Managing Hardware Devices and Using Device Manager

This section takes a look at hardware devices on a type-by-type basis. Note that to install, configure, or uninstall a device, you must be logged on as Administrator (or a member of the administrators group, of course). If an administrator has already loaded the drivers for a device, then you would not need administrative privileges to do these things.

One of the big changes in Windows 2000 is the support for Plug and Play. If you install a Plug and Play device, Windows will automatically assign resources to the device including IRQ numbers, DMA channels, I/O port addresses, and memory access ranges, and will ensure these are unique. However, with a non Plug and Play device, you may need to configure these settings manually, via Device Manager (found in the Computer Management tool and very similar to the Win98 tool). New devices can be added via Add/Remove Hardware in Control Panel, if the process isn’t started automatically by Windows 2000 when you plug in a device. The Add/Remove Hardware wizard will allow you to Add, Troubleshoot, Uninstall, or Unplug a device.

Once a device is installed in Windows 2000, the tool used to configure settings for that device is Device Manager. The tool allows you to view information about devices in a number of different ways. For example, you can view a device by type (CD-ROM, Monitor, etc), or by resource (IRQ, DMA, etc.), or by the bus that enumerated them.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.