Windows Device Manager has been a vital utility in all of the Microsoft Windows, from Windows 95 to the latest windows available now i.e. Windows 7. Though there is a different method to access this utility in every operating system, yet it offers almost the same functionality i.e. allows the operators to view, control and manage the different hardware attached to the computer system. Its name was only altered in the versions of Microsoft NT windows, in which it was labeled as Microsoft Management Console. This article describes the limitations of this so-called great utility which can force the user to select alternate approaches for their hardware related issues.
Let us first have a brief overview of the working of windows device manager before going into the details of its confines and imperfections. Whenever any hardware attached to the computer stops behaving as it is supposed to, it gets highlighted in the device manager for the user to deal with. The user has the control to sort the hardware in the device manager by various criteria. Device manager can be used to install or update the drivers for the hardware, enable or disable any device, suggest the operating system to ignore a specific malfunctioning hardware and view various other technical problems regarding the hardware.
Though device manager gives the users fair bit of control over the hardware attached to his personal computer, yet it is not the perfect solution one would like. More often than not, when you are having trouble with the drivers of any device, the device manager requests for the permission to connect to the internet and after its annoying search, it brings no result at all. But on the other hand when you manually search the internet, you will find the required drivers available!
The major limitation of the device manager is that it makes use of the windows data bank. The data bank is actually a huge storehouse of facts on one or more topics which is systematized in such a manner which enables local as well as remote info retrieval. Windows data bank is enormous in size and device manager usually takes a lot of time in traversing it in order to find the appropriate driver for the hardware. And it becomes more irritating if you do not get the desired upshot after waiting for a long time.
Another drawback of the windows device manager is that it has the capability to point out only those drivers that are entirely corrupt and have stopped functioning. If there is a minor problem which could possibly cause your hardware to glitch, yet the device manager will not highlight it as a defective driver. Likewise, if the driver has expired the device manager will still not give any error.
So if device manager is unable to fix the hardware problems caused by driver breakdown, what should one do? Is there any superior alternative to device manager? Of course there are better alternatives. The best and simple approach is to locate the driver on the internet manually which is not a very taxing job as nearly all of the manufacturers these days offer all the software downloads on their websites without much trouble. All you have to do is find the corresponding driver, download it and run it for an improved installation. When you download the driver, make sure you save it on your hard disk driver instead of running it directly from website. Furthermore, some manufacturers deliver drivers in a compressed format to optimize storage and therefore you may need software to unzip the contents.