Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Plug and Play the Windows 7 Way

I have mentioned in my earlier Windows 7 articles that PnP has finally reached the point of being (practically) zero-touch and seems to work the way it was envisioned — you could just plug in your device and it would work.

New to Win 7 is a PnP feature called “Device Stage”, which does far more than recognize (and install drivers) your device and place an icon. This video demonstrates what happens when you plug in a Device Stage Enabled media player, but it’s supposed to work with smart phones, cameras, etc. Check it out.

I saw that, and thought, “that’s how it should be.”  Microsoft is leaving this “open”, and so it will be up to the device manufactures to write the ‘applets’ (and they can make them do whatever they want). I think the makers of smart phones (in particular) could really do a lot with this.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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May 31, 2009 - Posted by | computers, device drivers, gadgets, hardware, Microsoft, PC, performance, Plug and Play, software, tech, Windows 7 | , , , ,

19 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    What a neat post and a neat idea from Microsoft. I am really excited about the Windows 7 movement and can’t wait for the public release.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Rick

    Comment by whatsonmypc | May 31, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      This may seem a little weird (or.. oddly phrased) but I think Win 7 is what Bill Gates promised us in Windows 95.
      (Wonder if the Rolling Stones would want to…)

      There are features built into Vista that make my job as a diagnostician much easier, and even more in Win7. These allow me to do my job quicker, which means my clients get a savings.

      Comment by techpaul | May 31, 2009 | Reply

  2. It is a shame though that Windows 7 no longer automatically searches the CD /DVD drive for drivers. Basically plug and play just does not work any more you now have to install and hope that maybe by some miracle Windows might recognise your device. Vista and windows 7 are really pants in this area what were Microsoft thinking.

    Comment by C Clarke-Williams | December 10, 2009 | Reply

    • C Clarke-Williams
      I have several reactions to your statements. My first was to wonder at the accuracy of “Windows 7 no longer automatically searches the CD /DVD drive”.. I stopped and tried to remember, is that true?
      But then I stopped racking my brain because I would no more use the CD that came with a device to get drivers than I would use a floppy disc to carry a file from one PC to another. (I use that analogy because both methods represent the same era.) The drivers on the CD are certainly outdated by the time they reach my hands.
      To reduce BSOD’s (blue screens of death) Microsoft – starting with Vista – has changed to accepting only signed drivers. The place to get signed device drivers is from the Microsoft WHQL via Windows Update — which does happen automatically. Or, you can download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website — and thus you won’t install all the bogus crapware that the CD would install (9 times out of 10).

      I have been using Windows 7 since the day the beta first became publicly available. I have installed ancient printers, modern multifunctions, various webcams, digital cameras, a few scanners of various vintages, etc., and – from day 1 – the proper driver automatically installed. No fumbling for a CD. No “praying for a miracle”.
      Quite the contrary to “plug and play just does not work any more”, the truth is Plug N Play now (finally!) works like they promised us it would when first announced.

      I have heard about a few people having trouble finding certain wireless drivers for Windows 7. To my knowledge, this has already been rectified. (A tip, if you do not see “Windows 7″ listed — try the Vista driver.) It always takes a little while for the industry to catch up to a new OS (try finding drivers for Snow Leopard) and Windows 7 is what? A month old? Yet I never had a driver problem even with the beta back in February of last year.

      Comment by techpaul | December 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yes, isn’t it wonderful that P&P is fully automated now? NOT AT ALL… I have more than one device that has to have the driver included with the device installed, NOT the one Windows chooses.

    One in particular is a Saitek Cyborg 3D Rumble Force joystick. When the Saitek driver installation tells you to plug in the joystick so it can be recognised, Windows 7 instantly installs their recommended driver and then the joystick is never recognised in the Saitek driver installer.

    Is there no way to temporarily disable Plug and Play in Windows 7? In Services, all functions to disable stop or change anything with Plug and Play are greyed out and unavailable.

    Comment by KsTinMan | September 25, 2010 | Reply

    • KsTinMan,
      As I have been been adding hardware to PC’s since before there was Plug & Play, and remember having to set IRQ’s and memory address ranges by trial and guess – yes – it is wonderful that (15 years later) it mostly works right. Finally!

      As for your particular difficulty: the Joystick mentioned is older – however, Saitek does have both a driver package, and a software package for Vista/Win7. They are here. These are installers you download (Save), and then launch (run).
      This should work for you. If it doesn’t, you can contact Saitek support, (

      http://www.saitek.com/uk/info2/contact.php

      ) or post a question in the Forum.

