Once you have the necessary information about your sound device, you can normally obtain appropriate updated drivers specific to your hardware from the internet.Manufacturers of motherboard sound devices such as Realtek, Sigmatel and Soundmax do not usually provide any driver support to end users.Any drivers they offer will usually be generic drivers not matched to your particular motherboard. Note that basic plug 'n' play USB sound devices without a choice of inputs (like a USB microphone or a USB turntable or cassette deck) generally use the operating system's USB Audio Class drivers.
Problems such as recordings freezing up, difficulty in selecting the correct, working input source or having the full range of input sources available, usually mean your sound device has faulty, outdated or inappropriate drivers.
If this occurs it is important that the drivers are updated.
Drivers are the piece of software that tells your computer how to talk to the specific hardware you have installed or connected to your computer.
The drivers must be specific to the particular model of your computer or sound device, and are usually produced by the sound device or motherboard manufacturer.
On a 64-bit operating system, the drivers of the sound device must be 64-bit.
You may need to find out the name, specifications and current driver details for your sound device, so you can update it correctly.
To do this, you can use Device Manager on Windows, System Profiler on a Mac or the /lspci or /lsusb commands on Linux.
Device Manager can also try and update the drivers for you itself, and Windows users are strongly recommended to try this update facility as a first step - see Extra help for Windows users below.
This is easiest, but may not necessarily find the latest or most appropriate drivers.
Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/Vista: Click then using the "Category" view, click "Hardware and Sound", find "Devices and Printers" near the top of the screen then click on "Device Manager" (the last item in the list underneath).
"Icons" views have a direct link to Device Manager, as does "Classic View" on Windows Vista only.