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How to Check and Configure Devices Using the Device Manager

The Device Manager is one of the most useful diagnostic tools in Windows XP and Windows Vista.  It allows you to view all of the external devices that are hooked up to your computer and which resources they are using.  There are four main resources that devices use when they are hooked up to your computer.  These resources are as follows:

  1. IRQ Interrupt Request line numbers
  2. I/O Input/Output port addresses
  3. Memory address ranges
  4. DMA Direct Memory Access channels

Each device must be assigned to unique resources.  If two devices are assigned to the same resource then your devices will not work properly.

Most Plug and Play devices will automatically assign unique resources.  However, on occasion you may need to manually change resources with the Device Manager.  Devices which are not Plug and Play also require that you manually assign resources with the Device Manager.  Luckily the Device Manager is easy to use.

To configure your devices using the Device Manager:

  1.  Choose the Control Panel from your Start menu.  Click on Performance Maintenance and then click on System.

  2. In the System menu, click on the Hardware.  From here you can click to open the Device Manager and then double-click on the type of device that you are interested in changing.

  3. Now you will see all of the specific devices listed.  Click on the device that you want to change the settings for.  If the device that you choose has amendable resources then a Resources tab will appear.

  4. Click the Resources tab.  If you are using a non-Plug and Play device you may see a Use Automatic Settings box.  If you see this box, click on it to clear.

  5. Click on the hardware configuration that you want to change in the Setting Based On section.

  6. Click the resource type that you want to change in the Resource Type column of Resource Settings.

  7. Once you have found the resource type you are looking for click on Change Setting and enter a new resource value and that’s all there is to it!

 

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