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Chapter 2 - Managing Microsoft Windows 2000 Workstations and Servers

Workstations and servers are the heart of any Microsoft Windows 2000 network. As an administrator, one of your primary responsibilities is to manage these resources. Your key tool is the Computer Management console, which provides a single integrated interface for handling such core system administration tasks as

  • Obtaining summary information on system hardware, components, and software

  • Managing user sessions and connections

  • Managing file, directory, and share usage

  • Setting administrative alerts

  • Managing applications and network services

  • Configuring hardware devices

  • Viewing and configuring disk drives and removable storage devices

While the Computer Management console is great for remote management of network resources, you also need a tool that gives you fine control over system environment settings and properties. This is where the System utility comes into the picture. You'll use this utility to

  • Configure application performance, virtual memory, and registry settings

  • Manage system and user environment variables

  • Set system startup and recovery options

  • Manage hardware and user profiles

On This Page

Managing Network Systems
Managing System Environments, Profiles, and Properties
Managing Hardware Devices and Drivers

Managing Network Systems

The Computer Management console is designed to handle core system administration tasks on local and remote systems. You'll spend a lot of time working with this tool, and you should get to know every nook and cranny. Access the Computer Management console with either of the following techniques:

  • Choose Start, then Programs, then Administrative Tools, and finally Computer Management.

  • Select Computer Management from the Administrative Tools folder.

As Figure 2-1 shows, the main window has a two-pane view that's similar to Windows Explorer. You use the console tree in the left pane for navigation and tool selection. Tools are divided into three broad categories:

  • System Tools General purpose tools for managing systems and viewing system information.

  • Storage Displays information on removable and logical drives and provides access to drive management tools.

  • Services And Applications View and manage the properties of services and applications installed on the server.

Figure 2-1: Use the Computer Management console to manage network computers and resources.

Figure 2-1: Use the Computer Management console to manage network computers and resources.

The tools available through the console tree provide the core functionality for the Computer Management console. When Computer Management is selected in the console tree, three important tasks can be easily accessed:

  • Connecting to other computers

  • Sending console messages

  • Exporting information lists

The following sections examine these tasks, and then we'll take a detailed look at working with tools in the Computer Management console.

Connecting to Other Computers

The Computer Management console is designed to be used with local and remote systems. You can select a computer to manage by right-clicking the Computer Management entry in the console tree and then selecting Connect To Another Computer on the shortcut menu. This opens the Select Object dialog box, and you can now choose the system you want to work with by completing the following steps:

  1. Use the Look In selection list to choose the domain you want to work with. By default, the current domain will be selected.

  2. In the object list, choose a computer or simply type the computer name in the Name field.

  3. Click OK.

Sending Console Messages

You can use the Computer Management console to send messages to users logged on to remote systems. These messages appear in a dialog box that the user must click to close.

You send messages to remote users by completing the following steps:

  1. In the Computer Management console, right-click the Computer Management entry in the console tree. Then, on the shortcut menu select All Tasks and then choose Send Console Message. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 2-2.

  2. Type the text of the message in the Message area. In the Recipients area, you should see the name of the computer you're currently connected to.

  3. If you want to send a message to users of this system, click Send. Otherwise, use the Add button to add recipients or the Remove button to delete a selected recipient. Then, when you're ready to send the message, click Send.

    Figure 2-2: Use this dialog box to send console messages to other systems.

    Figure 2-2: Use this dialog box to send console messages to other systems.

Note: Only users logged on to the selected system will receive the message. Other users do not. Additionally, Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems must be running the Messenger service to send and receive console messages. Windows 95 and Windows 98 systems running the WinPopup utility can also send and receive console messages.

Exporting Information Lists

The ability to export information lists is one of my favorite features of the Computer Management console, and if you maintain system information records or regularly work with Windows scripting it'll probably be one of yours. The Export List feature allows you to save textual information displayed in the right pane to a tab or comma-delimited text file. You could, for example, use this feature to save detailed information on all the services running on the system by completing the following steps:

  1. In the Computer Management console, click the plus sign (+) next to the Services And Applications node. This expands the node to display its tools.

