Thursday, July 7, 2011

I can’t connect my new device to my computer

Cause: Hardware devices attach to a computer in some way. Some devices, such as sound cards and video cards, are installed into internal slots inside of the computer’s case; most attach to ports that are available on the back (or even front) of your computer. Common ports used on Windows XP are

• ParallelParallel ports are mostly used for printers. They are wide ports with rows of pins that look like teeth.

• SerialSerial ports are small and square, with pins inside of them. Mice, keyboards, external modems, and other devices may connect to serial ports, especially if you are using older mice and keyboards.

• Keyboard and Mouse PS/2These connections are often round with small pins inside. These kinds of connections are more commonly used today instead of serial ports.

• Universal Serial Bus (USB)First used in Windows 98, USB ports are square and
flat. You can connect all kinds of devices to USB ports—everything from printers to digital cameras.

• InfraredMany computers today ship with an infrared port, which allows you to use wireless keyboards, mice, and game controllers.

• FireWire (IEEE 1394)FireWire ports work like USB ports, but they are capable of very high data transfer. Some new computers now support FireWire.

In order to attach the device to the correct port, you need to open up the device manufacturer’s instructions and follow them. Most instruction booklets tell you exactly what to do and where to attach the new device.

Note: If you need to install a new internal device, such as a video card, you need to know what you are doing before proceeding. Opening the case and tinkering with the inside can cause all kinds of problems and may even nullify your warranty. Also, if you choose to install an internal device, UNPLUG THE POWER! Even if the computer is turned off, you may get shocked from touching internal components that are connected to a power source!

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