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Plug and Play Devices for Windows

Plug and Play is a combination of hardware and software support that enables a computer system to recognize and adapt to hardware configuration changes with little or no user intervention.
One of the most welcome features of Windows 2000 is its support for Plug and Play devices. Windows NT 4.0 had very limited supports for Plug and Play, but prior to Windows 2000, only the Windows 9x operating systems offered true Plug and Play support. Now that Plug and Play is available in Windows 2000, you do not have to spend a great deal of time dealing with resource conflicts that often make it difficult to get a new hardware device working properly.
You can learn more about Plug and Play by reading Microsoft's Plug and Play White Paper, which is available from the Resources page.

Enable a device

To enable a Plug and Play device
  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Right-click the device you want, and then click Enable.
Enable will only be listed if the device is disabled.
You can also enable a device at the device's Properties page. At the bottom of the General tab, if Change Settings is present, click it. Then on the Driver tab, click Enable. If you are prompted to restart the computer, the device is not enabled until the computer is restarted.

Disable a device
When you disable a device, the physical device stays connected to your computer, but the device driver is disabled. The drivers are available again when you enable the device. It can be useful to disable devices if you want to have more than one hardware configuration for your computer, or if you have a portable computer that you use at a docking station.
If you are prompted to restart the computer, the device will not be disabled and will continue to function until the computer is restarted.
After you disable a device and restart your computer (if necessary), the resources allocated to the device are free and can be allocated to another device.
Some devices cannot be disabled, such as devices for disk drives and processors.