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HP and Compaq PCs - Joysticks, Gaming Pads, and Game Ports

This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows XP, Me, or 98.
Installing a joystick or other gaming device
Before purchasing or installing a gaming device, make sure the proper connection is available on the PC. Recent gaming devices use USB. Older methods of connections are serial and game ports.
Use the following steps to connect a typical joystick or gaming pad to the PC.
 note:
If your gaming device came with instructions and/or software, use the instructions and/or software that came with the joystick or gaming pad instead of using these steps.
  1. Turn off the PC.
  2. Connect the game controller to its appropriate connector. USB ports on the front of the HP Pavilion are ideal for connecting USB gaming devices. Do not connect USB gaming devices to the USB port on the keyboard. For serial or game port connections, the connector is usually on the back of the PC or lower front of the PC.
  3. Turn the computer on.
  4. Windows might automatically discover the game controller. Let Windows finish installing new hardware before continuing, if this happens.
  5. In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    In Windows 98, and Me, click Start, Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  6. In Windows XP, click Printers and Other Hardware, then click Game Controllers.
    In Windows 98 or Me, double-click Gaming Options.
  7. If the game controller automatically appears under Controller, skip to the next section on calibration. Otherwise, click Add.
    An Add Game Controller window appears.
  8. Count the number of buttons on the game controller. Count stick shifts (shifters) as one button for every shift point.
  9. Count the number of axis on the game controller. An axis is a linear range of motion. If it has an upright stick that moves forward, backward, left, and right, this counts as two axis. Steering wheels, pedals, rudders, throttles, and most dials count as one axis each.
      Figure : Example of a 2-axis, 2 button gaming device
    1. Axis
    2. Axis
    3. Two buttons
  10. Select a game controller from the list that best matches the button and axis configuration.
    Figure : Add game controller window
  11. Click OK.
    In the Gaming Options or Game Controllers window, the type of game controller appears under Controller and OK appears under Status.
     note:
    If "Not Connected" appears under status, remove the controller from the list and add a different controller. If the controller has its own software, close all windows, install the gaming device software, and retry these steps.
  12. Click OK again. If the game requires calibration (has an axis), calibrate the gaming device in the next section.
     note:
    After installing the device, go to the website of the joystick or game pad manufacturer to find and install any updated software.
Calibrating a gaming device
An un-calibrated joystick or steering wheel will cause movement in a game even though the stick or wheel is centered. To calibrate a game controller in Windows perform the following steps:
  1. Connect the game controller, if it is not already connected.
  2. In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    In Windows 98 and Me, click Start, click Settings, and the click Control Panel.
  3. In Windows XP, click Printers and Other Hardware, then click Game Controllers.
    In Windows 98 or Me, double-click Gaming Options.
  4. Select the game controller under Controller. Make sure that OK appears under Status. Otherwise, check the connections and settings and try again.
  5. Click Properties. If Properties is unavailable, check the connections and settings and try again.
  6. In the Game Controller Properties window, click the Settings tab.
  7. Click the Calibrate button.
  8. A Controller Calibration window appears. Read the information under Calibration Information. Do not touch the game controller. Leave the joystick handles, wheels, or dials in their centered position. Leave throttles and brake pedals in their at-rest positions (usually up). Click Next.
  9. Read the information under Calibration Information. Move the gaming device controls in the full range of motion and in all of the directions. Click Next. This step may need to be repeated for throttle and brake pedals.
    Figure : Axis calibration example; x-axis calibrated, y-axis not calibrated
  10. Read the information under Calibration Information. Do not touch the gaming device. Leave the joystick handles, wheels, or dials in their centered position. Leave throttles and brake pedals in their at-rest positions. Click Next.
  11. A success or fail message appears under Calibration Information. If the calibration fails click the Back button several times until you are at the beginning of the calibration and try again.
  12. Click the Test tab to confirm that the gaming device is properly calibrated. The plus sign inside the square should move to the edges of the square whenever the control is moved to the full extent of one of its positions.
    If there are gaming buttons, test them to make sure they work as well.
    Figure : Calibration and button test

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