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How to Enable a Device in Windows XP

Even though you might see your device displayed in the in Windows XP, you must enable it before you can use it. When your device is disabled, Windows won’t assign system resources to it. The devices that are disabled will have a red x next to them and will generate a Code 22 error.

Here’s how to enable a device once you are in the Device Manager:

  • Right click on the hardware device you want to enable
  • Select Properties
  • Click on the Device Usage drop down box – right now it should say “Do not use this device”
  • Select “Use this device” and click OK
  • Once you return to the Device Manager, the red x should be gone. If you see a yellow exclamation point, the device still isn’t working properly. Click here to see how to troubleshoot the yellow exclamation point.
  • If you want to verify that your device is working properly, you can check the device status in the Device Manager.
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