you asked if the card could go bad, of course it could. but is there a card?, or is the sound on the motherboard, usually if you didn't put a sound card in, its on the board. if thats the case you could add a card. and simply disable on board sound in the bios. thats hit del key when it boots, look under devices or hardware but don't click until your sure, it should say sound, something, just disable it. and no becasue every board maker is different. HP, compaq/ del/ all different, the same ,, but different. U can google it ,, just go to google and type in how to disable sound on bhah blah , HP dt5400 or compaq presario, or dell latitude what ever the model is. there will be a hundred directions, pick the one you can undestand the best. .