Installing and Managing Hardware
If Windows Vista doesn’t detect the device and you’ve connected it properly, you
may be working with an older non-Plug and Play device. You can complete the
installation of a non-Plug and Play device by completing the following steps:
1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, click Classic View and then double-click Add Hardware.
3. In the Add Hardware Wizard, read the introductory message and then click Next.
4. If you choose “Search for and install the hardware automatically” and then click
Next, the wizard searches for and attempts to automatically detect the new hard-
ware. When the search is complete, any new devices found are displayed, and
you can select one.
5. If you choose “Install the hardware that I manually select from a list” and then click
Next, or if no new devices are found in the automatic search, you’ll need to select
the hardware type. Select the type of hardware, such as Imaging devices or Printers,
and then click Next. Scroll through the list of manufacturers to find the manufac-
turer of the device and then choose the appropriate device in the right pane.
6. Once you complete the selection and installation process, click Next. Confirm
that you want to install the hardware by clicking Next again.
7. Click Finish. Your computer’s new hardware should now be available.
Installing and Maintaining Device Drivers
Device drivers are the low-level workhorses of the operating system. They are respon-
sible for making the appropriate calls to the HAL. Any inappropriate calls made by
device drivers can cause system-wide problems that are difficult to trace back to the
device drivers themselves. This can occur because when a device driver makes bad
calls, these bad calls often cause other problems, such as service failures or improper
read/write operations, which in turn can lead to fatal stop errors or data corruption.
Because device drivers are so important to proper system operation, it is crucial to
periodically check for updates to your computer’s drivers and apply driver updates as
appropriate. While Windows Update provides a way to check for updates to drivers
included with the operating system, you can’t rely exclusively on Windows Update.
As discussed previously, you need to check the available updates periodically to see if
there are optional updates for drivers that you may want to install. For other driver
updates, you’ll need to check the support pages at the web site for your computer’s
As driver updates become available, you’ll need to determine whether you want to
install the updates. If you’ve been having problems with a device or other system
problems, you probably will want to install the driver updates. Keep in mind that in
some cases, you may need to restart your computer to finalize the driver update. If you
experience problems after installing or updating a driver, you roll back the driver to its
previous version, as discussed in the next section, “Rolling Back Device Drivers.”