Setting Up Hardware and Sound For a Vista PC

Easily Configure Your Computer

The Hardware and Sound area (within the Control Panel) enables you to set up hardware and software devices and sound for the computer. Here are some of the things you can do:

Printers: Add, configure and delete a printer or multipurpose device (hardware like an HP laser printer, Brother all-in-one, Canon photo printer, etc.). Also, you can setup and configure software printing drivers for programs like eFax and Adobe Acrobat that create PDF documents.

AutoPlay: Set up the autoplay function for your computer to determine what action Windows will take for certain types of media (movies, music, software, games, pictures) as well as audio or blank CDs or DVDs and devices like digital camera

Sound: Allows you to choose speakers and digital output settings for playback, microphone properties, and what sounds are used for specific Windows actions (like Exit Windows, Device Disconnect, etc.).

Mouse: Select the settings to configure your mouse or another pointing device (touchpads, trackballs), as well as what the cursor looks like and how it responds to your movements.

Power Options: Select one of the pre-defined power plans or create your own. These plans define how and when a computer will turn off a display, the display's brightness, when the computer should go to sleep and many other advanced behaviors your computer will execute for hard drives, wireless adapters, USB ports, Power buttons and the lid (for Laptops), and many others. Also, settings can be further configured for laptops in battery power or wall outlet power mode.

Personalization: Set up the look (color and appearance, desktop background, screen saver, mouse pointers, Windows Theme, and monitor display settings) as well as the sounds heard for a specific Windows function (like an email arrival).

Scanners and Cameras: This wizard will help you install the proper software drivers for older scanners and cameras and some networked scanners, not automatically recognized by Windows.

Keyboard: Set the cursor blink rate and key repeat rate with this utility. You can also check keyboard status and the installed driver.

Device Manager: Use this to install and update software drivers for hardware devices, change hardware settings for devices, and troubleshoot problems with devices that are part of your computer.

Additional standard programs include settings for phone and modem options, USB game controllers, Pen and input devices, color management, and tablet PC settings. Other programs included in this area depend on the configuration of your computer. For example, some PCs will have Bluetooth utilities and settings, if those PCs support Bluetooth communication devices.