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Using 2 sound cards - on board and installed

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 24, 2010 4:39:28 PM


Does anyone know if it is possible to have a seperate sound card from your on board, but use both? I have a sound card I use for recording and it doesn't have 1/8" input for headphones or desktop microphone. I use them for gaming which is often, but I can use my other soundcard to run through my stereo. I'd like to use both and switch back and forth when I deem necessary, so is that an option?



Here is my setup right now, and it might be a little easier to understand:

I have one computer I game on which I use onboard sound with. I use 3.5mm headphones and desktop microphone through it

My second computer is an old piece of *** I have my super nice sound card hooked up to. It has ONLY component and HD audio input/outputs. It doesn't have a single 3.5mm connection on the entire thing. Only RCA, etc. On that computer, because the sound card drivers make it so that it is the main card, I am unable to use 3.5mm audio equipment.

I want to take that card and put it into my main rig because I want to get rid of this old computer and give it to my dad. But if I put it in my main rig, the drivers will make it so the sound card is the default and it will automatically uninstall the onboard drivers, making the 3.5mm connections useless. Basically i'd like to know if there are other ways to make the onboard audio work simultaneously with the other sound card
a b $ Windows 7
November 24, 2010 6:07:58 PM

Hi there. I know it definately can be done but I am sorry I dont know how. Have you put a post on the AUDIO section of Toms forums.
November 24, 2010 7:07:30 PM

I actually have not, but I am going to because I wasn't sure if this was a techincal issue
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November 25, 2010 12:50:18 PM
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From your motherboard BIOS make sure you have onboard audio forced "Enabled". (Some motherboards disable this as soon as it finds out another card on its PCI or similar slot, so you have to force enable). Now, see under "device manager" whether the drivers for the onboard chip is installed. If not, reinstall onboard audio drivers from your motherboard's manufacturer.

Once installed, select from windows audio properties the sound card you wish to use as "default". Choose between onboard and the other one.

(Note: Some sound cards installation program disables onboard audio. So make sure you are not reinstalling the extra sound card back again)
November 26, 2010 2:04:13 AM

Best answer selected by bdonedge.
November 26, 2010 2:04:49 AM

bystander123 said:
From your motherboard BIOS make sure you have onboard audio forced "Enabled". (Some motherboards disable this as soon as it finds out another card on its PCI or similar slot, so you have to force enable). Now, see under "device manager" whether the drivers for the onboard chip is installed. If not, reinstall onboard audio drivers from your motherboard's manufacturer.

Once installed, select from windows audio properties the sound card you wish to use as "default". Choose between onboard and the other one.

(Note: Some sound cards installation program disables onboard audio. So make sure you are not reinstalling the extra sound card back again)


I can't believe this worked. I wasn't aware you could force the motherboard to use the onboard sound and have the option to switch. I'm worried about driver errors for games and what not, but this is pretty great!
November 26, 2010 4:30:44 AM

bdonedge said:
I can't believe this worked. I wasn't aware you could force the motherboard to use the onboard sound and have the option to switch. I'm worried about driver errors for games and what not, but this is pretty great!


You can have multiple number of audio cards on your PC. Most applications use the card that is registered as "default" under winmm (Windows multimedia interface). Whatever card you want apps to use, go to audio properties and select. Most applications call "WAVE_MAPPER" [under winmm.dll] which returns ID to the default device for audio in Windows for playback. Unless the program is coded to use a different audio device other than the default one in the system, you can not make them use it.

Thanks
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