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Troubleshooting devices

Here are some of the troubleshooting techniques for Windows 2000 Server.

The following is tip #4 from "10 tips in 10 minutes: Configuring Windows 2000 Server," excerpted from Chapter 6 in the book Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Administrator's Companion, Second Edition, published by Microsoft Press.

Troubleshooting devices is not an exact science. Devices in Windows 2000 usually work with minimal installation headaches. If they don't, it's often difficult to make them work. With that said, here are some of the troubleshooting techniques we've learned from our many years of device-induced headaches:


  • Open the properties for the device and see if the cause of the problem is listed in the General tab or the Resources tab. If there are any conflicts, remove or disable the conflicting device, or plug the device into a different slot (if possible).


  • Select the device in Device Manager and click the Uninstall toolbar button. Click Scan For Changes and let Windows redetect the device. Hopefully it will install properly. You can also uninstall the device and then reboot Windows for a more thorough but time-consuming attempt.


  • Try plugging external devices into a different port, or directly into the computer instead of through a hub. Only connect high-power, bus-powered Universal Serial Bus (USB) or Firewire devices such as scanners without external power supplies to self-powered hubs (hubs with external power supplies). To check the power consumption of USB devices, open the device properties for the USB hub and click the Power tab.


  • If the problem is persistent, remove all unnecessary devices from the system and see if the device works. If not, you've got real problems (try the device in another system to see if it's faulty or if there is a conflict unique to your system). If the device works, add the removed devices back one by one until something doesn't work, and then assess the situation (you might need to leave some cards or devices unplugged).

Note: If you disable something essential—like the mouse or keyboard—you can return to the previous hardware profile by rebooting. When the Loader menu appears, press F8, and choose Last Known Good Configuration. Then choose the version of Windows you have installed from the Loader menu and press Enter. This action enables the last good hardware profile.

10 tips in 10 minutes: Configuring Windows 2000 Server

  Tip 1: Checking for setup problems
  Tip 2: Configuring devices
  Tip 3: Using Device Manager
  Tip 4: Troubleshooting Devices
  Tip 5: Configuring Networking Settings
  Tip 6: Using the Windows 2000 Configure Your Server Tool
  Tip 7: Configuring the first server on your network
  Tip 8: Performance and memory tuning
  Tip 9: Updating Windows
  Tip 10: Securing Windows


This chapter excerpt from Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Administrator's Companion, Second Edition by Charlie Russel, Sharon Crawford and Jason Gerend is printed with permission from Microsoft Press, Copyright 2002. Click here for the chapter download or to purchase the book.

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