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 constitutes your PC: floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, keyboard, modem, and so on (Figure 14-6). It’s also a status screen that lets you know which drivers are working properly, and which ones need some attention.
You can open the Device Manager in any of three ways:
Right-click My Computer (in your Start menu or on the desktop); choose Properties from the shortcut menu. In the Systems Properties dialog box, click the Hardware tab, and then click the Device Manager button.
Choose Start→Control Panel; open the System icon. Once again, click the Hardware tab to find the Device Manager button.
Choose Start→Run. In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
In each of these cases, you now arrive at the screen shown in Figure 14-6.
A yellow exclamation point next to the name indicates a problem with the device’s driver. It could mean that either you or Windows XP 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 Zip-drive driver, for example, if you’ve detached the Zip drive.
A red X next to a component’s name, meanwhile, indicates that it just isn’t working, or that you’ve deliberately disabled ...