HOW TO: Set Up Hardware Profiles for Laptop Computers in Windows XP

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 308577 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q308577
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SUMMARY

A hardware profile is a set of instructions that tells Windows which devices to start when you start your computer, or which settings to use for each device. When you first install Windows XP, a hardware profile named Profile 1 (for laptop computers, the profile is named Docked Profile or Undocked Profile) is created. By default, every device that is installed on your computer when you install Windows is enabled in the Profile 1 hardware profile. This article describes how to set up hardware profiles for laptop computers that run Windows XP.


How to Configure the Hardware Profiles

Hardware profiles are especially useful if you have a portable computer. Most portable computers are used in a variety of locations, and hardware profiles let you change which devices your computer uses when you move it from location to location. For example, you may have one profile named Docking Station Configuration for using your portable computer at a docking station with hardware components such as a CD-ROM drive and a network adapter. You may have a second profile named Undocked Configuration for using your portable computer in a hotel or on an airplane, when you are not using a network adapter or a CD-ROM, but you are using a modem.

If there is more than one hardware profile on your computer, you can designate a default profile that is used every time you start your computer. You can also have Windows prompt you for which profile to use when you start your computer. After you create a hardware profile, you can use Device Manager to disable and enable devices that are in the profile. When you disable a device in a hardware profile, the device drivers for the device are not loaded when you start your computer with that profile.


How to Set Up Hardware Profiles for Laptop Computers

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to complete this procedure. If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

To set up hardware profiles:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Hardware Profiles.
  3. In the Available hardware profiles box, click Docked Profile or Undocked Profile, and then click Copy.
  4. Type a name for the new hardware profile, and then click OK.
  5. Click the new profile, click Properties, select the This is a portable computer check box, and then select the best description for the profile (the docking state for the profile).
  6. Click Always include this profile when Windows starts.

How to Use Hardware Profiles for Laptop Computers

Restart the computer and choose the new profile during the startup process. This makes the new profile (which is a duplicate of the original profile) the current profile; you can customize the profile by enabling or disabling devices. Use Device Manager to specify the devices that should be disabled or enabled for this profile.

To start Device Manager:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
For example, if you want to use the new profile for standalone use, you might want to disable the network adapter. Expand the Network Adapters category, right-click the adapter, and then click Properties. In Device Usage, select Do not use this device in the current hardware profile (disable).

To specify the default hardware profile to use when you start your computer:
  1. In the Available hardware profiles box, use the arrow buttons to move the hardware profile that you want to use as the default profile to the top position in the list.
  2. Under Hardware profiles selection, click one of the options that specifies how long Windows waits before automatically loading the default hardware profile.
  3. If you want the default hardware profile to load automatically without displaying a list during the startup process, click 0 in the Select the first profile listed if I don't select a profile in n seconds box. (If you need to select a different hardware profile, press SPACEBAR during the startup process and choose a profile from the list.)




Properties

Article ID: 308577 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB308577

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com