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Chapter 4. Microsoft Windows and Hardware > Troubleshooting Hardware Problems

Troubleshooting Hardware Problems

What happens when you plug in a new piece of hardware and it doesn’t work properly? The first thing to try is unplugging and reconnecting the device. If that doesn’t work, you have four options:

  • Use System Restore to undo the changes

    If you just installed the device, you can immediately reverse all your changes by opening the Help And Support Center and choosing the Undo Changes To Your Computer With System Restore option. Choose the restore point created just before you made the change.

  • Roll back to your old driver

    If you updated to a new device driver and the update caused more problems than it fixed, you can ask Windows to put back the old driver. From Device Manager, right-click the device in question, choose Properties, select the Driver tab, then click Roll Back Driver.

  • Disable the device

    If the device isn’t working right but also isn’t causing any other problems, you might consider disabling it temporarily while you talk with a technical support professional to come up with a more permanent solution. From Device Manager, right-click the device and choose Disable from the shortcut menu. After you fix the problem, you can repeat these steps, this time choosing Enable from the menu.

  • Uninstall the device

    To remove all traces of the driver you installed, open Device Manager, right-click the device, and choose Uninstall from the shortcut menu. This option is useful if you didn’t create a restore point and you don’t have a previous driver to roll back to.

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