What are device drivers and how do drivers work?
Device drivers are software programs that allow communication between a computer’s operating system and hardware devices.
Each driver performs a specific function and is related to a specific hardware device. For instance, a video driver is related to video cards and its primary function is to assist in the transmission of input and output video signals between the sound card and the operating system.
Are device drivers specific to an operating system?
Yes, most device drivers are operating system specific. That is, they work only with one version of the operating system. For example, a device driver designed for Windows XP is unlikely to work with other Windows versions, such as Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
Do device drivers come pre-installed on a new computer?
Yes, operating systems, such as Windows 7 have a large database of integrated drivers that support various hardware devices. However, if your hardware device is outdated or released after the operating system, you will need to install the required drivers manually. You can install such drivers using the CD or DVD-ROM that you receive when you purchase the hardware device.
Why it is necessary to update drivers?
Device driver manufacturers regularly release driver updates to enhance their capabilities and system security. If your drivers are obsolete or outdated then you may experience frequent errors, system crashes, and performance related issues. That is why it is necessary that you regularly update your drivers to get the best out of your hardware devices and avoid driver related issues.
How can I manually update drivers?
First, identify the driver that you need to update. Next, visit the website of the driver manufacturer and download the latest available updates. Now, download and update the file on your desktop. Finally, install the latest driver on your computer.
You can also update your device drivers using Device Manager, which a built-in utility in Windows. Device Manager allows you to install driver software, uninstall driver software, and update driver software for your devices.
Shared below are steps that show you how to use the Device Manager on a Windows 7 computer to update device drivers:
If your driver is outdated, Windows will locate the latest driver. Follow the onscreen instructions to install the latest driver.
How to automatically install the latest driversYou can use third-party driver update tools to install the latest drivers automatically. A driver update tool will first scan all the drivers installed on your PC to detect the outdated or corrupt drivers and then download as well as update these drivers. You can go through our review of Driver Finder tool to better understand the working of driver update tools in more detail.
This guest article written by James Ricketts