  2. Right-click Services, and then from the shortcut menu select Export List. This opens the Save As dialog box.

  3. Use the Save In selection list to choose the save location and then enter a name for the export file.

  4. Use the Save As Type selection list to set the formatting of the export file. You can separate columns of information with tabs or commas and save as ASCII text or Unicode text. In most cases, you'll want to use ASCII text.

  5. Click Save to complete the export process.

You can use a similar procedure to export lists of other information displayed in the Computer Management console.

Using Computer Management System Tools

The Computer Management system tools are designed to manage systems and view system information. The available system tools are

  • Performance Logs And Alerts Monitor system performance and create logs based on performance parameters. You can also use this tool to notify or alert users of performance conditions. For more information on alerts and monitoring systems, see Chapter 3.

  • Local Users And Groups Manage local users and local user groups on the currently selected computer. Working with users and groups is covered in Part II along with other types of accounts that you can manage in the Active Directory service.

    Note: Local users and local user groups aren't a part of the Active Directory and are managed instead through the Local Users And Groups view. Domain controllers don't have entries in the Local Users And Groups view.

  • System Information Display system configuration information for hardware resources, components, and software environment. If you want to write the configuration information to a file, use the Export List feature described previously in the section of this chapter entitled "Exporting Information Lists."

  • Services Manage services and service properties. As you'll learn in Chapter 3, Windows 2000 has powerful features that help you efficiently manage services.

  • Shared Folders Manage the properties of shared folders, user sessions, and open files. Managing user sessions, open files, and network shares is covered in Chapter 12.

  • Event Viewer View the event logs on the selected computer. Event logs are covered in Chapter 3.

  • Device Manager Use as a central location for checking the status of any device installed on a computer and for updating the associated device drivers. You can also use it to troubleshoot device problems. Managing devices is covered later in the chapter.

Using Computer Management Storage Tools

The Computer Management storage tools display drive information and provide access to drive management tools. The available storage tools are

  • Removable Storage Manages removable media devices and tape libraries. Tracks work queues and operator requests related to removable media devices.

  • Disk Defragmenter Corrects drive fragmentation problems by locating and combining fragmented files.

  • Logical Drives Display and manage logical drives on the system.

  • Disk Management Manages hard disks, disk partitions, volume sets, and RAID arrays. Replaces the Disk Administrator utility in Windows NT 4.0.

Working with files, drives, and storage devices is the subject of Part III.

Working with Services and Applications

The Computer Management services and applications tools are used to manage services and applications installed on the server. Any application or service-related task that can be performed in a separate tool can be performed through the Services And Applications node as well. For example, if the currently selected system has Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) installed, you can manage DHCP through the Server Applications And Services node. You could also use the DHCP tool in the Administrative Tools folder. You can perform the same tasks either way.

This technology is possible because the DHCP tool is a Microsoft Management Console snap-in. When you access the DHCP tool in the Administrative Tools folder, the snap-in is displayed in a separate console. When you access the DHCP tool through the Server Applications And Services node, the snap-in is displayed within the Computer Management console. Working with services and applications is discussed in Chapter 3 and elsewhere in the book.

Managing System Environments, Profiles, and Properties

You use the System utility to manage system environments, profiles, and properties. Start it by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 2-3. As you see, the dialog box is divided into five tabs. Each of these tabs is discussed in the sections that follow.

The General Tab

General system information is available for any Windows 2000 workstation or server through the System utility's General tab, which is shown in Figure 2-3. To access the General tab, start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel. Then click the General tab.

The information provided on the General tab includes

  • Operating system version

  • Registered owner

  • Windows 2000 serial number

  • Computer type

  • Amount of RAM installed on the computer

Figure 2-3: Use the System utility to manage system environment variables, profiles, and properties.

Figure 2-3: Use the System utility to manage system environment variables, profiles, and properties.

