Plug and Play
Windows 2000 introduces support for Plug and Play. Plug and Play has the following capabilities and features:
Automatic and dynamic recognition of installed hardware. This includes initial system installation, recognition of static hardware changes that may occur between boots, and response to run-time hardware events, such as dock or undock, and insertion or removal of cards.
Streamlined hardware configuration in response to automatic and dynamic recognition of hardware, including dynamic hardware activation, resource arbitration, device driver loading, drive mounting, and so on.
Support for particular buses and other hardware standards that facilitate automatic and dynamic recognition of hardware and streamlined hardware configuration, including Plug and Play ISA, PCI, PCMCIA, PC Card/CardBus, USB, and 1394. This includes promulgation of standards and advice about how hardware should behave.
An orderly Plug and Play framework in which driver writers can operate. This includes infrastructure, such as device information (INF) interfaces, APIs, kernel-mode notifications, executive interfaces, and so on.
Mechanisms that allow user-mode code and applications to learn of changes in the hardware environment so that they can take appropriate actions.
Plug and Play operation does not require Plug and Play hardware. To the degree possible, the first two bullets above apply to legacy hardware, as well as Plug and Play hardware. In some cases, orderly enumeration of legacy devices is not possible because the detection methods are destructive or inordinately time-consuming.
The primary impact that Plug and Play support has on protocol stacks is that network interfaces can come and go at any time. The Windows 2000 TCP/IP stack and related components have been adapted to support Plug and Play.
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