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Plug and Play

Plug and Play provides automatic configuration of PC hardware and devices. To work with Windows, the system and its firmware must comply with Advanced Configuration and Power Interface Specification (ACPI).

The driver architecture for Windows supports comprehensive, operating system-controlled Plug and Play. Plug and Play technologies are defined for IEEE 1394, PCI, PC Card/CardBus, USB, SCSI, ATA, ISA, LPT, and COM. Each Plug and Play device must be uniquely identified, state the services it provides and resources it requires, identify the driver that supports it, and allow software to configure it.

ISA PnP Vendor IDs: For information about how to request a unique Vendor ID to use with legacy Plug and Play devices, see Plug and Play ID - PNPID Request.

In this section

Topic Description

Hello, user mode? Plug and Play calling

You can use Plug and Play notifications for simple one-way communication from a kernel-mode driver to a user-mode application. To do this, call IoReportTargetDeviceChangeAsynchronous with a TARGET_DEVICE_CUSTOM_NOTIFICATION structure that describes the event. This routine signals the Plug and Play manager that the event has occurred on a device.

Plug and Play and Power Management for Drivers

Plug and Play and power management encompass activities involved in installation, configuration, and device operation.

Plug and Play ID - PNPID Request

This page presents the information you need to request a Plug and Play ID from Microsoft.

Surprise! Your device is gone. What should your driver do

Surprise removal occurs when the user removes a device from the system without notifying the operating system to prepare the device for removal. When this happens, the PnP Manager sends a surprise-remove IRP (IRP_MN_SURPRISE_REMOVAL) to the driver for the device.


See also

Hot-add memory support in Windows Server

Implementing Plug and Play

Windows Plug and Play [Channel 9]

Device Connectivity

Power Management and ACPI



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