A common complaint among computer users is that their operating system will occasionally freeze up or that the entire computer just crashes for no apparent reason. Nine time out of ten these annoyances are caused by outdated hardware drivers. Because the computer industry is constantly evolving, both software and hardware manufactures try to work in coordination with each other to ensure that everything within the computer runs smoothly. When the drivers do not match the hardware perfectly, system failures begin to occur spontaneously, and they can be pretty nasty!

While it may seem a bit too technical, drivers are a major part of your computer so it is important to have a good understanding of how they work. Once you get the basics, you will realize that it’s not very difficult to understand at all. In short, the task of a device driver is to make sure that your operating system (usually Windows) is able to communicate with the hardware (this includes your keyboard, mouse, audio devices, DVD, etc.) attached to your computer.

Locating the correct driver for your hardware can sometimes to prove to be more difficult than you could imagine.

Your first stop when searching for a device driver should be the manufacturer’s website. Often, they will have a Support page with many drivers available for download. Be sure to select the correct driver that exactly matches both your operating system and the specific model of the hardware. If you try to download a similar version, you will often experience hardware problems and system crashes.

How To Identify Hardware Driver Problems

Modern technology has come a long way. We have advanced to the point where tiny laptops allow you to plug many different kinds of devices into them or even link up to each other. All of this “plug and play” functionality has been made possible through the use of device drivers.

Your system requires device drivers to tell it how to work with your hardware. Without them, your mouse wouldn’t function or your computer would have no sound. In fact, device drivers handle a good portion of your computer’s activity, ranging from communicating with your hard drive to displaying video on your screen.