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Last Updated December 16, 2003

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Hardware Guides

Sometimes it's hard to admit, but not every IT Professional is a hardware guru. There is just simply too much to know to be proficient at everything related to IT. So, if you need a little help making a hardware buying decision, or just want to know more about how it works "under the hood", you've come to the right place.
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AMD, Intel, overclocking, etc.

Everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.
Disk Drives & Controllers
Drive Technical Specifications
56k, Cable, DSL, ISDN and more.
MotherBoards, Chipsets & BIOS
Types, troubleshooting, specs
SCSI Controllers
Information on installing and troubleshooting.
Universal Serial Bus articles and resources.
Video Cards and Monitors
Buying Guides, and other resources.
Hardware Web Sites
Additional in-depth hardware resources
Misc Articles and other Links
All About Plug-and-Play
Plug-and-play, or PnP, is a system built into newer systems so that you can install devices built for it with ease. All of the settings, like IRQs and drivers, are taken care of so that, theoretically, you can have your new hardware working for you in a couple minutes. This article covers the ins and outs of Plug and Play. Source:

COM Port Settings in Control Panel vs. Command Prompt
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 112841 - The COM port settings in the Ports option of Control Panel have no effect on COM port settings used in a command prompt window.

COM Ports Are Not Released When You Remove a Multi-Port Serial Controller
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 271523 - When you install a multi-port serial adapter on Windows 2000-based computer, the COM port numbers (COM3, COM4, COMx, and so on) that are assigned to the serial devices are registered in a COM port database. 

Expansion Cards
All about expansion cards, including slot types, card types, definitions, IRQ and DMA example settings, memory addressing, and card installation. Source:

General Description of IRQ Sharing in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 252420 - In Windows 2000, peripheral component interconnect (PCI) devices can share interrupts (IRQs) by design. Per the Plug and Play capability that is defined by the PCI specification, adapters are configured by the computer's BIOS, and are then examined by the operating system and changed if necessary. It is normal behavior for PCI devices to have IRQs shared among them, especially for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (APCI) computers with Windows 2000 ACPI support enabled.

Hardware Not Detected by Device Manager in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 227217 - When you install Windows 2000 and you use hardware drivers designed for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, the devices that use those drivers are not displayed in Device Manager.

How to Create Hardware Profiles on Windows 2000-Based Mobile Computers 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 225810 - Hardware profiles can be used to start your computer in environments with and without local area network (LAN) connectivity. This article describes how to use hardware profiles to configure a Windows 2000-based computer for LAN and mobile environments. 

HOW TO: Enable Plug and Play Detection for Parallel Port Devices in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 254664 - Some Plug and Play devices that use a parallel port, such as early versions of Iomega Zip drives, may not be detected by Windows. This step-by-step article describes how to enable the Plug and Play feature on devices that use a parallel port 

How to Move a Windows 2000 Installation to Different Hardware
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 249694 - This article describes how to move a Windows 2000 installation to new or different hardware. You can use the information in this article to migrate a working Windows 2000 operating system and installed programs to a different or more powerful computer with minimal downtime. You can also use this procedure to replace a small system/boot disk drive to a larger system/boot disk drive, or to restore a Windows 2000 backup from a non-working computer to a different computer for disaster recovery purposes 

How to Prevent Automatic Installation of Hardware in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 241367 - This article describes how to require users to have administrator privileges in Windows 2000 to add new hardware.

HOW TO: Save a Device Manager Report to a Text File 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 255979 - This article describes how to generate a Device Manager report and save it to a text file. Device Manager does not have a Save command available for you to save a report to a text file. To save a Device Manager report to a text file, you must install a Generic Text Only printer and then redirect the Device Manager report to this printer.

HOW TO: Use Device Manager to Configure Devices in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 315419 - This step-by-step article describes how to use Device Manager to configure the hardware devices that are installed on your Windows 2000-based computer. 

How to Troubleshoot Unknown Devices Listed in Device Manager
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244601 - When you view device information on your Windows 2000-based computer using Device Manager, you may see an unknown device listed next to a yellow question mark. Determining the cause of this unknown device can be difficult, because there are few indications of what could be creating it. This article describes the possible causes of an unknown device being listed in Device Manager.

Windows 2000 Claims IRQ-6 Settings Even If Floppy Disk Controllers Are Not Present
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 275180 - Windows 2000 may claim IRQ-6 settings that are usually reserved for floppy disk controllers. This issue occurs even if the floppy disk controller is disabled in the BIOS, or the floppy disk drive has been physically removed.


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