When I’m troubleshooting a Windows XP machine, I find myself almost always going into Device Manager to check the status of hardware devices.
But what if you want to find out information about devices that aren’t connected eg USB based devices?
1. Go to Start, right-click My Computer, and select Properties.
2. In the System Properties dialog box, select the Advanced tab and click the Environment Variables button.
3. In the Environment Variables dialog box, locate the System Variables panel and click New.
4. In the New System Variable dialog box, type DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES in the Variable Name text box and type 1 in the Variable Value text box.
5. Click OK twice.
6. To view the nonpresent devices, go to Start, right-click My Computer, and select Manage.
7. Click Device Manager, pull down the View menu, and select Show Hidden Devices.