Audio device drivers can be downloaded for free from the manufacturer of a computer's sound card or, if the sound device is built into the computer's motherboard, the manufacturer of the motherboard. Audio device drivers can also be downloaded through Microsoft Windows Update.
If the system is running Microsoft Windows XP or a newer operating system and automatic updates are enabled, audio device drivers recognized by Microsoft Windows are installed automatically during the system's boot sequence. Sometimes Microsoft Windows makes identification errors; thus computer hardware technicians recommend installing the audio device driver specified by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer or model of a PC's sound hardware or motherboard is unknown, it can be determined using an application called CPU-Z, developed by CPU-ID. This is safer than downloading an audio device driver from a website such as Softonic or Driverguide that may attempt to install advertising software as well.