Device Manager

The Device Manager is a Control Panel applet in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It allows users to view and control the hardware attached to the computer. When a piece of hardware is not working, the offending hardware is highlighted for the user to deal with.

Device Manager was introduced with Windows 95 and later added to Windows 2000. In NT-based versions, it is included as a Microsoft Management Console snap-in.

The operating system doesn't know how to talk directly to most hardware so device drivers are needed to assist this process, device drivers are hardware and operating system specific so Windows XP device drivers won't work with Windows Vista or Windows 7 and vice a versa

device drivers

You need to make sure that the device drivers are up to date to do this you will need to have Administrator access

To access the device manager got to Control Panel - Device Manager

device manager


By right clicking on the devices and selecting properties from the drop down menu will open up the devices properties menu

For each device, users can supply device drivers for the hardware, enable or disable devices, tell Windows to ignore malfunctioning devices or to view other technical properties


A disabled device has either been manually disabled by a user or by some way of error. In Windows 7, this is denoted by a grey downward pointing arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the device's icon, or a red X in some older versions of Microsoft Windows.

Hardware may not work properly for a multitude of reasons. If Windows recognizes a problem with a device, it is denoted by a black exclamation point (!) on a yellow triangle in the lower right-hand corner of the device's icon.

Hardware may not be recognized if it is not installed properly or not compatible with your system. This is denoted by a yellow question mark in place of the device's icon.

A blue "i" on a white field in the lower right-hand corner of a Device's icon 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.

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