A more detailed listing of system information can be obtained in the Computer Management console. Work your way down to the System Information folder, which is found in the System Tools node, and then select System Summary. The information provided by the System Summary helps you determine the following:

  • Operating system name, such as Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server

  • Operating system version, such as 5.0.2381, where 5 is the major version, 0 is the revision number, and 2381 is the build

  • OS manufacturer

  • System name and type

  • Processor and basic input/output system (BIOS) version

  • Windows installation directory

  • Country/region code and time zone

  • Total physical and virtual memory available

  • Page file space

The Network Identification Tab

The computer's network identification can be displayed and modified with the System utility's Network Identification tab, shown in Figure 2-4. As the figure shows, the tab displays the fully qualified domain name of the system and the domain membership. The fully qualified domain name is essentially the Domain Name System (DNS) name of the computer, which also identifies the computer's place within the Active Directory hierarchy.

Figure 2-4: Use the Network Identification tab to display and configure system identification. Notice that you can't change the identification or access information for domain controllers.

Figure 2-4: Use the Network Identification tab to display and configure system identification. Notice that you can't change the identification or access information for domain controllers.

To access the Network Identification tab, start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel; then click the Network Identification tab. You can now

  • Click Network ID to start the Network Identification Wizard, which guides you through modifying network access information for the computer.

  • Click Properties to change the system name and domain associated with the computer.

Real World You cannot change the network information for a domain controller. Because of this, the Network ID and Properties buttons will not be available. One way to change the network information on a domain controller would be to demote the domain controller to a member server, change the necessary information, and then promote the server back to a domain controller. For more information on promoting and demoting a domain controller, see the section of Chapter 6 entitled, "Installing and Demoting Domain Controllers."

The Hardware Tab

Windows 2000 workstations and servers can use multiple hardware profiles. Hardware profiles are most useful for mobile computers, such as laptops. Using hardware profiles, you can configure one profile for when the computer is connected to the network (docked) and one profile for when the computer is mobile (undocked).

Configuring the Way Hardware Profiles Are Used

To configure hardware profiles, access the System utility's Hardware tab and then click the Hardware Profiles button. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 2-5. As with systems with multiple operating systems, Windows 2000 allows you to configure the way hardware profiles are used as follows:

  • Set a default profile by changing the profile's position in the Available Hardware Profiles list. The top profile is the default profile.

  • Determine how long the system displays the startup hardware profile menu by setting a value using the field Select The First Profile Listed If I Don't Select A Profile. The default value is 30 seconds.

  • Have the system wait indefinitely for user input by selecting Wait Until I Select A Hardware Profile.

Configuring for Docked and Undocked Profiles

To configure a computer for docked and undocked profiles, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Available Hardware Profiles list, select Original Profile, and then click Copy.

  2. In the Copy Profile dialog box, type a name for the Docked profile in the To field.

  3. Select the new profile, and then click on the Properties button.

    Figure 2-5: Multiple hardware profiles can be configured for any Windows 2000 system.

    Figure 2-5: Multiple hardware profiles can be configured for any Windows 2000 system.
  4. Select the This Is A Portable Computer check box, and then choose The Computer Is Docked.

  5. Select Include This Profile As An Option When Windows Starts, and then click OK.

  6. Select Original Profile in the Available Hardware Profiles list, and then click Copy.

  7. In the Copy Profile dialog box, type a name for the Undocked profile in the To field.

  8. Select the new profile, and then click on the Properties button.

  9. Select the This Is A Portable Computer check box, and then choose The Computer Is Undocked.

  10. Select Include This Profile As An Option When Windows Starts and then click OK.

  11. Now set the default hardware profile as appropriate for the computer's current state as either docked or undocked.

  12. You're done. Click OK.

When the system is booted, the hardware profiles are displayed and the user can select the appropriate profile.

The User Profiles Tab

User profiles are configured with the System utility's User Profiles tab. Managing user profiles in the System utility is covered in the section of Chapter 9 entitled "Managing User Profiles."

