Windows 2000 Device Manager

Windows 2000 Device Manager

Device Manager provides you with a graphical view of the hardware that is installed on your computer. You can use Device Manager to change the way your hardware is configured as well as the way your hardware interacts with your computer’s microprocessor.

By using Device Manager, you can:

  • Determine whether the hardware on your computer is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Identify device conflicts and manually configure resource settings.
  • Print a summary of the devices that are installed on your computer.

Typically you will use Device Manager to check the status of your hardware and update device drivers on your computer. Advanced users who have a thorough understanding of computer hardware will also use Device Manager’s diagnostic features to resolve device conflicts and change resource settings.


  • Changing resource settings improperly can disable your hardware and cause your computer to malfunction or be inoperable. Only users who have expert knowledge of computer hardware and hardware configurations should change resource settings.
  • Ordinarily, you will not need to use Device Manager to change resource settings because resources are allocated automatically by Windows 2000 during hardware setup.
  • You can use Device Manager to manage devices only on a local computer.
  • Device Manager will work only in read-only mode on a remote computer.

How to access Device Manager

  1. Right-click My Computer
  2. Click Properties
  3. Click the Hardware Tab
  4. Now click the Device Manager button

Installing devices

Installing typically involves three steps:

  • Connecting the device to your computer.
  • Loading the appropriate device drivers for the device.
  • Configuring device properties and settings.

To ensure that the device functions properly, you should follow the device manufacturer’s installation instructions. This may require you to shut down and unplug your computer, and then connect the device to the appropriate port or insert it into the appropriate slot.

If the device is Plug and Play, or it is a necessary startup device like the hard disk, this detection happens automatically. However, for some older devices, after you connect it to your computer, you may have to restart your computer. Windows 2000 then attempts to detect your new device.

If the device is not Plug and Play, you may have to use the Add/Remove Hardware wizard in Control Panel to tell Windows 2000 what type of device you are installing. After the device is detected, or you identify the device using the Add/Remove Hardware wizard, Windows 2000 may ask you to insert the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the manufacturer’s floppy disk so it can load the proper device drivers.

After the device drivers are loaded onto your system, Windows 2000 configures the properties and settings for the device. Although you can manually configure device properties and settings, you should let Windows 2000 do it. When you manually configure properties and settings, the settings become fixed, which means Windows 2000 cannot modify them in the future if a problem arises or there is a conflict with another device.


  • You must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group in order to install a device using the Add/Remove Hardware wizard in Control Panel. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from installing hardware. If an administrator has already loaded the drivers for a device, you can install the device without administrator privileges.

Uninstalling devices

You can usually uninstall Plug and Play devices by disconnecting or removing the device. Some devices may require you to turn off the computer first. To ensure that you do this properly, you should consult the device manufacturer’s installation/removal instructions.

Uninstalling a non-Plug and Play device typically involves two steps:

  • Using Control Panel to uninstall the device.
  • Removing the device from your computer.

You can use either the Add/Remove Hardware wizard or Device Manager to notify Windows 2000 that you want to uninstall a non-Plug and Play device. After you notify Windows 2000 that you are uninstalling a device, you must physically disconnect or remove the device from your computer. For example, if the device is connected to a port on the outside of your computer, you would shut down your computer, disconnect the device from the port, and then unplug the power cord for the device.

Instead of uninstalling a device that you may attach again, like a modem, you can disable a Plug and Play device. When you disable a device, the physical device stays connected to your computer, but Windows 2000 updates the system registry so that the device drivers are no longer loaded when you start your computer. The drivers are available again when you enable the device. Disabling devices is useful if you want to have more than one hardware configuration for your computer or if you have a portable computer and you use it at a docking station.


  • The Add/Remove Hardware wizard or Device Manager does not remove device drivers from your hard disk. If you want to do this, you should consult the device manufacturer’s documentation to determine which drivers to remove from your hard disk.

Notice: Windows® 95, Windows® 98, Windows® NT, Windows® 2000 and
Microsoft® Office are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation.

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