Hardware Drivers and How They Work

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.

Each piece of hardware has its very own device driver associated with it. It can be said that the device driver contains the instruction manual for that particular piece of hardware. This is how the operating system knows exactly how to use that device. Information is passed back and forth from the hardware to the device driver through the many circuits and wires in your computer, commonly referred to as the `system bus’. When the operating system requires the use of a device, the driver is awakened and sends the information to the hardware. The hardware will then respond with a message. Throughout the process, the device driver will act as the `middle man’, relaying the messages back and forth at a high rate of speed.

When you input a new device such as a digital camera or external hard drive, you will find that the device driver is commonly included with the hardware. Microsoft users may also find that many device drivers are already preinstalled on the system. This is usually the case for a keyboard or a mouse. However, this does not mean that the preinstalled drivers are always up to date. Device drivers are often updated when bugs or security issues are discovered by users. Because of this, it’s important to always ensure that your system is running the most recent drivers.

It is also crucial to be sure that you have installed the correct device driver for your computer. Your system could crash or function erratically if the driver does not perfectly match both the hardware and the operating system that you are using. Missing drivers can cause problems as well.

Here are some signs that you may be experiencing a device driver problem:

· Computer Crashes Randomly

· Hardware Not Working Properly

· Hardware Not Working At All

· Computer Freezes At Certain Times

If you are experiencing any of the above problems, there is a good chance that you have a device driver problem. Fortunately, it’s simple to correct this type of error. If you have determined which driver is faulty, you can simply download an update directly from the manufacturer’s website.

If you are not sure which driver is faulty, then you can do an online scan of the drivers on your system. This will tell you which drivers are outdated or missing. However, you must only deal with trusted sources or you will risk installing viruses or malicious malware onto your computer.