Windows 7 Device Manager

You use the Device Manager to install and update drivers for hardware devices, change the hardware settings for those devices and troubleshoot device problems. May be, the most common use of the device manager is to verify  whether all hardware devices on your computer are working and/or installed properly. Additionally, I find this utility very usefull when I am updating drivers, checking current versions of drivers and enable/disable devices when performing some hardware checks.

You start the Device Manager as follows:
Go to Start/Search – type Device Manager and click the Device Manager link

Dev Mgr View

To verify if a device is working properly or not double click the parent node first, for example, to check your DVD drives – first double click DVD/CD-ROM drives to open the list of DVD devices and then, double click the specific device to view its properties.
A Device properties window opens and the general tab indicate the device status. The other tabs depend on the device selected but apart from the general tab, you should be able to see a driver and a details tab for every device.

properties tab

From the general tab you would know if the device is experiencing problems. The type of problem is displayed with some code and a suggested solution :) On the driver tab, you can update, uninstall and/or disable the device. Also, you have the option to Roll Back to the previously installed driver.

The resources tab gives you details of memory range, interrupt request (IRQ) and input/output range resources that the device requires. Not all devices require all three resources.


The Advanced tab gives you access to a number of configurable settings that vary depending on the device your viewing while the details tab gives a vast list of properties and their respective values.

Advanced tab

Details Tab