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Reinstalling Windows XP Home (Part 5): Post-installing devices

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article is Part 5 of the Reinstalling Windows XP Home guide. This part explains how to post-install devices.

To view the other topics of the Reinstalling Windows XP Home guide, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that are listed in the "References" section.

The Reinstalling Windows XP Home guide includes the following topics:
Part 1:  IntroductionPart 2:  Preparing Windows XP for reinstallationPart 3:  Creating partitionsPart 4:  Installing WindowsPart 5:  Post-installing devicesPart 6:  Configuring the work environmentPart 7:  Running Windows Update

If you experienced a problem during installation, you can use Device Manager to solve many of the hardware problems.

The Device Manager tool can be used in many ways. You can use Device Manage to do the following tasks:
  • Verify that hardware is functioning correctly.
  • Display information about individual drivers.
  • Update or post-install drivers.
  • Deactivate or remove devices.
  • Check assigned resources, and reconfigure them when it is required.
  • Print an overview of installed devices.

Verify that hardware is functioning correctly

Use Device Manager to identify hardware or to repair any hardware problems.
  1. On the desktop or in Windows Explorer, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

    Explorer - Properties

  2. Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.

    Hardware tab - Device Manager

  3. Devices that do not function correctly are marked with special symbols.

    Explanation of error symbols

    Device Manager

  4. In this example, one device is not functioning correctly. It is in the Other devices category. Because it is new, Windows does not have a driver for it. Another device, a second network card, is currently disabled.

Display driver information

Devices may be incorrectly configured. This may not be obvious from looking in Device Manager. If you are not sure whether a particular device is using the correct driver, you can view information about the installed driver. Examine the provider and the date for the driver to determine whether an update may be available.

Close-up of device

  1. Select the device, and then click Properties on the toolbar.

    Device Manager toolbar - Properties

  2. Initial information appears on the General tab.

    Device properties - General tab

  3. For additional details, click the Driver tab, and then click Driver Details.

    Device properties - Driver tab - Driver details

    Driver file details

    NoteIn this example, an outdated driver is installed. The driver that is supplied on the CD is an update.

Update the driver

If a driver that is currently installed does not appear to be the best choice, you can update the driver.
  1. Display the driver properties.
  2. Select the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver.

    Device properties - Driver tab - Update driver

  3. The Hardware Update Wizard can help you update hardware. Click Install from a list or specific location, and then click Next.

    Hardware Update Wizard - Install from a list...

  4. Click to select the Include this location in the search: check box. Enter the drive letter for the CD drive, and insert the CD with the new driver. If you have to, specify the location of the .inf file. To do this, click Browse.

    Hardware Update Wizard - Search and Installation options

  5. Select the folder on the CD where the driver information is stored, and then click OK. The folder name on the CD usually refers to the Windows version name.

    Select folder for driver information

  6. Click Next.

    Hardware Update Wizard - Search and Installation options

  7. The Hardware Update Wizard searches for the driver.

    Hardware Update Wizard - Searching for driver

  8. The Hardware Update Wizard installs the new driver.

    Hardware Update Wizard - Installing driver

  9. As soon as all the files have been copied, click Finish.

    Hardware Update Wizard Finish screen

  10. The updated driver version will be available after you restart your computer.

    System restart prompt

    NoteIf the updated driver does not function as expected, you can revert to the previous version of the driver. To do this, select the Driver tab, and then click Roll Back Driver.

Post-install a driver

If no appropriate driver is available for required devices when you install Windows, such as a graphics card, a default driver will be installed. A default driver will not be installed for other devices. Those devices will not function until an appropriate driver is installed. You can post-install a driver at any time. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Select the Other devices category. Select the device, and then click the Properties icon on the toolbar.

    Device Manager - Other devices

  3. Click Reinstall Driver and follow the wizard instructions. The installation procedure is the same as when you update a driver.

    Device properties - General - Reinstall driver

    Hardware Update Wizard - Install from a list...

    Hardware Update Wizard - Search and Installation options

    Select folder for driver information

    Hardware Update Wizard - Search and Installation options

    Hardware Update Wizard - Searching for driver

  4. Occasionally, Windows may require input from you to find the correct driver. Select the correct version from the list, and then click Next.

    Select best match for driver from list

  5. The procedure then continues as expected.

    Hardware Update Wizard - Installing driver

    Hardware Update Wizard Finish screen

  6. The device is now correctly configured.

    Device Manager - No error

NotePlug & Play components are easy to add to the computer system. This is because Plug & Play devices are designed to be functional as soon as they are connected. There are three requirements to use Plug & Play functionality when you add components to the computer system. They are as follows:
  • The computer must use a Plug & Play BIOS.
  • The operating system must support Plug & Play functionality. For example, Windows recognizes when a new component is added to a system and configures it automatically.
  • The components must support Plug & Play functionality.
Plug & Play functionality is designed to work as follows:
  • The new device communicates its specifications, the resources it requires, and its manufacturer to Windows.
  • Windows assigns the necessary resources to the components and loads the appropriate drivers. If Windows cannot find an appropriate driver, you may have to insert a disk that contains the appropriate driver so that the driver can be installed.
If your computer is an older model, some components may not be compatible with Plug & Play functionality. If this is the case, you can also manually install the device. In this case, start the Add Hardware Wizard from Control Panel. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add Hardware, and then click Next.

    Add Hardware Wizard welcome screen

  3. The Add Hardware Wizard searches for new hardware.

    Add Hardware Wizard - Searching for hardware

  4. After the wizard cannot find the hardware, click Yes, I have already connected the hardware, and then click Next.

    Add Hardware Wizard - Is hardware connected?

