How To Manage Devices in Windows Server 2003

Summary

This article describes how to use Device Manager to manage devices in Microsoft Windows Server 2003.


Managing Devices with Device Manager

Device Manager provides a graphical view of the hardware that is installed in the computer, as well as the device drivers and resources that are associated with that hardware. Device Manager provides a central point for changing the way that the hardware is configured and the way that the hardware interacts with the computer's microprocessor.

Using Device Manager to manage devices and their drivers requires the following permissions, all of which are granted to Administrators:
  • The Load/Unload Drivers permission
  • The permissions needed to copy files to the system32\drivers directory
  • The permissions needed to write settings to the registry
Device Manager allows the following functionality:
  • Determine whether the hardware on your computer is working correctly
  • Change hardware configuration settings
  • Identify the device drivers that are loaded for each device and obtain information about each device driver
  • Change advanced settings and properties for devices
  • Install updated device drivers
  • Disable, enable, and uninstall devices
  • Reinstall the earlier version of a driver
  • Identify device conflicts and manually configure resource settings
  • Print a summary of the devices that are installed on your computer
Typically, Device Manager is used to check the status of computer hardware and to update device drivers on the computer. If you are an advanced user and you have a thorough understanding of computer hardware, you can use the diagnostic features of Device Manager to resolve device conflicts and to change resource settings.

To access Device Manager, use one of the following methods:
  • Click Start, click Run, type devmgmt.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  • Right-click My Computer, click Manage on the shortcut menu, and then click Device Manager under System Tools.
  • Right-click My Computer, click Properties on the shortcut menu, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
  • Type the following command at a command prompt:
    start devmgmt.msc
If you want to access Device Manager on a local or remote computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type mmc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap In.
  3. Click Add and then click Device Manager in the Available Standalone Snap-ins list.
  4. Click Add and then do one of the following:
    • Click Local computer if you want to use the snap-in to manage the local computer.
    • Click Another computer if you want to use the snap-in to manage a different computer. Type the name of the computer that you want to manage.
  5. Click Finish, click Close, and then click OK.
  6. In the Console Root, click Device Manager on computer (where computer is either the local computer or a remote computer).

Viewing Device Driver Information

To obtain information about the driver for a device, follow these steps:
  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Double-click the type of device that you want to view.
  3. Right-click the specific device, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  4. Click the Driver tab, and then click Driver Details.
This information helps you to determine the file version of the device driver. An icon appears next to a device driver that is digitally signed.

Microsoft digitally signs Windows device drivers and operating system files to ensure their quality. A Microsoft digital signature is an assurance that a particular file is from the listed manufacturer, and that the file has not been altered or overwritten by another program's installation process.

Depending on how your computer is configured, Windows does one of the following:
  • Displays a warning when it detects device drivers that are not digitally signed (the default behavior)
  • Ignores device drivers that are not digitally signed
  • Prevents you from installing device drivers that are not digitally signed

Device Manager Views

To change the way that Device Manager displays the devices in your computer, select one of the following commands on the View menu:
  • Devices by type. This command displays devices by the type of installed device, such as Monitor or Mouse. The connection name is listed under the type.
  • Devices by connection. This command displays devices by the method that is used to connect them in your computer. Each device is listed under the hardware to which it is connected. For example, if a small computer system interface (SCSI) card is listed, the devices attached to it are listed under it.
  • Resources by type. This command displays the status of all allocated resources by the type of device that uses these resources. The resources are direct memory access (DMA) channels, input/output ports (I/O ports), interrupt requests (IRQ), and memory addresses.
  • Resources by connection. This command displays the status of all allocated resources by their connection type. The resources are DMA channels, I/O ports, IRQ, and memory addresses.
  • Show hidden devices. This command includes non-Plug and Play devices (devices with earlier Windows device drivers) in the device listing.

Updating or Changing a Device Driver

Before you install new device drivers, read the manufacturer's instructions that are included with the driver files. Often, downloaded driver files are compressed into a self-executing file that must be extracted before you can use the driver. In the Hardware Update Wizard, select the Have Disk option, and then click Browse to locate the extracted driver files.


How to Install a New Driver

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Double-click the type of device that you want to update or change.
  3. Right-click the specific device whose driver you want to update or change.
  4. Click Update Driver on the shortcut menu. The Hardware Update Wizard starts. Follow the instructions to install the new device driver.

    NOTE: If you want to specify a driver, follow these steps:
    1. On the Welcome to the Hardware Update Wizard page, click Install from a list or specific location (Advanced), and then click Next.
    2. Click Don't search, I will choose the driver to install, and then click Next.
    3. Click Have Disk, type the path to the device driver files in the Copy manufacturer's files from box, and then click OK.
    4. Follow the remaining steps to install the specified driver.

Rolling Back to an Earlier Driver

Use this feature to restore an earlier device driver. This may help resolve issues that can be caused by an incompatible device driver.
  1. Open Device Manager, and then expand the device type that contains the device that you want.
  2. Right-click the device that you want to roll back to an earlier driver, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  3. Click the Driver tab, and then click Roll Back Driver.
  4. Follow the steps to replace the device driver with an earlier version.
  5. If you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Troubleshooting

  • If a device has the status of Disabled (the icon is marked with a red X), first attempt to enable it to see whether it negatively affects another device. To enable a device, right-click it, and then click Enable on the shortcut menu.
  • If the device is experiencing a problem, the type of problem or an error code may be displayed in the Device statusbox. You may be able to use this information to troubleshoot the problem. To view the Device status box, right-click the device, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.

REFERENCES

For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
244601 How to Troubleshoot Unknown Devices Listed in Device Manager
125174 Explanation of Error Codes Generated by Device Manager
133240 Troubleshooting Device Conflicts with Device Manager
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ID articol: 317498 - Ultima examinare: 7 ian. 2008 - Revizie: 1

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