Troubleshooting Installed Devices techniques...
devices is one of the most interesting jobs
that I have done.
Finding out why an installed device is not operating is one of my
favorite things to do. This may not be the case for you. You have a device that
is not working and you need it to complete a job, a document, or heck play a
game and you are not interested in what I like to do!
We will assume that you have checked the
and the device in question is not there.
Ok then lets get started!
First is the device an embedded device on the motherboard or a card?
Second you need to ask yourself some questions
: (I could ask but then my answer
would be different than yours!)
- When did it stop?
- Did you change anything
before you noticed it stopped?
- Did you add or remove any hardware?
- Delete any drivers?
(By it I am assuming you are supplying the device like a hard drive, CD ROM,
Sound Card, or NIC.)
Troubleshooting Installed Devices
- If it was a hard drive or CD/DVD ROM go to the
hard drive trouble shooting
- If this is an embedded device go to the BIOS setup, if it is a installed
card check to see if it is seated properly, you will have to open the case to
see if it is seated correctly.
- You will need to know the BIOS setup keystroke when you power up your system.
- Go into the BIOS setup, depending on the device you will either go to the
'Storage', 'PCI', 'PCIpnp'. All you are looking for is any indication that the
device has gave the BIOS program an error or is missing from the list of
- If it is there then you know the system sees the device, it still may have
a physical problem that is stopping if from working.
- When you are done checking the BIOS setting 'Save' the settings and exit, it might be that
the BIOS has become corrupt and you have fixed it!
- Let the system finish the startup into the Operating System, I will assume
that you are using a Windows OS for the rest of this procedure.
Once the system is running and you have logged on, did you see the "New Hardware
found' Wizard" if so let it configure your installed device and then test it, you are
done! If not you need to do some more troubleshooting.
Right click on 'My Computer' when the menu opens go to 'Manage' scroll down to
'Device Manager'. Is the device there? No go to
- Yes? Locate your device, is it listed by name or is it a generic" yellow "?. Either
way right click on the device, go to properties. On the General tab check the
Device status. The status reports either working properly or there is an error.
Any error that the OS reports you will have to check Microsoft's web site to
decode it. You have a failed device and you may need to be replace it.
- No error code: check the Device usage box, if it is reporting 'Do not use this device....
(disable)' change to 'Use this device (enable)'. Next go to Driver tab it should
report a Driver Provider, Date, Version, and if it is a signed driver. If it is there
isn't a driver listed close the properties page.
Troubleshooting Installed Devices Driver issues:
- Note the names of the drivers listed, if you have the install program or
media have it handy. You may want to copy the drivers to another folder for
safe keeping if you do not have the media with the original drivers or the
- The assumption at this time is that the drivers or the registry entry for
the device are corrupt in some way. We do not want to use them.
- Uninstall the device. You will have to restart the system and reinstall
the device drivers through the "New Hardware found" Wizard. Once it is
complete did that fix the problem?
No? Open the device manager, check the device, did the driver change do any
thing? Are the drivers installed? Any hardware errors. If you still have a non
functional device consider it failed and needs to be replaced.
Note: Embedded devices can be
disabled in the BIOS. If your motherboard is out of warranty and you have an
open slot you can disable the device and install an add on card to take care of that
Also consider that if an embedded device has failed the motherboard
needs to be replaced as soon as possible because when one device fails then
others or the motherboard will fail. This is a cascade effect to all the
embedded devices on the motherboard.
If you have a piece of hardware and can not find a driver
for it try this resource: