Change Resource Settings for a Device

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

When you install a Plug and Play device, Windows automatically configures the device so that it works properly with the other devices that are installed on your computer. As part of that configuration process, Windows assigns a unique set of system resources to the device you are installing. These resources can include one or more of the following:

  • Interrupt request (IRQ) line numbers

  • Direct memory access (DMA) channels

  • Input/output (I/O) port addresses

  • Memory address ranges

Each resource that is assigned to your device must be unique or else the device cannot function properly. For Plug and Play devices, Windows automatically configures these resources properly. However, you can manually configure devices by using Device Manager.

Generally, avoid changing resource settings manually, because when you do, the settings become fixed, and Windows will then have less flexibility when allocating resources to other devices. If too many resources become fixed, Windows might not be able to install new Plug and Play devices.

Occasionally, two devices require the same resources, resulting in a device conflict. If this occurs, you can manually change the resource settings to be sure each setting is unique. However some resources, such as interrupts on Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) devices, can be shared, depending on the drivers and computer.

Depending on the type of device you are installing, you might have to manually configure these settings. When you install a non-Plug and Play device, Windows cannot automatically configure the resource settings for the device. For instructions, see the manual that came with your device.


Changing resource settings improperly can disable your hardware and cause your computer to malfunction or become inoperable. Change resource settings only if you are certain that the new settings do not conflict with other hardware, or if a hardware manufacturer has provided specific resource settings for a device.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

To change resource settings for a device

  1. Open Device Manager.

  2. Double-click the type of device you want to change.

  3. Double-click the specific device you want to change. If the device has resource settings that you can change, the Resources tab will appear in the dialog box.

  4. Click the Resources tab, and then clear the Use automatic settings check box. This check box might be unavailable if you cannot assign a specific resource to the device.

  5. In Setting based on, click the hardware configuration you want to change.

  6. In Resource settings, under Resource type, click the resource type you want to change. Your choices are as follows:

    • Direct memory access (DMA)

    • Interrupt request (IRQ)

    • Input/output (I/O) port

    • Memory address

  7. Click Change Setting, and then type a new value for the resource type. Only a few of the device types support changing individual resource values.

  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 as necessary for each resource type you need to change.

Additional considerations


Make sure that the new settings do not conflict with any other devices. If you have any device conflicts, they appear on the Resources tab under Conflicting device list.

  • Use automatic settings is not enabled for devices that have no other settings that you can configure. It is also not enabled for devices that are controlled by Plug and Play resources and should not be changed by the user.

  • You typically need to assign resources manually only for some older Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) and Plug and Play basic input/output system (BIOS) devices. It is not usually necessary for you to change resource settings because resources are automatically allocated by the system when the hardware is installed.