Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Check the Configuration of Your Hardware

If you have recently changed the hardware configuration of your computer, or you are configuring a new computer, you should check the configuration to identify the cause of a startup problem.

  • Verify that you correctly configured any jumpers or dual in-line package (DIP) switches Jumpers and DIP switches close or open electric contacts on circuit boards. For hard disks, jumper settings are especially important, because they can adversely affect the startup process if not correctly set. For example, configuring two master Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) disks that are installed on the same channel or assigning duplicate small computer system interface (SCSI) ID numbers to devices in the same SCSI chain might cause a Stop error or error messages about hard disk failure.
  • Configure boot configuration data (BCD) references correctly when a hard disk is added Installing an additional hard disk or changing the disk configuration in a computer can prevent Windows from starting. In this case, use the Startup Repair tool within System Recovery tools to automatically resolve the problem.
  • Verify SCSI configuration If your computer uses or starts from SCSI devices and you suspect that these devices are causing startup problems, you need to check the items listed in Table-2.

Table-2 Checklist for Troubleshooting SCSI Devices

All devices are correctly terminated.Verify that devices are correctly terminated. You must follow specific rules for termination to avoid problems with the computer not recognizing an SCSI device. Although these rules can vary slightly from one type of adapter to another, the basic principle is that you must terminate an SCSI chain at both ends.
All devices use unique SCSI ID numbers.Verify that each device located on a particular SCSI chain has a unique identification number. Duplicate identification numbers can cause intermittent failures or even data corruption. For newer devices, you can use the SCSI Configured AutoMagically (SCAM) standard. The host adapter and all devices must support the SCAM standard. Otherwise you must set ID numbers manually.
The BIOS on the startup SCSI controller is enabled.Verify that the SCSI BIOS is enabled for the primary SCSI controller and that the BIOS on secondary controllers is disabled. SCSI firmware contains programming instructions that allow the computer to communicate with SCSI disks before Windows 7 starts. Disabling this feature for all host adapters causes a startup failure. For information about disabling or enabling the BIOS, refer to the documentation provided with your SCSI controller.
You are using the correct cables.Verify that the connecting cables are the correct type and length and are compliant with SCSI requirements. Different SCSI standards exist, each with specific cabling requirements. Consult the product documentation for more information.
The firmware settings for the host SCSI adapter match device capabilities.Verify that host adapter BIOS settings for each SCSI device are set correctly. (The BIOS for the SCSI adapter is separate from the computer motherboard firmware.) For each SCSI device, you can specify settings-such as Sync Negotiation, Maximum Transfer Rate, and Send Start Command-that can affect performance and compatibility. Certain SCSI devices might not function correctly if settings are set beyond the capabilities of the hardware. Consult the documentation for your SCSI adapter and device before changing default settings.
SCSI adapters are installed in a master PCI slot.Verify that you installed the host adapter in the correct motherboard slot. The documentation for some PCI SCSI adapters recommends using busmaster PCI slots to avoid problems on 32-bit computers. Refer to the manufacturer's documentation for your motherboard or computer to locate these busmaster PCI slots. If your SCSI adapter is installed in a non-busmaster PCI slot, move it to a master slot to see whether the change improves operation and stability.

Warning A s a precaution, always shut down the computer and remove the power connector before troubleshooting hardware. Never attempt to install or remove internal devices if you are unfamiliar with hardware.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Troubleshooting Hardware, Driver, and Disk Issues
  2. Windows 7 Improvements for Hardware and Driver Troubleshooting
  3. Windows Troubleshooting Platform
  4. Built-in Troubleshooting Packs
  5. Windows Troubleshooting Platform Components
  6. Creating Custom Troubleshooting Packs
  7. Running Troubleshooting Packs Remotely
  8. Windows 7 Reliability Monitor
  9. Windows 7 Resource Monitor
  10. Windows Memory Diagnostics
  11. Disk Failure Diagnostics
  12. Self-Healing NTFS
  13. Improved Driver Reliability
  14. Improved Error Reporting
  15. The Process of Troubleshooting Hardware Issues
  16. How to Troubleshoot Problems That Prevent Windows from Starting
  17. How to Troubleshoot Problems Installing New Hardware
  18. How to Troubleshoot Problems with Existing Hardware
  19. How to Troubleshoot Unpredictable Symptoms
  20. How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
  21. How to Use Device Manager to Identify Failed Devices
  22. How to Check the Physical Setup of Your Computer
  23. How to Check the Configuration of Your Hardware
  24. How to Verify That System Firmware and Peripheral Firmware Are Up to Date
  25. How to Test Your Hardware by Running Diagnostic Tools
  26. How to Simplify Your Hardware Configuration
  27. How to Diagnose Disk-Related Problems
  28. How to Use Built-In Diagnostics
  29. How to Use Reliability Monitor
  30. How to Use Event Viewer
  31. How to Use Data Collector Sets
  32. How to Use Windows Memory Diagnostics
  33. Memory Failures
  34. How Windows Automatically Detects Memory Problems
  35. How to Schedule Windows Memory Diagnostics
  36. How to Start Windows Memory Diagnostics When Windows Is Installed
  37. How to Start Windows Memory Diagnostics from the Windows DVD
  38. How to Configure Windows Memory Diagnostics
  39. How to Troubleshoot Disk Problems
  40. How to Prepare for Disk Failures
  41. How to Use ChkDsk
  42. ChkDsk Examples
  43. ChkDsk Syntax
  44. How to Use the Graphical ChkDsk Interface
  45. How to Determine Whether ChkDsk Is Scheduled to Run
  46. ChkDsk Process on NTFS Volumes
  47. How to Use the Disk Cleanup Wizard
  48. How to Disable Nonvolatile Caching
  49. How to Troubleshoot Driver Problems
  50. How to Find Updated Drivers
  51. How to Roll Back Drivers in Windows 7
  52. How to Use Driver Verifier
  53. How to Use the File Signature Verification
  54. How to Use Device Manager to View and Change Resource Usage
  55. How to Use Windows 7 System Restore
  56. How to Troubleshoot USB Problems
  57. How to Solve USB Driver and Hardware Problems
  58. Understanding USB Limitations
  59. How to Identify USB Problems Using Performance Monitor
  60. How to Examine USB Hubs
  61. How to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Problems
  62. Troubleshooting Tools
  63. DiskView
  64. Handle
  65. Process Monitor