This lesson explains how to use Device Manager to upgrade the device drivers on your computer. It covers scaling and upgrading your computer from a single processor to multiprocessor system.
Adding processors to your system to improve performance is called scaling. This is more of an issue for Windows 2000 Server products than it is for Windows XP Professional because multiprocessor configurations are typically used for processor-intensive applications, such as those found on database servers or Web servers. However, any computer that runs applications that perform heavy computation, such as scientific or financial applications and complex graphic rendering (like computer-aided design programs), also benefit from multiprocessor systems.
Upgrading to multiple processors can increase the load on other system resources. You might need to increase other resources such as disks, memory, and network components to get the maximum benefit from scaling.
You use Device Manager to update drivers. You update a driver whenever a newer version of the driver is released. You also update drivers to upgrade them, for example when you upgrade a driver to convert your computer from a single-processor system to one that supports multiple processors.
If your computer only has a single processor, upgrading the driver is not going to make it a multiple-processor computer. In fact, a computer with only one processor might no longer function if you upgrade the driver to one that supports multiple processors.
The following steps allow you to update the drivers loaded on a computer:
The Welcome To The Hardware Update Wizard page appears. The default option is Install The Software Automatically (Recommended), but you can also select the Install From A List Or Specific Location (Advanced) option.
The Please Choose Your Search And Installation Options page appears.
Windows XP Professional searches for drivers. If it finds a better driver, you are given the chance to install it; otherwise you are prompted to click Finish to close the Hardware Update Wizard.
Windows XP Professional also includes an Automatic Updates feature. For more information about Automatic Updates, see Chapter 10, "Configuring Windows XP Professional."
The following questions will help you determine whether you have learned enough to move on to the next lesson. If you have difficulty answering these questions, review the material in this lesson before beginning the next chapter. The answers are in Appendix A, "Questions and Answers."