PnP

Updated: 11/16/2019 by Computer Hope

PnP may refer to any of the following:

Computer Mouse

1. Short for plug and play, PnP refers to a computer's ability to detect and configure hardware automatically without requiring the user to configure hardware with jumpers or dip switches. Plug and play was introduced on IBM compatible computers with the release of Windows 95. Apple Macintosh computers have always supported the ability to automatically detect and install hardware.

How to use a plug and play device

Computer monitors are considered plug and play devices and use a VGA, DVI, or HDMI cable to connect. Most other plug and play devices use a USB cable, but some utilize eSATA.

To use a plug and play device, turn on the computer and wait for it to load the operating system. Then, connect the cable provided with the device to the appropriate port or connector on the computer. If the device requires external power, plug the power cord into a surge protector or wall outlet. The computer recognizes that the device is connected, then installs the necessary drivers and configures it.

Note

Some plug and play devices may include additional software that is not required but may provide additional functionality if installed and used with the device.

Plug and play requirements

For plug and play to operate correctly on IBM compatible computers, they must have:

  • A BIOS that supports plug and play.
  • Windows 95 or later or another operating system supporting PnP.
  • A peripheral device designed to support PnP.
Tip

Today, all new computers have PnP capabilities.

Drivers for plug and play devices

Drivers are required for plug and play devices to work, but they are automatically installed when the device connects to a computer. The operating system detects the device and installs the necessary drivers. There is no need to manually install separate drivers for a plug and play device.

Note

Some plug and play devices may come with additional software that is not required to be installed, but may provide additional functionality if installed and used with the device.

Examples of plug and play devices

USB flash drive

Today, there are many different plug and play devices available for computers. Below is a list of some of the more common ones.

2. Abbreviation for party and play, PNP is shorthand used in online chat, ads, and communities, to indicate a desire to "party" (use illegal drugs) and "play" (engage in casual sex).

3. PNP is a type of bipolar transistor.

4. PNP is slang for plug and pray, a sarcastic term commonly used when plug and play was first introduced, because the technology frequently did not work correctly. The implication is that for a plug and play device to work, the user must first pray to a supernatural deity.

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