You may have noticed if you have a Windows 2000 system that it will not let you change any of the resources in the Device Manager. For instance, say you have a really old program that requires your modem to be set to IRQ 3 and COM Port 2. You open up the Device Manager and find out that your computer has assigned it something like IRQ 9. No problem, you just click on the button to let you customize the settings and... whoops! it's greyed out! What do you do now?

This is a layman's explaination as to what is happening and how to get around it. Your computer is using something called Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), or ACPI-HAL for short. By design, the HAL does not let you change any of the resources. Great. Just bloody great. What's their fix for it? Read on.

Microsoft suggests you reinstall 2000 and disable the ACPI-HAL during setup. Well that's great, provided you know how. Well, here's how.

  1. First and foremost. Back up your stuff: saved games, novels you are writing, hard to find porn, etc. Because you're about to erase everything.
  2. Everyone forgets this step. Go to your device manager and print it out. This will save you hours in hunting down what driver type you need.
  3. Now, boot to your Windows 98 floppy you have hopefully kept lying around for just such occasions (to play those pesky DOS games on CD-ROM probably). You don't have one? You don't know How to make a DOS Boot diskette that will recognize your CD-ROM? Well that's another node altogether.
  4. Now run FDisk. Delete your partitions. Yep. Sucks. All that work for nothing, eh? Thanks Microsoft for this great undocumented feature. I won't bother posting instructions because it's pretty darn easy to use FDISK.
  5. Exit without creating new partitions. Put your Windows 2000 CD in the drive. Boot to CD-ROM. Very soon when you see the blue screen you'll see something to the effect of

    Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.

  6. Very quickly press F5 a couple of times. You will then get a list of Computer Types. Choose Standard PC.
  7. After that, go through the rest of the installation normally.
  8. You should now be able to edit your Hardware Resource Settings in the Device Manager, if not, you might have to disable ACPI in the BIOS. But do not try that before you do this, or your machine will cease to boot up (about a 1 in 3 chance).