  5. Select Add a new hardware device from the list, and then click Next.

    Add Hardware Wizard - Add new hardware

  6. Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list, and then click Next.

    Add Hardware Wizard - Advanced install

  7. Select the type of hardware, and then click Next.

    Add Hardware Wizard - Select type of hardware

  8. Select the manufacturer and the device. If the component is not listed, click Have Disk. Insert the disk for the hardware, and specify the path of the driver. The rest of the procedure continues as expected.

    Add Hardware Wizard - Select manufacturer and model/Have disk

Disable or remove devices

You may not have a driver for a particular device. If this is the case, you can disable the device until you obtain an appropriate driver. Disabling the driver can also be used as a temporary solution if there are conflicts with other devices that you cannot immediately resolve. When you disable the driver, Windows will ignore the device and no additional warning messages will appear.

Note If you remove a driver, Windows will try to reinstall it at the next system restart, unless you also remove the device.

Disable a device

  1. Select the device in Device Manager, and then click the Disable icon on the toolbar.

    Device Manager - Select device to remove

    Device Manager toolbar - Disable

  2. Click Yes to confirm the security prompt.

    Security prompt

  3. The device will be marked as disabled in Device Manager.

Remove a device

  1. Select the device, and then click the Uninstall icon on the toolbar.

    Device Manager toolbar - Uninstall

  2. You have now successfully removed the device. Click OK to confirm the warning, and shut down your computer.

    Confirm Device Removal warning

  3. Remove the component.

Check resources

During hardware installation, various resources are assigned to each device. These system resources are used to control the functionality of the device. They include the following:
  • Interrupt Requests (IRQs)
  • Direct Memory Access (DMA) channels
  • Input/Output (I/O) channels
  • Memory addresses
NoteIRQs are interrupt requests sent to the processor. A device uses IRQs to indicate that it is ready to send or to receive information. DMA channels are used to exchange data directly between the device and RAM, without involving the processor. A peripheral device uses I/O channels to identify itself. Memory addresses are reserved for controlled data exchange.

Ordinarily, resources can be allocated automatically and no conflicts will occur. However, conflicts may occur if you are using older hardware. If conflicts occur, you can use Device Manager to display the allocated resources. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In the View menu in Device Manager, click Resources by type.

    Device Manager - View menu - Resources by type

  2. This view provides an overview of how the resources are allocated.

    Device Manager - Resource allocation overview

Resolve resource allocation conflicts

If the system allocates a resource to a device, and that allocation creates a conflict, you can use Device Manager to resolve the conflict.

Device properties - resources (conflicting)

Device properties - conflict details

To resolve resource allocation conflicts, follow these steps:
  1. Try to allocate unused resources to the device or use another basic configuration.
  2. If the device manufacturer specifies that a specific resource value must be used, you must use that resource value. However, when you apply that resource value, this may cause a new conflict if another device already uses that resource value.
  3. You must then decide whether to continue with the new setting.

    Action to take when device conflict occurs

Reconfigure resource allocations

If there are no conflicts, you should avoid manually changing the resource settings. Additionally, the setting options are usually very limited. The following example shows the limitations:
  1. Select the component in Device Manager and then click the Properties icon on the toolbar.
  2. Select the Resources tab.
  3. The following graphics show how resources usually appear. In this example, you cannot make any configuration changes. All options are disabled.

    Device properties - No available options

  4. You can only change the settings if you can clear the Use automatic settings check box.

    Device properties - Available options

  5. Select the resource that you want to modify, and then click Change Setting. Enter the new value, and then click OK.
  6. The system may still not allow for this action, and a warning may appear.

    No Modifications Allowed warning

  7. Click OK, and then search for a new Basic configuration. When you select one of these configurations, it significantly limits the configuration options. However, it does let you make small modifications.
    Device properties - Select new basic configuration

Print a device summary

You can also print your hardware configuration. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open Device Manager, select a group of devices, and then click the Print icon on the toolbar.

    Device Manager toolbar - Print icon

  2. Specify the details that the report should contain, and then click OK.

    Print - Report type

Configure the hardware profile

You may not be unable to resolve conflicts. This is possible when the resources that are available are insufficient because you have too many devices that are connected. You may not have to have all devices available constantly. This may be true, for example, if you use a laptop when you are traveling, or when you use a docking station. In these instances you can configure your hardware profile to avoid conflicts. During startup you can then select which hardware configuration that you want to use. To configure the hardware profile, follow these steps:
  1. You must start with an initial configuration that does not contain any errors or conflicts. Configure all the necessary devices and disable devices that are not required.
  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, double-click System, and then select the Hardware tab.
  3. Click Hardware Profiles.

    System properties - Hardware profiles

  4. Select the initial profile (Profile 1), and then click Copy.

    Hardware profiles - Copy current profile

  5. Give the new profile a meaningful name and restart your computer.

    Copy profile - Rename copy

  6. During startup, you will be prompted to select which profile you want to use. Select the new profile using the arrow keys, and then press ENTER.
  7. Configure the new profile according to your needs.
For more information about this topic, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Part 1 Introduction

Part 2 Preparing Windows XP for reinstallation

Part 3 Creating partitions

Part 4 Installing Windows

Part 6 Configuring the work environment

Part 7 Running Windows Update
This article is a translation from German. Any subsequent changes or additions to the original German article may not be reflected in this translation. The information that is contained in this article is based on the German-language versions of this product. The accuracy of this information relative to other language versions of this product is not tested in the framework of this translation. Microsoft makes this information available without warranty of its accuracy or functionality and without warranty of the completeness or accuracy of the translation.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Article ID: 896530 - Last Review: 06/07/2006 20:32:06 - Revision: 2.1

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
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