How can I view devices that are installed but not connected on my Windows XP or Windows 2000 computer?

A. Device Manager displays only devices that are currently connected to your computer, even if you select "Show hidden devices" from the View menu. To view devices that aren't connected (e.g., devices present when the machine was created), perform the following steps:

  1. Open the command prompt (go to Start, Run, and type cmd.exe).
  2. Create a devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices environment variable and set the variable to 1 by typing
     C:\>set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices = 1 
  3. Start Device Manager by typing
     C:\>start devmgmt.msc 
  4. Within Device Manager, select "Show hidden devices" from the View menu.
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