What are Device Drivers

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device drivers imageNot many people know about device drivers until they need to find one, be it for a printer or most commonly a modem driver. Finding one can be very difficult, and you always to seem to need one at the worst of times.

What is a Device Driver?

Every device, be it be a printer, network card, or video card, must have a driver program. Many device drivers, such as the Universal Serial Bus (USB) driver, come with the operating system. For other devices, you may need to load a new driver when you connect the device to your computer.

What do they do?

A device driver is nothing more than a glorified translator which fits between the device and software programs that use the device. Each device be it a network card or printer has its own set of commands that only its driver knows. That being said, however most programs access devices by using generic commands. The device driver, therefore, accepts generic commands from a program and then translates them into specialized commands for the device.

Finding them:

Finding a driver can be very difficult as most hardware companies manufacture a device and after 2 or 3 years change and make a different version. Finding a driver for your device becomes a task as the hardware companies remove the drivers from their website and drop the support for the old products. They hope that you will upgrade to their new line of products, but there is no need if you know where to find your drivers. Try performing a search on Google to find your drivers, in most cases you may be able to find the driver from a 3rd party source.

Remember, don’t upgrade unless you want to. There is no need to buy new, when the old printer or video card works just fine!


Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48871828@N07/4479331040/

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