The Advanced Tab

Application performance and virtual memory are configured with the System utility's Advanced tab, shown in Figure 2-6. To access the Advanced tab, start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel; then click the Advanced tab.

Setting Application Performance

Application performance determines the responsiveness of the current active application (as opposed to background applications that may be running on the system). You control application performance by completing the following steps:

  1. Access the Advanced tab in the System utility and then display the Performance Options dialog box by clicking the Performance Options button.

  2. To give the active application the best response time and the greatest share of available resources, select Applications.

  3. To give background applications a better response time than the active application, select Background Services.

  4. Click OK.

    Figure 2-6: The Advanced tab lets you configure advanced options, including performance options, environment variables, and startup and recovery.

    Figure 2-6: The Advanced tab lets you configure advanced options, including performance options, environment variables, and startup and recovery.

Setting Virtual Memory

Virtual memory allows you to use disk space to extend the amount of available RAM on a system. This feature of Intel 386 and later processors writes RAM to disks using a process called paging. With paging, a set amount of RAM, such as 32 MB, is written to the disk as a paging file, where it can be accessed from the disk when needed.

An initial paging file is created automatically for the drive containing the operating system. By default, other drives don't have paging files, and you must create these paging files manually if you want them. When you create a paging file, you set an initial size and a maximum size. Paging files are written to the volume as a file called PAGEFILE.SYS.

Best Practice Microsoft recommends that you create a paging file for each physical volume on the system. On most systems, multiple paging files can improve the performance of virtual memory. Thus, instead of a single large paging file, it's better to have many small ones. Keep in mind that removable drives don't need paging files.

Configuring Virtual Memory

You can configure virtual memory by completing the following steps:

  1. Start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel; then click the Advanced tab.

  2. Choose Performance Options to display the Performance Options dialog box. Then click Change to display the Virtual Memory dialog box shown in Figure 2-7.

    Figure 2-7: Virtual memory extends the amount of RAM on a system.

    Figure 2-7: Virtual memory extends the amount of RAM on a system.
    • The Drive header shows how virtual memory is configured currently on the system. Each volume is listed with its associated paging file (if any). The paging file range shows the initial and maximum size values set for the paging file.

    • Paging File Size For Selected Drive provides information on the currently selected drive and allows you to set its paging file size. Space Available tells you how much space is available on the drive.

    • Total Paging File Size For All Drives provides a recommended size for virtual RAM on the system and tells you the amount currently allocated. If this is the first time you're configuring virtual RAM, you'll note that the recommended amount has already been given to the system drive (in most instances).

      Tip Although Windows 2000 can expand paging files incrementally as needed, this can result in fragmented files, which slow system performance. For optimal system performance, set the initial size and maximum size to the same value. This ensures that the paging file is consistent and can be written to a single contiguous file (if possible, given the amount of space on the volume).

  3. In the Drive list box, select the volume you want to work with.

  4. Use the Paging File Size For Selected Drive area to configure the paging file for the drive. Enter an initial size and a maximum size, and then click Set to save the changes.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each volume you want to configure.

    Note: The paging file is also used for debugging purposes when a STOP error occurs on the system. If the paging file on the system drive is smaller than the minimum amount required to write the debugging information to the paging file, this feature will be disabled. If you want to use debugging, the minimum size should be set to the same figure as the amount of RAM on the system. For example, a system with 128 MB of RAM would need a paging file of 128 MB on the system drive.

  6. Click OK, and if prompted to overwrite an existing PAGEFILE.SYS file, click Yes.

  7. Close the System utility and choose Yes to restart the system when prompted.

Setting Registry Size

Windows 2000 allows you to control the maximum amount of memory and disk space used by the registry. Setting a size limit on the registry doesn't allocate space or guarantee that space is available if needed. Instead, space is used only as required up to the maximum allowable value. You set a limit on the registry by completing the following steps:

  1. Log on to the system using an account with administrator privileges.

  2. Start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel; then click the Advanced tab.

  3. Choose Performance Options to display the Performance Options dialog box. Then click Change to display the Virtual Memory dialog box.

