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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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The Device Manager

The Device Manager is an extremely powerful tool that lets you troubleshoot and update drivers for gear you’ve already installed. It’s a master list of every component that makes up your PC: floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, keyboard, modem, and so on (Figure 20-4). It’s also a status screen that lets you know which drivers are working properly and which ones need some attention.

The quickest way to open the Device Manager is to right-click the button, which makes the secret Utilities menu appear; choose Device Manager.

Authenticate yourself if necessary. You then arrive at the screen shown in Figure 20-4.

The Curse of the Yellow ! Badge

A yellow circled exclamation point next to the name indicates a problem with the device’s driver. It could mean that either you or Windows installed the wrong driver, or that the device is fighting for resources being used by another component. It could also mean that a driver can’t find the equipment it’s supposed to control. That’s what happens to your Webcam driver, for example, if you’ve detached the Webcam.

The Device Manager lists types of equipment; to see the actual model(s) in each category, you must expand each sublist by clicking the flippy triangle.A device that’s having problems is easy to spot, thanks to the black down-arrows and yellow exclamation points.You can see a disabled driver ( logo) on the “Floppy disk drive” entry in this illustration.

Figure 20-4. The Device Manager lists types of equipment; to see the actual model(s) in each category, you must expand each sublist by clicking the flippy triangle. A device that’s having problems is easy to spot, thanks to the black ...

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