Yes, it could be mother board or bad speaker wire. Or get another sound card and have someone install it for you and load the driver. again, If you have the driver for that old sound card, remove and install it again.If the sound card is on the mother board, go to the manufacture and download the driver.
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You can try to install the sound card--Vista should pick it up, but you'll still probably have to have a driver disk for it.
Make sure that you not only power it down, but you unplug the power cord and press the on button to discharge any stored charge.
When you insert the card, be sure that you'v touched off on either the powersupply or the frame to the hand that has the card in it. Then insert the card. (A static electricity spark can be 20k volts, low amps, but it can destroy both the card and the motherboard if you aren't careful.)
The XP driver might be a problem, but check for the numbers on the card before putting it in and do a search. You may find some additional Vista drivers.
There are a couple of after-market cards that use a digital out, you just have to look for the right connector.
to localised your problem, try to plug your speakers to other sound source like mp3 player ,stereo system. if still no sound coming from it,your problem is within the speaker system. perhaps the audio power amplifier ic inside, need to be replaced.
Your problem is you have a 3 channel sound card on your dell and you bought 5 channel speaker system. You can plug the green to green and get 2.1 sound but you will have to by a 5.1 pci sound like in the link below to get the full use of your 5.1 system.
No drivers for your soundcard, this is a computer issue not a speaker issue, contact dell, if you can understand a word they say, ask them "I have Dimension (model number here), I need to know how to install my sound drivers", if you dont know how to do this.