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All about the Windows Device Manager

The device manager is part of windows that is actually a graphical representation and description of what hardware you have inside your computer. The easiest way to access the device manager is to go to Start, control panel, performance and maintenance, system. At this point, you should see the system properties. If you click on the hardware tab, you can then click on a button that says device manager. You can carry out several tasks that are related to management of your computer's hardware as well as the drivers for them from the device manager. Below are some useful tasks that your device manager will help you carry out.

#1: Installing New Hardware In today's computer age, we have seen almost all new computer components coming out as plug and play. This means that you can hook them up inside of your computer, go to the device manager and click on "Scan for hardware changes". This will be inside of your action menu. It will then scan and often find the hardware and ask you if you would like to add it and find proper drivers for it.

#2: Viewing Hardware Problems Sometimes you may not be familiar enough with the computer components to know what the problem is if your computer is not functioning as normal. If you are having a computer hardware problem, then you can go into the Device Manager and it should tell you which component is having problems. It will come up with a yellow triangle and a black exclamation mark next to it.

#3: Enabling and Disabling Hardware Sometimes I have seen it where you will want to use one feature on a computer. For example, sometimes I have seen computers with two different sound cards on them. However, the problem is that the computer doesn't know which one you will want to use. You can use the device manager to disable one of them so that the other one will function properly.

#4: Managing Drivers On occasion, I have seen drivers come out for computer components that cause the component to perform worse than it did before. The Device manager is nice in this situation since you can often roll back your driver to a previous version. Another thing that it will help you do is to update your drivers. If the manufacturer of one of your components comes out with a new driver, you can simply download the file, and run it via your device manager to update it. It makes it easy to ensure that all of your components are running at the best of their ability and functioning as they should.

#5: Alter Hardware Settings I would not recommend this unless you are an advanced computer user. However, for some people, there may be a need to allocate certain resources to certain components. This is found in the Advanced and Resources tabs of the device manager. The benefit is that it can actually help your performance if you know what you need to do in order to get it functioning well. However, simply blindly allocating resources or allocating too many resources in a specific way can cause a hardware crash which means that your computer may not function at all if you aren't sure what you are doing. Always do proper research before making changes to this!

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