When you press Show hidden devices on the View menu in Windows 2000 Device Manager, you see an exclamation point in a yellow circle next to the Parport device that is listed under Non-Plug and Play Drivers. If you double-click Parport and select the General tab, the Device status box contains:

This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed. (Code 24)

This behavior will occur if either of the following was true when you installed Windows 2000:

  • Your computer did NOT have a parallel port.
  • The parallel port was disabled in the computer's BIOS.

Windows 2000 automatically installs the Parport driver, even if no parallel port hardware is detected.

NOTE: You may safely ignore this error.

Comment from Harry Bates:

You should also note that this happens a lot on boxes with old SERIAL ports, specially with certain laptops. The problem is that the ACPI BIOS is not fully compatible with ACPI. We ran into 500 laptops with this problem with. Unfortunately, some of our users need a serial port. The trick to get it to work again was to just change the HAL to "Standard PC". This resolves most of the issues. The one thing they will need to do is note the IP address that they have if they are static because it changing the HAL downward or upward remounts the NIC. The next thing they may have to do is remove the parport or serial port, prior to changing the HAL, so that it remounts correctly. I have also found that once the HAL is changed, it doesn't automatically install the NT APM Power interface correctly, so they may have to install it manually, via add and remove hardware. Sometime APM does not work correctly and it has to be disabled. This only prohibits the automatic power off on shutdown and causes the "It is now safe to power off..." message.