Thursday, July 7, 2011

Installing and Uninstalling Hardware

Let’s say you buy a new mouse for your computer. You open up the box, read the instructions, attach to the correct port on your computer, and begin using the mouse right away. How? Simple enough. Windows XP works with your computer hardware to detect changes. When you attached that mouse to the port on the computer.

• Windows XP detected that a new hardware device had been attached to the port.

• Understood that the device was a mouse.

• Grabbed a file, called a driver, from an internal Windows XP database that enables XP to manage and use the mouse. This driver is a generic driver designed to work with several mice. You may have better results installing the manufacturer’s driver.

• Installed the driver for the device.

To you, it looks like nothing happened. You plugged in the mouse and began using it, and that’s the way it should be. However, in some cases, Windows XP is not able to detect the hardware device you attach, or the hardware device may not work well without the correct driver. Again, a driver is a piece of software that enables Windows to communicate and manage, or drive, the device. You can think of a driver as the steering wheel in your car. The steering wheel enables you to drive the wheels so that the car goes where you want it to go. In the computer system, a driver enables Windows XP to drive the hardware so that you can use it with the operating system. With all that said, you can experience some problems installing and uninstalling hardware.

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