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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 ProfilesHardware 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 ComputersYou 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:
How to Use Hardware Profiles for Laptop ComputersRestart 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:
To specify the default hardware profile to use when you start your computer:
Article ID: 308577 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.2