General driver installation question

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by st1, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. st1

    st1 Guest

    Microsoft installers have consistantly asked for driver software, when
    installing operating systems. Since 'Dos 3.0' this has consisted of a note
    on the screen generally 'insert driver disk'. When a software is made
    available ( through disk, search or directory ) the installer says 'not
    found' or installs the driver.
    If the installer knows what ii is looking for, why can't the *** thing let
    us in on the secret. I also appreciate the 'unknown device' in device
    OK, in Dos3.0 this was understandable, limited resources one or two
    Installing Vista, this is the result of sheer laziness :( The peripherals,
    are self identifying, the drivers are 75% identification, and Vista knows
    it's the wrong driver without Beginning to install it. But we still get the
    Dos3.0 prompt 'guess which driver I'm looking for - and i'll tell you if
    your wrong, Sorry no hints!!!'
    Oh, sorry it's not laziness, Microsoft isn't using the P4, 512Meg, 80Gig,
    and 128meg graphics, to process data, it's to display the 35 full-color
    graphic desktops.
    st1, Jul 1, 2006
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  2. st1

    Reed [MVP] Guest

    Here's how this works in simple terms.

    When Windows starts up, the Plug-And-Play (PNP) enumerator polls to see what
    devices might be plugged into the various PC motherboard slots, serial
    ports, USB ports, etc. If it finds a device, it asks that device what it is
    and the device replies with a simple PNP ID. Windows then looks up this PNP
    ID in its internal tables to see if it already knows about this particular
    device. If it finds the PNP ID in the list, Windows then can categorize the
    device (disk drive, modem, printer, graphics adapter, etc.) and actually
    name it ("Printer", "Modem", etc.). If Windows doesn't find the PNP in its
    tables, or if the device doesn't return a PNP ID, it classifies the device
    as an "Unknown Device". At this point Windows tries to load a driver for
    the device. Again using the PNP ID information, Windows searches its
    inventory of drivers already loaded with Windows. If it finds the right
    driver, it installs it and activates the device. If Windows can't find an
    appropriate driver already in Windows, it then goes through the process of
    asking you to provide the driver disks, look online, etc. If the device is
    classified as an "Unknown Device" but has a valid PNP ID, it's still
    possible that you can provide the right driver disk and the device will
    install properly.

    Again, the above explanation has been simplified.

    If Windows reports an "Unknown Device", it really is an unknown device.
    Windows might know it's PNP ID, but still not have a clue what kind of
    device it is. Don't blame Microsoft for this. If you want to blame
    someone it might be best to blame the peripheral device manufacturer who
    didn't provide the right driver or PNP information.
    Reed [MVP], Jul 1, 2006
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