Your first reaction might be: Why? Well, the reason why you would want to, or need to, disable the onboard audio device is to solve device conflicts. Multiple audio devices can cause problems with resources, such as interrupts (IRQ), memory ranges, or direct memory access (DMA). But basically it will result in audio problems. Either an audio device is not recognized, or the audio device is not functioning.

A lot of motherboards have an audio solution integrated, so the computer manufacturer does not need to add a separate sound card to a PC. This is convenient from an assembly and cost perspective and very necessary for laptops and notebooks, but does not result in the best sound quality. So if you want to add a separate internal or external audio card, the internal, onboard audio card can cause problems.

The simplest solution in general is to disable the onboard audio, since you would not need two audio devices in most cases anyway.

Before you disable the onboard audio, it is best to uninstall the drivers in the Device Manager or in the Control Panel (Add/Remove Programs). This way the old drivers will not affect any new drivers you install.

Disabling the onboard audio requires you to go into the computer BIOS, which can be accessed by pressing a specific key at startup (mostly F1, F2, F10 or Del(ete), but check your PC manual if you are not sure).

Once in the BIOS, look for the section with Onboard Peripherals or Integrated Peripherals. The onboard audio device can be listed as Azalia Codec, HD Audio, Onboard HD Audio, AC97 Audio, or a variation of these terms.

Disable integrated audio card

Disable onboard sound

Disable onboard audio in Phoenix Bios

Change the option from Enabled or Auto to Disabled. Then Save and Exit the BIOS (F10 key in most cases).


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