Using the Devices And Printers Folder
Devices And Printers is a new Start menu and Control Panel item in Windows 7 that provides users with a single location where they can discover, connect, configure, use, and manage devices connected to their computers. In previous versions of Windows, there was no central location where users could view and manage wired and wireless devices connected to their computers. Beginning with Windows 7, however, users can now use the Devices And Printers folder to view and manage all devices connected to or discovered by their computer, including printers, fax machines, scanners, cameras, removable storage devices, networked devices, paired WiFi and Bluetooth devices, multifunction devices (which appear as a single device), and other machines.
The Devices And Printers folder on a computer that has a printer, webcam, and music player attached to it.
Features of the Devices And Printers folder include:
- A context-sensitive command bar that varies depending upon the device selected. Regardless of which device is selected, the command bar always displays the Add A Device (which is used for discovering and connecting with wireless devices) and Add A Printer (which launches the Add Printer wizard) options.
- A context-sensitive right-click menu that also varies depending upon the device selected. For example, you can access the properties for a device by right-clicking the device and selecting Properties. These properties pages are extensible by the device manufacturer, who can add additional tabs and register them for device management and configuration purposes. Note that the default double-click action for the rightclick menu is also configurable.
- A device metadata system and a set of XML schemas that device vendors can use to customize the way their devices are presented to users in the Devices And Printers folder. For example, Devices And Printers can automatically download additional metadata for a newly connected device to display a photorealistic image of the device and additional manufacturer information that is not available from the hardware or device driver. For more information, see the section titled "Device Metadata System" later in this tutorial.
- Integration with the new Device Stage feature of Windows 7, which is discussed in the next section of this tutorial.
The Windows 7 computer itself appears as a device within the Devices And Printers folder. Right-clicking your computer device icon displays a menu of actions that you can perform to configure and manage your computer.
Note Advanced users can perform even more device configuration tasks, such as rolling back drivers, by right-clicking the computer device icon in Devices And Printers, selecting System Properties, and selecting Device Manager.
In this tutorial:
- Managing Devices and Services
- Understanding Device Installation and Management
- Device Enhancements in Windows 7
- Display Enhancements in Windows 7
- Understanding Device Installation
- Driver Store and Driver Packaging
- Driver Staging vs Installation
- Driver Staging and Installation Process
- Detailed Installation Process
- Managing Driver Packages
- Using PnPutil.exe
- Using Dism.exe
- Driver Signing
- Driver Ranking
- Installing and Using Devices
- Enhancements to the Device Installation Experience in Windows 7
- Scenario 1: Driver found in Driver Store
- Scenario 2: Driver found on Windows Update
- Scenario 3: Driver in Driver Store, But Better Driver on Windows Update
- Scenario 5: No Driver Can Be Found for the device
- Scenario 6: Vendor -supplied media is available
- Scenario 7: Additional Device Software is Available For Download from vendor
- Configuring Device Installation Settings
- Using the Devices And Printers Folder
- Understanding Device Stage
- Understanding the Device Experience Architecture
- Device Containers
- Device display object
- Device Metadata System
- Managing Device Installation Using Group Policy
- Managing Device Installation Behavior
- Managing Driver Installation Behavior
- Blocking Installation of Removable Devices
- Managing Device Redirection Behavior
- Troubleshooting Device Installation
- Using Windows Error Reporting
- Using the SetupAPI Log File
- Using Driver INF Files
- Using Device Manager Error Codes
- Using Driver Verifier
- Repairing Driver Store Corruption
- Repairing Index File Corruption
- Understanding Power Management
- Power Management Enhancements in Windows 7
- New Power Policies in Windows 7
- Configuring Power Management Settings
- Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Power Options Utility in Control Panel
- Configuring Power Management Settings Using Group Policy
- Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Powercfg Utility
- Understanding Services
- Service Enhancements in Windows 7
- Managing Services
- Managing Services Using Task Manager
- Managing Services Using the Sc.exe Command