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Chapter 27. Managing Hardware Devices > Installing Hardware Devices

Installing Hardware Devices

Device driver management in Windows XP has been vastly simplified. It now utilizes a similar interface to that of Windows 98 or Windows Me instead of that provided in prior versions of Windows NT. This simplified interface has both its good points and its bad points. On the good side is its consistency with prior versions of Windows. If you know how to manage devices there, you will know where to look to manage devices in Windows XP. On the bad side, however, is the irksome inability on ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) compliant computers to override Windows XP's Plug and Play settings and use the BIOS, rather than the operating system, to configure devices. Windows XP will disable most ACPI BIOS settings for a device and configure the device to use the resources it deems proper.

An ACPI-compliant computer consists of hardware and software devices that provide device configuration and power management integration with the operating system. You can read more about ACPI at the Intel Web site at http://www.intel.com/technology/iapc/acpi/faq.htm. This integration with the operating system can make it easier to configure your computer's devices. On the other hand, when the ACPI integration goes awry, you are left with fewer choices, and in some cases no choice, to configure the device manually. If you were able to use the BIOS to specify the configuration of the device, you may have been able to provide a usable configuration that would work under Windows XP. Unfortunately, that option is no longer available.


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