PCI slot, taking it out is a relatively straight forward process. Below, are the steps required extracting most removable computer sound cards.

Tip: You can deactivate your integrated sound card in the BIOS menu, which allows the installation of a PCI card.

Preparation

Before you begin, it is necessary to ensure that you reduce, or eliminate, the risk of electrical charge damaging any of the hardware in the computer. The best way to do this is by wearing an anti-static wrist strap. While inside the computer, make sure it is disconnected from power and that you're familiar with ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) and its potential dangers. It is also necessary to detach any audio cables that are connected to the sound card on the back of the computer case.

Open you machine

After you have disconnected the audio cables and power cord, you need to remove the side panel from the computer case. The side panel is usually held in place by several screws, or it may be held in place with a bracket or clamp of some kind. Remove the fasteners securing the side panel, and carefully pull if off. Once the panel has been removed, you should be able to see the inside of the computer, which look something like the image below. The sound card should be located near the bottom of the computer case on the left side, the area circled in red.

PC inside3

Remove the sound card

The next step is to disconnect the sound card from the computer case. The sound card and other hardware cards, are likely secured to the computer case with a screw (as shown in the area circled in red) or a clamp of some kind.

Mounting screw

Once the fastener is loosened, you can remove the sound card. To reduce the chance of damaging the motherboard, which the sound card is connected to, use two hands to remove the sound card, one of each side. Gently remove the sound card, applying even pull on each side. If necessary, you can pull a little from one side, then the opposite side, in a "seesaw" motion.

Tip: It is best to fill the gap in the back of the computer case, where the sound card was previously, with a bracket designed for such a purpose as it helps keep dust out of your machine.

Additional information