How to get there:
- Start menu > Control Panel (see hints) > System icon > Device Manager -or-
- Windows key + Pause/Break key -or-
- Right click (My) Computer > Properties > Device Manager
- Windows 8, 10: Windows key + X
The Device Manager keeps track of the computer hardware and hardware connected to it such as printers and cameras. This is where you would look when having problems with certain hardware. Don't become overly concern with things here and especially if everything is working!
Our example shows 2 items with issues. (You can click to enlarge image).
The first is a
UPS device which we have disabled as evident by the down
Under earlier versions of Windows, disabled devices would have a red X over them.
The second is an unknown device that Windows cannot
identify or find drivers for. In this case, a modem...
See corrupt drivers below...
You can expand each category by click the little right pointing arrow. Previous Windows versions this appears as a plus sign (+).
Windows is getting smarter with each release in that it automatically recognizes a lot of hardware, but there are still things it does not automatically recognize. Printers for example, you almost always have to supply the manufacturer's drivers; at least to get all of the printer features working.
If you do not see a device you are sure should be listed, try right clicking one of the categories then Scan for hardware changes.
If it still does not appear, obtain and run the original manufacturer's installer. If still no, likely the device is defective...
If you are having problems, one thing you can do is to right click and uninstall a specific device then reboot your computer to have Windows redetect and reinstall. Video (display) is a popular one for that. We see this issue a lot, where the display doesn't look or behave correctly. Simply uninstalling the display driver from the Device Manager and rebooting often resolves any problems.
If Windows is unable to locate/load drivers, you will need to obtain them from the manufacturer, but be careful when searching the Internet for drivers! There are a lot of sites offering drivers, but delivering viruses!
Do not install any third party device driver software! They are not needed and mostly scams!