How To Configure Devices By Using Device Manager in Windows XP


This step-by-step article describes how you can configure devices by using Device Manager in Windows XP. When you install a Plug and Play device, Windows automatically configures the device so it will work properly with the other devices that are installed on your computer. As part of that configuration process, Windows assigns a unique set of system resources to the device you are installing. These resources can include one or more of the following resources:

  • Interrupt request (IRQ) line numbers.
  • Direct memory access (DMA) channels.
  • Input/output (I/O) port addresses.
  • Memory address ranges.
Each resource that is assigned to your device must be unique, or the device will not function properly. For Plug and Play devices, Windows automatically ensures that these resources are configured properly.

Occasionally, two devices require the same resources, and this may create a device conflict. If this occurs, you can manually change the resource settings to be sure that each setting is unique. However, some resources (such as interrupts on PCI devices) can be shared, depending on the drivers and computer.

Manually Configure Devices By Using Device Manager

When you install a non-Plug and Play device, the resource settings for the device are not automatically configured. Depending on the type of device that you are installing, you may have to manually configure these settings. Instructions for doing so should be supplied in the manual that came with your device.

WARNING: Changing resource settings improperly can disable your hardware and cause your computer to malfunction or become inoperable. You should only change resource settings if you are certain that the new settings do not conflict with other hardware, or if a hardware manufacturer has provided you with specific resource settings for a device. Use caution before you use the following procedure.

To configure devices:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager. Double-click the type of device you want to change.
  3. Double-click the specific device you want to change. If the device has resources settings that you can change, the Resources tab is visible.
  4. Click the Resources tab, and then click to clear the Use automatic settings check box. This check box might be unavailable if you have selected a non-Plug and Play device.
  5. In Setting based on, click the hardware configuration you want to change.
  6. In the Resource settings box, click the resource type you want to change in the Resource type column.
  7. Click Change Setting, and then type a new value for the resource type.

    NOTE: Repeat the preceding steps as necessary.

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