A hardware conflict occurs when two devices try to use the same hardware resource, such as an IRQ or memory address. The telltale signs of a conflict is either a particular device not working, or your system hanging or crashing every time you try to use a specific device. Nearly all devices made since 1996 are Plug-&-Play (PnP), meaning that they adjust these settings automatically to avoid conflicts. The more PnP devices you have, the less likely you are to experience a conflict. (For non-PnP devices, resources are assigned by setting jumpers or switches on the device itself, or by using special drivers or software.) So, what remains is trying to resolve conflicts between non-PnP (Legacy) devices; here is a general attack strategy for this type of problem:
* 1.) Open the Device Manager, select System from the top of the list, and click Properties. Windows tries to list all your resources, and which ones are being used by which devices.
* 2.) From here, you should be able to determine if there is a conflict, and which devices are causing it. Now, it’s only a matter of reconfiguring one or more of the devices so that the conflict is eliminated (refer to the specific device’s manual for information on changing its settings). If you can’t find the cause of the problem here, continue to step 3.
* 3.) Remove or disconnect all unnecessary devices (sound cards, CD-ROMs) from your computer, except for the one that isn’t working (if applicable). If the device still doesn’t work, either it’s broken, it’s a driver problem (see below), or the conflict is with a key piece of hardware (such as the motherboard or video card).
* 4.) If the problem seems to have been fixed, start adding devices one-by-one, until the problem reappears. You’ve now isolated the culprit, and it’s now only a matter of reconfiguring that device so that the conflict is eliminated (refer to the specific device’s manual for information on changing its settings).
* 5.) Note that drivers can cause problems, too. See the next section for more information. Till Next Time Dan