      When something is “grayed out”, it means you do not have sufficient Privileges, and you need to use the right-click, “Run as administrator” trick.

      You might also look in the forums at the gamer sites, like IGN… or, sometimes, retire your old device and get an up-to-date model.

      Comment by techpaul | September 25, 2010 | Reply

      • Yes Paul, that link you listed is where I obtained the driver (Saitek_Cyborg3D_Force_SD6_64.exe) that I am talking about in my post. It works as described above. I always go to the MFG for my drivers if at all possible. I even tried the 32 bit version even though I have Win7 64 bit. Of course that one wouldn’t even run. I left a message for support, but so far there’s been no reply. Saitek’s forum is a joke. The forum’s search engine won’t find anything you type into the search field, such as “joystick”. I gave up on them, which is why I came here. I will ask someone else as you suggested.

        FYI: Plug and Play is now a part of the OS according to Microsoft and can’t be turned off without causing a system crash, which is why all the options are grayed out. It isn’t because I’m not at Admin level.

        I have been working with computers since 1976, and I had ‘em all. Starting with the Timex/Sinclair 1000 (8K of memory… we were writing some silly stuff back then) to Commodores, Apples and right on through the entire x86 clone line. Like you I also set IRQ’s and addresses to get items working. Plug and Play always seemed like a good idea to me, but making it an integral part of the OS was a serious mistake in my humble opinion. When a new device is detected, It should still ask if you want Windows to install the driver or if you want to choose one of your own. At the least you should have the option to make it ask you first, or choose to go with the now fully automated installation procedure over which you have absolutely no control.

        OK, I should go out and buy a new joystick I suppose, but this one works on XP, and it has software which allows you to map keyboard keys to the buttons and controls of the device (and it has 15 buttons plus the motion of the stick plus stick twist). That allows you to use it on games such as COD4 which do not support joysticks. I may go ahead and buy yet another copy of XP so that I can use this controller. It won’t be any more expensive and I can solve the other compatibility issues I keep seeing with Windows 7.

        Comment by KsTinMan | September 27, 2010 | Reply

        • KsTinMan,
          You clearly are not an “average user” then, and my “standard” (boilerplate) advice was not appropriate for you, in this instance. I apologize for that. I hope you understand my audience, and the types of questions I get…

          I am sorry to hear that Saitek has been unsupportive… and I agree with your conclusion inre: their forum.

          Since your question – how can I get my Cyborg 3D joystick to work on Win7 – is not a “for everyone” type of answer, I will respond further privately. Please check your Inbox.

          Comment by techpaul | September 27, 2010 | Reply

          • Paul,

            Thanks for your email reply and the suggestions enclosed. I have to apologize for my my less than cordial and not so humble comments in the last post. Sometimes I get a little too arrogant for my own good…

            Best regards

            Comment by KsTinMan | September 27, 2010 | Reply

            • KsTinMan,
              You are a big man, and I thank you.

              I hope my private reply does help lead to a happy conclusion.

              Comment by techpaul | September 27, 2010 | Reply

              • Wow. Same problem here. HP Printer needs to be installed from the most current driver software on HP’s website. I download it, run, and when install tells me to plug up the printer – Windows instantly takes over and installs the wrong driver (that it thinks is right). Then the HP install fails and I get stuck in this loop of it automatically rolling back its installation, restarting my computer automatically, and then the whole thing all over again. IMO, this lack of control was not a great idea.
                I’ll figure it out eventually; i would just like to sleep so I can make it to work in the morning and deal with everyone else’s problems.
                Any suggestions? I might add that HP, as anticipated, is COMPLETELY unsupportive.

                Comment by Elisha | November 16, 2011 | Reply

                • Elisha,
                  You might try letting Windows install the printer. Then run the HP setup.exe, leaving the printer on (and connected).

                  Comment by techpaul | November 16, 2011 | Reply

        • Hi, KsTinMan,
          I was wondering if you ever found a solution for the Cyborg 3D Rumble Force issue you had. Saitek doesn’t even list it in it’s choices of drivers to download. So I downloaded the different Cyborg drivers. I received the same message as you of the drivers asking for the joystick to be plugged in even though it’s already plugged in.

          I really don’t want to go to XP, so I’m looking for a way to fix this.

          Since you took the conversation with Paul off-line, I was curious if you found your solution and wouldn’t mind sharing it.

          BTW, this thread is the first result by google when I searched: “cyborg 3d rumble force” “windows 7″ drivers

          Thanx for your time.

