A+ Certification / Beginners

Device Related Errors

It is unfortunate that the devices and their drivers that allow us to accomplish so much of our day-to-day work with computers are also one of the biggest factors in not being able to do work on our computers. Ideally, when all the devices are configured on your computer, you should be able to work with no problems from your drivers. Most people's computers don't remain in a static mode but rather are in constant flux. Even though devices are working fine, many people feel the need to try to improve performance by changing settings, upgrading drivers, or installing service packs. Although upgrading drivers and installing items such as service packs are common practice, they should be done carefully. A service pack, for instance, can change the way all of the drivers on your computer function. In the rare case in which something does go wrong, you may find that the fix is difficult, but in most cases, it will be related to a file version or configuration setting. This section will take a look at how to address these problems.

A device referenced in system.ini, win.ini, or Registry is not found

From time to time, you will find that one of your startup files still references a device that you thought had been removed from your system. The files that reference devices include system.ini, win.ini, and the Registry. If this happens, you may have to edit these files manually in order to fix the problem. If an error message tells you that a referenced device does not exist, then take note of the device that is being referenced because you will have to search for it in your startup files. Most devices are found within your system.ini file, so this is the first file that should be checked. Both ini files can be opened and edited with notepad.exe or sysedit.exe. To find out how to use sysedit.exe.

If the device is listed in the Registry, then it should be listed in Device Manager. You open the Device manager by choosing Start?Control Panel? System, clicking the Hardware tab on the resulting dialog box, and then clicking the Device Manager button. Locate the device in Device Manager and delete it. If the device is still physically present in the computer, it will be re-added to Device Manager when your computer is rebooted. If you keep removing the device and it keeps coming back, that is because it is still physically present. Physically remove the device first, and then remove it from Device Manager.

In Windows XP, if you do not see the device that you want to remove in Device Manager, then you can select Show Hidden Devices from the View menu. If the device is not listed in Windows 2000, you can use the Add/ Remove Hardware Wizard. If you can't find the device in the Windows GUI, then you can attempt to search the Registry to locate the device and correct the issue.

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