This advanced Control Panel applet is the same one that appears when you right-click your My Computer icon and choose Properties from the shortcut menu. It has five tabs that specify various properties of your PC (see Figure 8-20):
General. You can't change anything on this screen, but that doesn't mean it's not useful (see Figure 8-20).
Network Identification. This tab tells you the name that the network uses to identify your computer. This is also the page you come to when you want your formerly freestanding computer to join a network.
Hardware. Here you'll find buttons that launch various equipment-related configuration programs. For example, the Hardware Wizard button opens the Add/Remove Hardware wizard (Section 16.2.1). The Device Manager button opens, of course, the Device Manager screen (Section 16.5.1).
Hardware Profiles are primarily useful on laptops; they're canned settings for different equipment settings. For example, you might create one profile for use when connected to the docking station at the office, and another for use at home; by switching profiles, you quickly inform your laptop of its new gear situation.
To create one, click Hardware Profiles; click Copy to duplicate an existing profile; click Properties to tell Windows about your docking status, and then click OK. Now use the Device Manager (Section 16.5.1) to turn the listed components on or off for the profile you've just created. From now on, when you start up your machine, Windows will ask you ...