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Chapter 29. When Windows Won't Work: Tro... > Handling Hardware Headaches - Pg. 353

When Windows Won't Work: Troubleshooting Common Problems · A yellow icon with a black exclamation mark means the device has a problem. · A white icon with a blue i means a device's resources have been configured manually. · A red X means the device is missing or disabled. 353 Double-click the device in question, and you'll end up face-to-face with the device's Properties dialog box. In the General tab, the Device status group gives you a description of the problem. Each device's Properties dialog box has a number of tabs that enable you to manipulate various device settings. The tabs you see depend on the device, but the following are the most common: · General--Gives you basic data about the device, such as its name and the manufacturer's name. As I've mentioned, the Device status group tells you whether the device is working prop- erly or, if it's not, what the problem is. Also, the Device usage list lets you enable (choose Use this device) or disable (choose Do not use this device) a device. If you're having a problem with a device and you can't figure it out, trying disabling it. · Properties--Displays one or more controls for working with device settings. · Driver--Enables you to update or roll back the device's driver (more on this later). · Resources--Displays a list of the resources used by the device. Handling Device Driver Problems A device driver is a small software program that acts as a kind of digital equivalent to the proverbial one-trick pony: All it does is act as a go-between for a device and other programs (including Win- dows). The device driver is intimately "familiar" with the instructions and code required to make a device perform a specific task. When a program needs the device to perform that task, it tells the device driver what needs to be done, and the driver handles everything from there.