To install a device

Most devices manufactured since 1995 are Plug and Play This means that you should be able to attach a device to your computer and begin using it right away, without having to configure it or install additional software. If you are using an older device, or if the procedure below doesn't work, your device may be non-Plug and Play For more information, click Related Topics.


Connect the device to the appropriate port or slot on your computer, according to the device manufacturer's instructions.


Windows may prompt you to restart your computer, or the device manufacturer's instructions may ask you to restart your computer.


If you need to install a device, such as a sound card, into a slot inside your computer, shut down Windows and turn off the computer. Remove the computer cover and install the device in the appropriate slot. Replace the computer cover, and then turn on the computer.

If the device is a small computer system interface (SCSI) device, connect it to the SCSI port on your computer according to the device manufacturer's instructions. Restart or turn on your computer.

You need to be sure that the device number for the SCSI device is not used by another SCSI device. To change the device number, see the device manufacturer's instructions.

If the device is a universal serial bus (USB) or IEEE 1394 device, plug it into any USB or IEEE port on your computer. If prompted, follow the instructions that appear on your screen. Typically, USB ports look like this:   

You do not need to shut down or turn off your computer when you install or plug in a USB or IEEE 1394 device. Although USB and IEEE 1394 are similar technologies, you cannot interchange USB connections with IEEE 1394 connections.

Hardware overview

Installing devices overview

Plug and Play overview

Hardware types overview

Install a scanner or digital camera

Installing a joystick or other game controller

Add a new infrared device to a serial port

Install a modem

Install a USB game controller

Install an ATM adapter

Install a non-Plug and Play device

Using Add Hardware

Start a program as an administrator

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