Getting Plug and Play device driver support

Windows installs a Plug and Play device and its driver automatically. If you choose to install an older driver or hardware device, however, you may have limited Plug and Play support or none at all.

Using a Plug and Play driver with a non-Plug and Play device may provide some Plug and Play support. Although the system cannot recognize the hardware and load the appropriate drivers on its own, Plug and Play can oversee the installation by allocating resources, interacting with Power Options in Control Panel, and recording any issues in the Event Log

Generally, you cannot install non-Plug and Play hardware without performing some manual setup. Use the Add Hardware Wizard in Control Panel or Device Manager to change the settings for these older devices.

Before uninstalling a Plug and Play device, you must use Device Manager to notify Windows that you want to remove the device. Once you notify Windows, the drivers for the device are no longer loaded when you start your computer.


You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to install a device using the Add Hardware Wizard in Control Panel or Device Manager. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from installing hardware. If an administrator has already loaded the drivers for a device, you can install the device without administrator privileges.

Install a non-Plug and Play device

Update or change a device driver

Hardware overview

Install a device

Start and stop non-Plug and Play drivers

Using Device Manager

Using Event Viewer

Using Add Hardware

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