- that uses this technique
- Plug and Play is the Microsoft Windows version of this technique
plug and play - Computer Definition
A set of specifications developed jointly by Intel and Microsoft that allows a PC to automatically recognize the presence of a new peripheral hardware device as it is connected to the PC, locate the necessary support software (e.g., driver), and configure the device interface. PnP requires a BIOS that supports PnP, and a PnP expansion card. PnP has been succeeded by the Internet-capable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). See also BIOS, driver, and UPnP.
(1) Installing a new component in a system that works automatically without requiring any manual configuration by a technician or user. See CableCARD and definitions #2 and #3 below.
(2) (Universal Plug and Play) Protocols for discovering and configuring devices in an IP network. See UPnP.
(3) (Plug and Play) An Intel standard for automatic peripheral configuration in a PC. On startup, Plug and Play (PnP) recognizes the attached devices and adjusts internal settings (see IRQ, DMA and PC I/O addressing). PnP and Windows 95 to the Rescue Plug and Play (PnP) eliminated the "plug and pray" frustration of manually configuring a PC when new peripherals were installed. In the mid-1990s, motherboards and peripherals began to support PnP, and Windows 95 was the first PnP-enabled OS. A PnP peripheral could also be used in a non-PnP computer by installing a system module (DWCFGMG.SYS). Transitioning to PnP If an older ISA peripheral card was installed in a PnP computer, the ISA Configuration Utility (ICU) looked up its requirements and configured the card's settings. If the card was not in the list, the ICU made recommendations for the user ("plug and tell"). See PnP-X.