Using Hot-Pluggable Devices

Many modern hardware devices are hot-pluggable, which means you just connect them to your computer and start using them. There’s no need to shut down the computer before connecting the device. Nor is there any need to go through a formal installation process after you connect the device. However, you should always read the instructions that came with a device before you connect it for the first time because sometimes you need to install some software before you connect the device. When that’s the case, as mentioned earlier, the software is usually on a CD that comes with the device.

Because Windows 8 includes a large library of device drivers, you can just connect a device and begin using it without going through the process of installing a device driver yourself. For example, you can connect a USB flash drive or one of many USB external hard drives and begin using them right away. Because most digital cameras look and act to Windows 8 as flash drives, you can do the same with cameras.

Hot-pluggable devices generally connect to the computer through USB, IEEE 1392 (aka FireWire), or PC Card (different versions called PCMCIA, Cardbus, and ExpressCard). The latter two types of connections are not as popular now as they were three to five years ago. USB has become the predominant hot-pluggable connection on most desktop computers, laptops, and some tablets.

We look at those in the sections that follow.

Connecting USB devices

Universal Serial ...

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