  4. In the Virtual Memory dialog box, enter a new maximum registry size using the Maximum Registry Size field.

Configuring System and User Environment Variables

System and user environment variables are configured by means of the Environment Variables dialog box, shown in Figure 2-8. To access this dialog box, start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel; then click the Advanced tab and choose Environment Variables.

Creating an Environment Variable

You can create environment variables by completing the following steps:

  1. Click the New button under System Variables or User Variables, whichever is appropriate for the type of environment variable you want to create. This opens the New System Variable dialog box or the New User Variable dialog box, respectively.

    Figure 2-8: The Environment Variables dialog box lets you configure system and user environment variables.

    Figure 2-8: The Environment Variables dialog box lets you configure system and user environment variables.
  2. In the Variable Name field, type the variable name. Then in the Variable Value field type the variable value.

  3. Choose OK.

Editing an Environment Variable

You can edit an existing environment variable by completing the following steps:

  1. Select the variable in the System Variables or User Variables list box.

  2. Click the Edit button under System Variables or User Variables, whichever is appropriate for the type of environment variable you're modifying. This opens the Edit System Variable dialog box or the Edit User Variable dialog box, respectively.

  3. Enter a new value in the Variable Value field.

  4. Choose OK.

Deleting an Environment Variable

You can delete an environment variable by selecting the variable and then clicking the Delete button.

Note: When you create or modify system environment variables, the changes take effect when you restart the computer. When you create or modify user environment variables, the changes take effect the next time the user logs on to the system.

Configuring System Startup and Recovery

System startup and recovery properties are configured by means of the Startup And Recovery dialog box, shown in Figure 2-9. To access this dialog box, start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel. Then click the Advanced tab and click the Startup And Recovery button.

Setting Startup Options

The System Startup area of the Startup And Recovery dialog box controls system startup. To set the default operating system, select one of the operating systems listed in the Default Operating System field. These options are obtained from the operating system section of the system's BOOT.INI file.

At startup, Windows 2000 displays the startup configuration menu for 30 seconds by default. You can

  • Boot immediately to the default operating system by clearing the Display List Of Operating Systems For check box.

  • Display the available options for a specific amount of time by selecting the Display List Of Operating Systems For check box and then setting a time delay in seconds.

    Figure 2-9: The Startup And Recovery dialog box lets you configure system startup and recovery procedures.

    Figure 2-9: The Startup And Recovery dialog box lets you configure system startup and recovery procedures.

Generally, on most systems you'll want to use a value of 3–5 seconds. This is long enough to be able to make a selection, yet short enough to expedite the system startup process.

Setting Recovery Options

Recovery options allow administrators to control precisely what happens when the system encounters a fatal system error (also known as a STOP error). You can set these options using the System utility's Startup/Shutdown tab. The available options include

  • Write an event to the system log Logs the error in the system log, which allows administrators to review the error later using the Event Viewer.

  • Send an administrative alert Sends an alert to the recipients specified in the Alert dialog box.

  • Write debugging information Select a dump option other than (none) to instruct the system to write debugging information to a dump file, which can be used to diagnose the problem. If you set this option, you must specify a file name.

  • Overwrite any existing file Ensures that any existing dump files are overwritten if a new STOP error occurs. Generally, it's a good idea to select this option, especially if you have limited drive space.

    Best Practice A complete memory dump can only be created if the system is properly configured. The system drive must have a sufficiently large memory paging file (as set for virtual memory with the Advanced tab), and the drive where the dump file is written must have free space of equal size. For example, my server has 128 MB of RAM and requires a paging file on the system drive of the same size—128 MB. Since the same drive is used for the dump file, the drive must have at least 256 MB of free space to create the debugging information correctly (that's 128 MB for the paging file and 128 MB for the dump file).

  • Automatically reboot Check this option to have the system attempt to reboot when a fatal system error occurs.

Note: Configuring automatic reboots isn't always a good thing. Sometimes you may want the system to halt rather than reboot, which should ensure that the system gets proper attention. Otherwise, you can only know that the system rebooted when you view the System logs or if you happen to be in front of the system's monitor when it reboots.

