Windows XP Device Manager

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Windows XP Device Manager allows you to quickly ascertain whether or not hardware is functioning correctly, what the settings are for the device and what resources the device is using.

The Windows XP Device Manager tree is a record of the devices currently loaded, based on the configuration information in the registry. You can use Device Manager to install or uninstall devices, troubleshoot problems, update drivers, and change the assigned device resources

Device Manager can be run under the Computer Management Utility (a built-in MMC snap-in console). As well, it can be run as its on window by clicking Start, Control Panel. Double-click System. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.

Device Manager does not display all devices by default. Non-Plug and Play devices, for example, are hidden. However, when problems occur, you may need to view these hidden devices for troubleshooting purposes. This can be done by selecting "Show Hidden Devices" under the View menu item. Device Manager will also not display "phantom" devices - that is, devices that are installed but not currently connected to the computer.

If you wish to display the phantom devices, before opening Device Manager, at a Command Prompt type:

set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1.
Open Device Manager, and then at the command prompt type:
start devmgmt.msc

The phantom devices will now also appear in Device Manager.
The properties of any item listed under Device Manager will always have at least two tabs - General and Driver. Some may have more than these two (for example, the display adapter may also have a tab for Disk Properties) but these two are always present.

The General tab shows the device type, manufacturer and location, as well as the current device status. If the device is not working properly, it should be indicated here. The "troubleshooter" button will walk you through an online help wizard to help you determine the solution to a problem.

The Driver tab gives current information about the driver used by device selected. The dialog box also allows you to uninstall or update the driver.

 

Deborah Timmons is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. She came into the Microsoft technical field after six years in the adaptive technology field, providing technology and training for persons with disabilities. She is the President and co-owner of Integrator Systems Inc.

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