Computer audio controllers
February 27, 2006 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Can an external sound card bypass a non-working internal audio controller?

If the audio controller is corrupt (not a driver problem) can a external usb sound card be used to produce sound rather than replacing the internal one?
posted by anticlock to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
You don't say much about the configuration of the system in question, but as a rule, yes.
posted by majick at 5:59 PM on February 27, 2006

Yes, you have 2 options:

1) Disable the onboard sound in the BIOS - when rebooting you should see a "Press Del to enter setup" (or Press some F-key) - press it and poke around in the settings and disable the onboard audio.

2) Leave it on, but in your windows device driver settings, set the external card as the default for everything .. how to do this will vary based on which version of windows you're using, etc so I can't give explicit instructions - but the bottom line is the answer to your question is yes.
posted by twiggy at 5:59 PM on February 27, 2006

yes. ideally you will want to jump into the computer bios and disable the on-board audio. if you are using windows xp, then it should show up as a separate sound device. you can jump into your hardware device manger in windows (under 'System'), and disable your onboard audio there as well. Or just set your new device as the primary one, i think that will work for the most part as well.

modern computers and operating systems can handle multiple sound boards (if that answers your question better).
posted by nickerbocker at 6:00 PM on February 27, 2006

Response by poster: thanks, this is a hypothetical scenario for the time being.
posted by anticlock at 6:14 PM on February 27, 2006

If your hypothetical scenario involves a desktop rather than a laptop, then many people will argue that a sound card is vastly superior to on-board audio regardless of whether or not its working.

The same could probably be said for laptops, but for other reasons, though I haven't tried any USB sound hardware myself since I sold my old Roland Sound Canvas.

Creative Labs has been sptting out bug-riddled pieces of junk for a while now, so think Turtle Beach tends to feature well in current recommendations.
posted by krisjohn at 7:08 PM on February 27, 2006

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