Windows Device Manager Explained

If you are every interested in troubleshooting or upgrading your system there is a specific place that you will want to look for system information. This area is referred to as the device manager.

This area gives an accurate account of the drivers that are installed and the hardware that is found within your PC. This is very helpful information because it helps you detect why something may not be working properly. If you installed a new operating system, for example, you may find that there are some features such as your audio device that may not work. If the audio was working before and it isn’t working anymore there’s a great chance that the driver for this device is missing. The device manager is used to verify things like this. While here you have the ability to view the devices and resources in the device manager by connection or type.

This area of the computer is important because it can take away so much of the guess work. Once you find missing drivers are drivers that are in need of an update you can resolve this issue from the device manager. If there is a device with a problem you can right click on the device. This brings up a menu. At this point you can select the option to update this driver. Here you will be taken through a series of prompts where you locate and install the driver.

An area such as this can also be extremely helpful in determining which devices are working properly. There are times when the driver may be installed, but the device may still have problems. Right clicking on the device will lead to a menu where you can select the properties. It is in this area that you can find whether the installed device is working properly.

In addition to this you can also scan for hardware changes that may occur. This usually happens when you setup a new printer. You are prompted to install the drivers. If this does not pop up when you plug in a printer or other external device you may have to access the device manager to run the install.

In addition to installing drivers it also allows users who access this area to disable devices on the computer. The device manager may seem simplistic, but it is actually an administrative tool. In homes the administrative rights are actually there by default, and most home users never bother to restrict access and set up one administrative account. This means that anyone in the household can install external devices without any restrictions.

In organizations and school systems this is very different. The device manager is usually a feature that is disabled for students or employees. Administrators typically restrict access to this area because of the various features listed above. If students had access to the device manager they could disable internal hardware for the system.

In the event that the device manager is not restricted or disabled there is a precautionary measure in terms of driver installations. If another member of the household, for example, decided to update a driver for a DVD writer and later found that the drive was erroneous there is a resolution. If the drive was working before the update users have the option to roll back to the previous drivers that were installed. This is a great feature that is excellent for undoing changes that cause errors.

The device manager has remained a staple in the Microsoft operating system, and it will remain relevant for resolving issues that result from new installs. In the workforce the device manager is often instrumental in PC repair for many help desk professionals, but the value expands beyond the workforce environment. It should also be utilized in the home. If there is a problem with any system device this is the best place to begin troubleshooting.