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13. Hardware > 116. Uncover Hidden Hardware with the Device Manager

Uncover Hidden Hardware with the Device Manager

Hardware ghosts and other hidden devices can cause system conflicts, and the Device Manager won’t report on them. This hack forces the Device Manager to uncover all your hidden hardware so that you can resolve any conflicts.

One of the strangest hardware problems you’ll encounter in XP are hidden and ghosted hardware devices that are invisible to you but that can cause system conflicts. You won’t be able to see them in the Device Manager [Hack #115] When you use that troubleshooting tool, you won’t be able to uncover any problems they might be causing.

The Device Manager hides several types of these devices. Non-Plug and Play printers, drivers, and similar devices don’t show up. Most newer devices are Plug and Play, so you’ll most likely encounter this problem only if you have old hardware attached to your PC. (Plug and Play devices are automatically recognized and installed in XP.) In this instance, the device is physically present on your PC, but the Device Manager doesn’t show you it’s there.


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