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Plug and Play

Despite the industry hype over Plug and Play, it does not always work. If you attempt to install an older board into your computer, Windows might not recognize the board, and you could have all kinds of hardware problems that take time to correct. Generally, devices currently billed as Plug and Play are fairly stable and install well.

New USB (USB stands for Universal Serial Bus) and FireWire, also called IEEE 1394, hardware generally works as well or better than the plug and play installations described here. The advantage to USB and FireWire is that you don't have to power-off your computer to install new devices. Simply plug the device's connector into your computer's USB or FireWire port and Windows recognizes the device, prompts you for installation software if any is required, and you are ready to use the device. In spite of the advantages to these connections, plug and play devices are still needed, such as graphics adapters that must plug directly into your computer's motherboard.


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