Ah, hardware . . . "I hate hardware!"
Part of the personal computer experience seems destined to be an eternal battle in getting your current system to talk to the latest and greatest devices. There's always a new, hyperfantastic, 3D video card; mind-blowing stereo sound system; or hair-trigger game controller out there. Then there are more mundane things, such as modems, scanners, and printers. Getting all these devices to work with your system is something that has caused us all grief over time, regardless of what operating system we were running.
We are used to assuming that anything works with Windows, but even that isn't true. From time to time, even Windows users must visit hardware vendors' Web sites to download a driver. I personally spent several hours looking for and downloading an accelerated video driver for my little niece's Windows computer so she could run a Barbie ice-skating program. (She is my niece I couldn't really let her down.)
In this chapter, I provide the tools you need to deal with common issues and give you some tips on avoiding problems in the first place.