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Chapter 8. Setting up Hardware > Using Hardware Profiles

Using Hardware Profiles

A hardware profile tells Windows which devices to start when you boot your computer. Profiles are especially useful if you’re a traveling laptop user. When you’re in the office, you want your laptop to recognize your network card, external mouse, keyboard, and monitor. When you’re in transit, you don’t want your laptop to waste time and battery power by looking for these devices. You can create a profile for each situation.

To create a hardware profile

Choose Start > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System > Hardware tab > Hardware Profiles (Figure 8.22).

Figure 8.22. Windows names the default hardware profile Profile 1. If you have a laptop with a Plug and Play docking station, you’ll see Docked and Undocked profiles too. Give new profiles meaningful names, such as In the Office or On the Road.

Select a profile in the list; then click Copy.

The copied profile serves as a starting point for the new one.

In the Copy Profile dialog box, type a name for the new profile; then click OK.

In the Hardware Profiles Selection section, specify how Windows should load a profile during startup; then click OK.

Restart your computer.

On the startup screen (a black, DOS-like text screen), choose the profile that you want to modify.

Open Device Manager (see the preceding section), and adjust the settings for each device that you want to enable or disable (Figure 8.23).

Figure 8.23. The General tab of a device’s Properties dialog box lets you enable or disable that device in the prevailing hardware profile.

Close Device Manager.

To modify other profiles, repeat steps 6–8 for each profile.



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