If the device is not getting detected by Plug and Play during system startup, this usually means that you have a non-Plug and Play device. If you have the manufacturer’s CD and/or manual, look for installation instructions. Non-Plug and Play devices are usually older, and require manual allocation of resources, usually through setting jumpers or switchers on the device itself. Once you have ensured that the device has been configured as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, boot up and install any software provided by the manufacturer as per the installation guidelines.
If there are no installation guidelines or the device is a second hand component with no documentation or you don’t have the required software drivers, then you can try to force Windows to recognise the device. First try to verify if the physical installation and the jumper/switch settings on the device are correct. Search the Internet for information on how to do this. If you are able to do this, good; if not, don’t worry too much about it and go on to forcing Windows to recognise the device:
1. Click on the Add New Hardware (Windows 9x/ME) / Add Hardware (Windows 2000/XP) in the Control Panel. The Add Hardware Wizard will start up. Click Next.
2. If you have Windows 9x/ME go to Step 3, else go to Step 5.
3. In Windows 9x/ME, the Wizard will inform you that it is going to search for new hardware. Allow it to do so by clicking Next twice. After Windows finishes searching for Plug and Play Devices it will report that no Plug and Play devices are found.
4. Click Next. The first option tells Windows to search for non-Plug and Play devices. If it successfully detects the device, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Otherwise, select “No, I want to select the hardware from a list” and click Next. Go to Step 6.
5. In Windows 2000/XP, select “Add a new hardware device” and click Next. In the next dialog box, you can either ask Windows to search for a driver, or you can install the device manually. For manual device installation, select “Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)”.
6. Select the hardware type from the list and click Next.
7. If you know the name of the device manufacturer, select the name of the manufacturer and browse through the list on the right side to see if your device model number is listed or a generic name for your model series e.g. HP DeskJet for DeskJet printers. If you do not know the name of the manufacturer or the device model number, check if there are standard device types that you can install. If there are no standard types that can be installed, you will need to find a suitable driver by searching the Internet or getting it from other sources.
8. If the device has a standard type, choose the specification closest matching to your device. If the device does not have a standard type, click the “Have Disk…” button and provide the location for the appropriate driver installation file. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. The above steps (for both Plug and Play and non-Plug and Play devices) should normally solve the device conflict and get your hardware operational.
However, if you still face problems with the device see the section Using Device Manager for further troubleshooting.