Troubleshooting Device Manager Issues in Win XP
Device Manager is an OS feature that lets you view and change the properties of all devices
attached to your computer.
When you use Device Manager, you can:
Determine if the hardware on your computer is working properly
Change hardware configuration settings, Identify the device drivers that are loaded for each device and obtain information about each device driver,
Change advanced settings and properties for devices, Install updated device drivers
Disable, enable, and uninstall devices, Reinstall the previous version of a driver,
Identify device conflicts and manually configure resource settings, Print a summary of the devices that are installed on your computer.
Typically, Device Manager is used to check the status of computer hardware and update device
drivers on the computer.
If you are an advanced user, and you have a thorough understanding of computer hardware, you
can use Device Manager’s diagnostic features to resolve device conflicts, and change resource
To access Device Manager, use any of the following methods:
>Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
>Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
>Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
>Click Start; click Run, and then type “devmgmt.msc” (without the quotation marks).
>Right-click My Computer, clicks Manage, and then clicks Device Manager.
>Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device
You can view the Details tab to see the following device information:
NOTE: Not all of these properties will be populated for a given device. In other words, although
all of these properties are listed, some may not contain information when viewing a particular
>Troubleshooting Device Conflicts in the Device Manager.
>If there is a problem with a device, it is listed in the hardware tree. Also, the problem
device has a symbol that indicates the type of problem.
>A black exclamation point (!) on a yellow field indicates the device is in a problem state.
Note that a device that is in a problem state can be functioning.
>A problem code explaining the problem is displayed for the device.
>A red “X” indicates a disabled device. A disabled device is a device that is physically
present in the computer and is consuming resources, but does not have a protected-mode
>A blue “i” on a white field on a device resource in Computer properties indicates that the
Use automatic settings feature is not selected for the device and that the resource was
manually selected. Note that this does not indicate a problem or disabled state.
>A green question mark “?” in Device Manager Means that a compatible driver for this device is
installed, indicating the possibility that all of the functionality may not be available. Note that this applies only to Windows Millennium Edition (Me).
NOTE: Some sound cards and video adapters do not report all of the resources that they use to
Windows. This can cause Device Manager to show only one device in conflict, or no conflicts at all. This can be verified by disabling the sound card, or by using the standard VGA video driver to see if the conflict is resolved.
Note that this is a known problem with S3 video adapters and 16-bit Sound Blaster sound cards,
or those sound cards that are using Sound Blaster emulation for Sound Blaster compatibility.
When you double click a specific device in Device Manager, you see a property sheet. The
property sheet has a General tab.
NOTE: Some devices may have other tabs besides the General tab. Not all property sheets have
the same tabs; some devices may have a Resources tab, Driver tab, and Settings tab, or some
combination of these.
At the top of the property sheet, there is a description of the device. When you click the
Resources tab, the window in the middle of the tab indicates which resource types are available
for the selected device.
The list box at the bottom contains a Conflicting device list. This list indicates a conflict with an
Note the Use automatic settings check box. If Windows successfully detects a device, this
check box is selected, and the device should function correctly. However, if the resource settings
are based on Basic Configuration <n> (where <n> is any number from 0 to 9), it may be
necessary to change the configuration by selecting a different basic configuration from the list. If
the particular configuration you want for the device is not listed as a basic configuration, it may be possible to click the Change Setting button to manually adjust the resource values.
For example, to edit the Input/Output Range setting:
>Click the Use automatic settings check box to clear it.
>Click Change Setting.
>Click the appropriate I/O range for the device
NOTE: To disable a device in Device Manager, right-click the device, and then click Disable.
If the issue continues to occur, you may need to contact the manufacturer of your computer or
motherboard to inquire about how to obtain and install a BIOS update for your computer.