Plug and play terminology is describes two different characteristics, one Plug and play is device specification and another one which we use is Legacy PnP. In this article, we are not talking about the device specification but, with the terminology Plug and play, we are pointing towards Legacy PnP – the short form of Plug and play which allows the user to install any expansion card into his/her computer system without having to worry about the hardware configuration. That means a Plug and play device will work by simply attaching it with your computer, usually physically.
Overview of Plug and play or Legacy PnP
Jokingly during the initial phase of Plug and Play technology, PnP was termed as Plug and Pray by the geeks. This was for incompatibilities, usually of the older hardware and older versions of Microsoft Windows. It must be noted that, Microsoft Windows has a big role in Plug and play technology, specifically Windows Vista and Windows 7 supports a wide range of Plug and play devices.
How Plug and Play devices work
The technology behind non Plug and Play devices is embedded in the BIOS. For Plug and Play devices, that identification is not required, if there is the situation arises where non Plug and play devices and the Plug and play system goes in to problem, as we said ago – that is Plug and Pray!
Practical example of Plug and pray
The still widely known such Plug and Pray arises with Hitachi optical drives and Windows 7 Laptop. A Laptop optical device is a Legacy Plug and Play device, but firmware with bugs makes the conflict and optical drive becomes unusable or not recognized by Windows 7. As the end support team of both Microsoft and those brands are usually not of much knowledge about Legacy Plug and play devices or the firmware, just trained how to do things; they promptly mistakes it with a hardware problem. But as the hardware is not faulty, it can recognize any bootable DVD – the BIOS helps it to detect rightly.