Hardware Tips & Troubleshooting

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Understanding Conflict

Windows is one weird operating system, especially when it comes to hardware problems. Windows reserves a certain system resource for every hardware you install in your PC - DMA (Direct Memory Access), I/O (Input/Output), IRQ (Interrupt Request) & Reserved Memory. A conflict happens when 2 installed hardware uses the same resource allocated for each other. Then either one or both hardware won't work. Now we have to reallocate the resources for the hardware and shift everything so that we can fit in another hardware. Now for the problem, all your resources are full and used up! You can't fit in anywhere!

Check Everything

To further puzzle you, you might find that this has never happened to you before even if you were using the same hardware in your last installation. Open up Control Panel, System. The first thing you should do is check for redundant drivers. If you installed the hardware more than once, chances are Windows will think you have 2 different hardware and allocate resources for 2 hardwares. This will waste precious system resources giving you less space to fit in new stuff. Check every branch and search for redundant drivers. If you see to exactly identicle drivers, delete them until there is only one left. This will give you a "cleaner" system.


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Any redundant drivers? Delete those you don't need

Now if you follow the steps and the conflict still might exist. This puzzled me (Wayne) for a while too at first. Then I realized Windows allocate resources for everything - yes everything, including drivers you don't need. I was suprised to find an Infrared device port and an extra HP printer port (I am using an Epson). And if you don't use network cards, those drivers are useless too. Delete all the drivers that you know you really don't need or the hardware doesn't exists in your PC at all. There will be more system resources available. This should solve most conflicts.

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