PNP OPERATING SYSTEM
The PnP OS takes over where the PnP BIOS leaves off by identifying and configuring the re-maining PnP devices in the system, then loading the appropriate drivers needed to initializeand operate each respective device. The OS also must keep resources aside for non-PnP(“legacy”) devices, and report any changes to the hardware complement in the system. Win-dows 95 is generally regarded as the premier PnP operating system for end-users and general- purpose PCs, but Windows NT provides PnP support for networked and business systems.
AN OVERVIEW OF PNP BEHAVIOR
Now that you’ve seen the essential elements of PnP, it’s time to look at how it all works.A PnP system must be robust enough to handle several important functions. The major functions that must be handled by these three PnP components can be summarized as:
Identification of installed devices
The PnP system must be able to identify each installed device. This requires the device to have a certain amount of on-board intelligence.
Determination of device resource requirements
Based on the device identification, thePnP system must be able to determine the kinds of resources (IRQ, DMA, I/O ad-dresses, or BIOS space) required to support the device.
Creation of a complete system configuration, eliminating all resource conflicts
After all devices have been identified, and their resource needs evaluated, the PnP systemmust then allocate the required resources to each device every time the system initial-izes (without causing a resource conflict).
Loading of device drivers
After the operating system starts, it then must load the ap- propriate device drivers needed to support every device in the system.
Notification of configuration changes
Each time that a PnP device is added or removed from the PC, the PnP system reports the configuration change. When a device is added, thePnP system attempts to identify it and install the appropriate device drivers. When a de-vice is removed, the PnP system attempts to remove all traces of the device and its drivers.The PnP system starts with the BIOS at boot time—a certain amount of configurationmust first be performed by the system BIOS during system initialization. In order for thesystem to boot, the PnP BIOS must configure a display device, input device, and initial boot device (i.e., video adapter, keyboard, and floppy/hard drives). Then, the PnP BIOSmust pass the information about each of these devices to the operating system (i.e., Win-dows 95) for additional configuration of the remaining system devices.The operating system then continues the configuration process by identifying every de-vice in the system, and gathering their respective resource requirements. Each non-bootdevice (i.e., modems, video capture devices) must be inactive upon power-up so that theoperating system can identify any conflicts between the resource requirements of differentdevices before configuring them. When different devices require the same resources, thedevices must be able to provide information to the operating system about alternative re-source requirements. The operating system then uses initial or alternative requirements toassemble a working system configuration. Once any resource conflicts have been re-solved, the operating system automatically programs each hardware device with its work-ing configuration, then stores all configuration information in the central database
1078PLUG-AND-PLAY CONFIGURATION AND TROUBLESHOOTING