Chapter 5: Customizing Your Computer’s Hardware Devices
Installing and Managing Hardware
When it comes to installing and managing hardware, Windows Vista is in many
ways much smarter than earlier releases of Windows. As discussed previously, this is
partly because the setup programs for hardware devices have gotten better and partly
because Windows Vista itself has improved. A key new feature in Windows Vista
that makes hardware installation and management easier is hardware diagnostics.
Hardware diagnostics is a part of the top-to-bottom diagnostics framework dis-
cussed in Chapter 21.
Getting Available but Not Configured Hardware to Work
Thanks to hardware diagnostics, Windows Vista automatically detects and tries to
help you resolve issues with hardware components. If you installed Windows Vista
on your computer, you may have found that certain hardware devices weren’t auto-
matically configured during installation. In many cases, hardware diagnostics will
detect available but not configured hardware and then use the automatic update
framework to retrieve required drivers the next time Windows Update runs.
The update process is subject to several caveats. You must enable Windows Update
and configure it to allow retrieval of drivers and driver updates by completing the fol-
lowing steps:
1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, click System and Maintenance and then click Windows
3. In Windows Update, click the Check for Updates link in the Tasks pane.
Figure 5-19. Configuring Internet time
Installing and Managing Hardware
When drivers become available, you must install them. Windows Update does not
install drivers or driver updates automatically. To install downloaded drivers and
driver updates, follow these steps:
1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, click System and Maintenance and then click Windows
3. In Windows Update, click Check for Updates in the left pane and then click
“View available updates.”
4. On the “View available updates” page, you can review the available updates.
5. Optional updates, such as those for device drivers, may not be selected for instal-
lation automatically. To ensure that an update is installed, select the related
checkbox, as shown in Figure 5-20.
6. When you click Install, Windows Vista will create a restore point prior to install-
ing device drivers. If necessary, you can use this restore point to recover the sys-
tem, as discussed in Chapter 21. Windows Vista will then install the updates.
Once you’ve installed the driver for a device, Windows Vista should both detect the
hardware and install the device automatically. If Windows Vista detects the device
but isn’t able to install the device automatically, it starts the Found New Hardware
Wizard to help you through the installation process. In the Found New Hardware
Wizard, click “Locate and install driver software (recommended)” to continue with
the installation. The Driver Software Installation component will then search for pre-
configured drivers and should find the driver that you’ve just made available to com-
plete the installation.
Figure 5-20. Viewing available updates

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