A device driver is a program that enables a specific device, such as a modem, network adapter or printer, to communicate with the operating system. Although a device might be connected to your system, Windows cannot use the device until you have installed and configured the appropriate driver.
Device drivers for enabled devices load automatically when a computer is started, and thereafter they run invisibly. Device drivers for any devices you have disabled are not loaded when you start your computer, but they are made available again if you enable the device. This is useful if you need to switch between two hardware devices, such as a networking card and a modem, or if you need to troubleshoot a hardware problem.
You can install a device by connecting it to the appropriate port or slot on your computer according to the device manufacturer's instructions. In earlier versions of Windows it was often necessary to restart your computer after installing a new device. This is seldom required in Windows Server 2003, but it does happen occasionally.
Windows Server 2003 should detect PnP devices and immediately start the Found New Hardware Wizard. If a new device does not install automatically, you might need to use a special setup driver disk, normally supplied with the device. If you are still unable to install the device, or if you are installing a non-PnP device, click on the link below to see how to perform a manual installation:
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