Chapter 5: Customizing Your Computer’s Hardware Devices
System devices
When you select Disk Drives in Device Manager, you’ll see a list of all the hardware
components related to your computer’s motherboard and system bus. If you want to
determine whether your computer supports ACPI or has a PCI bus, this is the place
to look.
If your computer seems to be losing track of time when you power it off, and you
suspect there is an issue with your computer’s CMOS clock (which runs on battery),
System Devices is the place to look.
Typically, a computer’s CMOS battery will last 7 to 10 years or more. You can check
your computer’s CMOS clock by completing the following steps:
1. In Device Manager, select “System CMOS/real time clock” and then select
2. On the Details tab, shown in Figure 5-11, select “Current power state,” “Power
data,” or a similar power setting to determine the current power state of the
CMOS clock.
3. If power settings information is provided, your clock is most likely working fine.
4. If you are unable to obtain this information when you select “Current power
state,” “Power data,” or a similar power setting, you may need to replace the
battery for the CMOS clock.
USB controllers
When you select Disk Drives in Device Manager, you’ll see a list of all the USB devices
installed in your computer, including controllers and hubs as well as some types of
connected devices. Host controllers are listed by manufacturer, model, and type. The
model and type details should also specify the USB version supported. For example, if
you see entries for USB Universal Host Controller and USB2 Enhanced Host Control-
ler, you’ll know your computer has USB 1.0/1.1 ports and USB 2.0 ports.
Viewing and Managing Device Information
Each hardware device installed in or connected to your computer has a driver file
associated with it. You view and manage devices using Device Manager. If you right-
click a device entry, you’ll have device management options similar to the following:
Displays the Properties dialog box for the device
Uninstalls the device and its drivers
Learning About Your Computer’s Hardware Devices
Disables the device but doesn’t uninstall it
Enables a device if it’s disabled
Update Driver
Starts the Hardware Update Wizard, which you can use to update the device’s
Scan for Hardware Changes
Checks the hardware configuration and determines whether there are any
Using a device’s properties information, you can view the location of its driver file
and related details. Right-click the device you want to work with and then select
Properties. In the Properties dialog box, click the Driver tab and then click Driver
Details to display the Driver File Details dialog box.
Figure 5-11. Checking the CMOS clock

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