Configuring Hardware Devices

The bad news is that I/O device monitoring, configuration, and troubleshooting covers a whole gamut of hardware including printers (already covered), fax printers, scanners and cameras, multimedia devices, mice, keyboards, smart card readers, modems, infrared, and USB devices. The good news is if you know the basics, you should be fine. Most I/O devices are looked at individually below according to where you configure settings in Control Panel (where applicable):

Fax: Allows you to set properties such as fax user information and cover pages. Users send a fax by printing it to the fax printer. This tool also allows an Administrator to set properties with respect to how faxes are sent, received, or saved. Note that you will only see this tool is a fax modem is installed, and that a fax printer cannot be shared like other printers.

Scanner and Cameras: Not much to see here except an Add button, link to the associated troubleshooter and a Test button on a device’s General tab.

Sounds and Multimedia: You can get into and change the properties (such as drivers) or related hardware from here.

Mouse: change the speed, button configuration, click settings, pointer speed, and mouse hardware settings.

Keyboard: control input locales (language layout), key speed, and hardware settings.

Wireless Link: This option exists in Control Panel if your system has an infrared device installed. The Wireless Link icon appears on the taskbar whenever another infrared device is within range, allowing you to exchange files between systems or print to a printer with an infrared port.

Smart Cards (not in Control Panel): Smart cards will be automatically detected by Plug and Play (if compliant), and will connect to either a serial, USB, or PC Card port. In order to use a smart card, a certificate must first be installed on your card, which includes your private and public keys (requires an Enterprise Certificate Authority – more on this later in the series). The smart card can then be used to log on locally or remotely. Users will be prompted for a PIN number after inserted their smart card. Smart Cards use the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) as their authentication method.

USB Devices (not in Control Panel): USB devices are listed in Device Manager under Human Interface Devices. One issue with USB is that your system BIOS may not support it, or may have it disabled (enable in BIOS). All USB devices attached to the same controller have a fixed amount of bandwidth to share. This can be allocated via the Advanced tab of the USB controller’s properties. Note also that there are two types of USB hubs: those that are self-powered (electrical plug – more power), and those that are bus-powered (less power, not good for things like scanners, etc). You can view the amount of power that a device will consume from the Power tab of the USB Root Hub properties.

Phone and Modem Options: since Windows 2000 cannot detect certain internal modems, you can use the Modem tab in this program to open the Add New Modem wizard. Going into the properties of a modem allows you to run a diagnostic test, as well as write the results to a log file.

One additional note with respect to modems. You should be aware that Windows 2000 Pro supports Multilink, the ability to aggregate the bandwidth from two or more physical connections into one logical connection. Modems, ISDN and X.25 connections are all supported. You can configure the properties that Multilink will use on a connection-by-connection basis. For example, you could choose to use Multilink when dialing the office, but not your ISP. The default is that all lines are dialed, but this can be changed, as shown below. Options are configured from the Options tab of a connection object in Network and Dial-up Connections. Multilink must be enabled and configured on both the client and RAS server in order to function.

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.