          Cheers,

          –Joe
          buymeadrink.org

          Comment by Joe | July 2, 2012 | Reply

          • I’m sorry Joe.
            I don’t recall the solution, although I’m positive there is one. We did in fact get it working.

            I hope Paul can help us both. I’ll keep workin’ on it.

            Comment by KsTinMan | July 3, 2012 | Reply

          • Joe,
            I too believe that some working “mostly good solution” was achieved, but I do not recall what that turned out to be, but I do recall that it was neither easy, quick, nor simple.. and that some of the joystick special features did not function.

            Now (two years later) I can state unequivocally: do not even consider running XP in 2012 – unless you do so inside a “virtual machine” (I realize that you found me via a google search, and are unfamiliar with my writings, but I have been saying get off of XP for over two years now). Your answer is a new joystick. (The fact that Saitek has not resolved this by now, and remains unresponsive to queries, is really all you need to know..)

            Please see, It is time to face facts and finally dump Windows XP

            Comment by techpaul | July 3, 2012 | Reply

  4. I did that a few days ago, but apparently there is a known issue with windows 7 if it has been upgraded from vista, which mine was. Apparently, no matter what you do windows will replace the driver you have with an incorrect driver in the repository from vista. HP has a tool for this on their website that was supposed to remove the old drivers from windows, but it failed every time. I was so fed up I did a clean install today… There were also some other things I just wanted to get rid of and start fresh from and I really had no important data to lose yet.
    Maybe your suggestion will take care of the issue without the vista factor. I’ll see very soon!
    Thanks.

    Comment by Elisha | November 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Elisha,
      I hope you puzzle it out.

      Comment by techpaul | November 17, 2011 | Reply

  5. I know this post is super old, but I’m hoping someone somewhere might be able to help me! I’ve done a reinstall of Windows 7 – long story, not important why – using my Asus laptop’s recovery partition as I am unable to locate the disk backups I made. The computer was sent with all preinstalled. My issue… or issues I should say… are almost nothing PNP related runs properly or doesn’t install at all! I’ve been at this FOREVER and I am beyond frustration! I think it’s because the recovery partition might have contained incorrect files and instructions. The laptop was purchased onlinefrom Newegg, refurbished. Yeah….a mistake I will NEVER make again. It seems like possibly this computer 1st had XP, then updraded (I think) to Vista. 32-bit versions. Was then refurbished, some new hardware added, and upgraded to a 64bit machine and sent to me with Windows 7 Home Premium! SOOO…. my 1st problem is graphics – I have the PIT NVIDIA Optimus with Intel HD Graphics. Naturally, I can only get Intel graphics running. I have tried every fix, patch, hack, etc I could find, but end resultis always either NVIDIA cannot locate any harware, or I get an error in Dev Mgr saying this driver does not support this version of Windows. I’ve tried a ton of different driver versions. It worked before my re-intall or I’d swear it wasn’t there at all! Through all this I’ve learned that these things are accessed internally through Intel’s QPI Link. I DO show in Dev Mgr a QPI Link, a QPI Physical, a QuickPath Architecture Generic Non-Core Register, a QuickPath Architecture System Address Decoder, and 2 labeled Reserved. All have no drivers, and in the chipset’s .inf file, it says these devices are installed as “NO DRV” to keep from getting the “Unknown Device” errors. I am thinking this is where my missing devices belong?? Problem is, I don’t know which goes where. Don’t even know what all is missing, ie; AGP Graphics Tunnel, certain type of bridge, (like PCI to ISA Bridge) or controllers, hosts, etc. And that’s just the graphics!! Things aren’t running that should, like thermal control; ISCSI no longer shows up in Device Manager, and a few more problems all making my laptop run as if the smallest task taxes it – fans come on…sounds like a car needing to change to the next higher gear! LOL. In the properties for my LAN Network Adapter as well as ISATAP adapters (and possibly others I can’t remember now), there’s nothing listed in the Advanced Properties under Network Address. Could this be part of the problem? I am so lost, and so stinkin broke, buyin a new one isn’t an option. Any help anywhere with any of this would be appreciated more than you know!!! So sorry for the word vomit here! Thanks!!!

    Comment by Teri | March 1, 2013 | Reply

    • Teri,
      Since you are unable to locate the recovery disc(s) you made, I am going to suggest that your best solution is going to be to contact NewEgg and give them the Serial Number, Make, Model, and ask them to send you the recovery media for that unit (you can use the word “image” as well). Whether you call (as I would) or email, I think you’ll find the people there are aces. Hopefully, there will be only a small mailing fee.

      Let me know what they say, okay?

      Comment by techpaul | March 1, 2013 | Reply


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