Managing Hardware Devices and Drivers

Windows 2000 provides three key tools for managing hardware devices and drivers. These tools are

  • Device Manager

  • Add/Remove Hardware Wizard

  • Hardware Troubleshooter

You'll use these tools whenever you install, uninstall, or troubleshoot hardware devices and drivers.

Viewing and Managing Hardware Devices

You can view a detailed list of all the hardware devices installed on a system by completing the following steps:

  1. Choose Start, Programs, then Administrative Tools, and then Computer Management.

  2. In the Computer Management console, click the plus sign (+) next to the System Tools node. This expands the node to display its tools.

  3. Select Device Manager. You should now see a complete list of devices installed on the system. By default, this list is organized by device type.

  4. Click the plus sign (+) next to a device type to see a list of the specific instances of that device type.

    If you right-click the device entry, you can manage the device using the shortcut menu. Which options are available depends on the type of device, but they include

    • Properties Displays the Properties dialog box for the device.

    • Uninstall Uninstalls the device and its drivers.

    • Disable Disables the device but doesn't uninstall it.

    • Enable Enables a device if it's disabled.

Tip The device list shows warning symbols if there are problems with a device. A yellow warning symbol with an exclamation point indicates a problem with a device. A red X indicates a device that's improperly installed or has been disabled by the user or administrator for some reason.

You can use the options on the View menu in the Computer Management console to change the defaults for what types of devices are displayed and how the devices are listed. The options are

  • Devices by type Displays devices by the type of device installed, such as Disk Drive or Printer. The connection name is listed below the type. This is the default view.

  • Devices by connection Displays devices by connection type, such as System Board or Logical Disk Manager.

  • Resources by type Displays the status of allocated resources by type of device using the resource. Resource types are direct memory access (DMA) channels, input/output (I/O) ports, interrupt request (IRQ), and memory addresses.

  • Resources by connection Displays the status of all allocated resources by connection type rather than device type.

  • Show hidden devices Displays non-Plug and Play devices as well as devices that have been physically removed from the computer but haven't had their drivers uninstalled.

Installing and Uninstalling Device Drivers

To keep devices operating smoothly, it's essential that you keep the device drivers current. You can install device drivers by completing the following steps:

  1. In the Computer Management console, access Device Manager.

  2. Devices may be listed by type, resource, or connection. Right-click the connection for the device you want to manage and then choose Properties from the shortcut menu. This opens the Properties dialog box for the device.

  3. To uninstall a device driver (and the related device), select the Driver tab and then click the Uninstall button. When prompted to confirm the deletion, choose OK.

  4. To install or reinstall device drivers, choose the Driver tab and click Update Driver to start the Upgrade Device Driver Wizard. Read the Welcome dialog box and then click Next to continue.

    Best Practice Updated drivers can add functionality to a device, improve performance, and resolve device problems. However, you should rarely install the latest drivers on a deployment server without first testing the drivers in a test environment. Test first, then install.

  5. As shown in Figure 2-10, you can determine whether you want to search for the drivers or select drivers from a list of known drivers.

  6. If you choose to select drivers, you'll need to specify the device type, such as Modem or Network Adapter. Then the wizard displays a selection dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 2-11. Scroll through the list of manufacturers to find the manufacturer of the device, then choose the appropriate device in the Models panel.

Figure 2-10: Specify whether to search for the necessary drivers or select the drivers from a list of known drivers.

Figure 2-10: Specify whether to search for the necessary drivers or select the drivers from a list of known drivers.

If you search for drivers, the wizard checks the driver database on the system for drivers and any of the optional locations you specify, such as a floppy disk or CD-ROM. Any matching drivers found are displayed, and you can select a driver.

Figure 2-11: Select the device driver by manufacturer and type.

Figure 2-11: Select the device driver by manufacturer and type.

Note: If the manufacturer or device you want to use isn't listed, insert your device driver disk into the floppy drive and then click on the Have Disk button. Follow the prompts. Afterward, select the appropriate device.

