Checking a device's status should be the first course of action if you suspect that a specific device is causing a problem or if any device in Device Manager is tagged with a yellow exclamation point.
The detailed steps involved in viewing a device's status in Device Manager vary somewhat depending on which Windows operating system you have installed:
- How to View a Device's Status in Device Manager in Windows 7
- How to View a Device's Status in Device Manager in Windows Vista
- How to View a Device's Status in Device Manager in Windows XP
Any status other than one that explicitly says that a device is working properly should be accompanied by a device manager error code. You can troubleshoot the issue that Windows sees with this device based on that code: Complete List of Device Manager Error Codes.
Note: There may still be an issue with a piece of hardware even though Windows might not report it via the device's status. If you have a strong suspicion that a device is causing a problem but Device Manager doesn't report an issue, you should still troubleshoot the device.