System-Provided Device Installation Components

The following list describes the device installation components that are provided by the Windows operating system:

Plug and Play (PnP) Manager
The Plug and Play (PnP) manager provides the following support for PnP functionality within Windows:

  • Device detection and enumeration while the system is booting
  • Adding or removing devices while the system is running

For more information, see PnP Manager.

The Setup application programming interface (SetupAPI) includes the general setup functions (SetupXxx) and the device installation functions (SetupDiXxx and DiXxx). These functions perform many device installation tasks such as searching for INF files, building a potential list of drivers for a device, copying driver files, writing information to the registry, and registering device co-installers. Most of the other device installation components call these functions.

For more information, see SetupAPI.

Configuration Manager API
The PnP configuration manager API provides basic installation and configuration operations that are not provided by SetupAPI. The PnP configuration manager functions perform low-level tasks such as obtaining the status of a device node (devnode) and managing resource descriptors. These functions are primarily called by SetupAPI but can also be called by other device installation components.

Driver Store
Starting with Windows Vista, the driver store is a trusted collection of in-box and third-party driver packages. The operating system maintains this collection in a secure location on the local hard disk. Only the driver packages in the driver store can be installed for a device.

For more information, see Driver Store.

Device Manager
With Device Manager, you can view and manage the devices on a system. For example, you can view device status and set device properties.

For more information, see Using Device Manager. Also, see the Help documentation in Device Manager.