After selecting a device driver through a search or a manual selection, continue through the installation process by clicking Next. Click Finish when the driver installation is completed.

Installing, Uninstalling, and Troubleshooting Hardware

You can install or uninstall hardware devices on a system through the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard. You can also use this wizard to troubleshoot problems with existing hardware. To start and use the wizard, complete the following steps:

  1. Start the System utility by double-clicking the System icon in the Control Panel. Click the Hardware tab, and then choose Hardware Wizard.

  2. To add new hardware or troubleshoot existing hardware, select Add/Troubleshoot A Device. See Figure 2-12.

  3. To uninstall hardware, select Uninstall/Unplug A Device.

  4. Installing, uninstalling, and troubleshooting procedures are examined in the sections that follow.

    Figure 2-12: Use the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard to install, uninstall, or troubleshoot hardware devices.

    Figure 2-12: Use the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard to install, uninstall, or troubleshoot hardware devices.

Installing Hardware

The Windows 2000 Plug and Play technology does a good job of detecting and automatically configuring new hardware. However, if the hardware doesn't support Plug and Play or isn't automatically detected, you'll need to tell Windows 2000 about the new hardware. You do this by installing the hardware device and its related drivers on the system using the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard. You use the wizard to install hardware by completing the following steps:

  1. Start the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard as explained previously, and then select Add/Troubleshoot A Device.

  2. Click Next. Windows 2000 searches for new hardware to install as well as currently installed hardware. If new hardware isn't detected automatically, select Add A New Device and click Next.

  3. In the Find New Hardware dialog box determine whether the wizard should search for new hardware or whether you want to select the hardware from a list.

  4. If you choose Yes, the wizard will perform a thorough device search and automatically detect new hardware. The process takes a few minutes to go through all the device types and options. When the search is completed, any new devices found are displayed, and you can select a device.

  5. If you choose No, or if no new devices are found in the automatic search, you'll have to select the hardware type yourself. Select the type of hardware, such as Modem or Network Adapter, and then click Next. Scroll through the list of manufacturers to find the manufacturer of the device, and then choose the appropriate device in the Models panel.

  6. The remaining steps of the installation process depend on the type of device you're installing. Follow the prompts and then complete the installation by clicking Finish.

Uninstalling Hardware

You can use the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard to uninstall or unplug hardware devices by completing the following steps:

  1. Start the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard as explained previously and then select Uninstall/Unplug A Device.

  2. In the Choose A Removal Task dialog box, specify whether you're uninstalling or unplugging a device. When you uninstall a device, you permanently remove a device and its drivers. When you unplug a device, you temporarily disable or eject it.

  3. Select the device you want to uninstall or unplug.

  4. Confirm that you want to uninstall or unplug the device by choosing Yes, I Want To Uninstall This Device or Yes, I Want To Unplug This Device.

  5. When you click Next, the device is uninstalled or unplugged, as appropriate. Click Finish to complete the process.

Troubleshooting Hardware and Device Problems

You can also use the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard to troubleshoot hardware problems. To do this, complete the following steps:

  1. Start the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard as explained previously, and then select Add/Troubleshoot A Device.

  2. In the Choose A Hardware Device dialog box, select the device you want to troubleshoot. Click Next to continue.

  3. The final wizard dialog box provides a device status. When you click Finish, the wizard does one of two things. If an error code is shown with the device status, the wizard accesses the error code in the online help documentation—if it's available and installed. Otherwise, the wizard starts the Hardware Troubleshooter, which attempts to solve the hardware problem using your responses to the questions that it asks.

You can also access the Hardware Troubleshooter directly. To do that, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Computer Management console, access Device Manager.

  2. Devices may be listed by type, resource, or connection. Right-click the connection for the device you want to troubleshoot and then choose Properties on the shortcut menu. This opens the Properties dialog box for the device.

  3. In the General tab, start the Hardware Troubleshooter by clicking on the Troubleshooter button.

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