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The Essential Drivers A Computer Needs

Mar 29, 2008
A common piece of software that is often overlooked is the software driver. These drivers are designed to allow an external piece of hardware, such as a printer, to integrate with the main computer unit. A driver facilitates communication between the software application that needs to use a device and the device itself. It can be thought of as a bridge that closes the gap between applications and external hardware devices.

When a computer software program calls for a certain function of the device, this invokes a specific routine in the driver which then issues the proper command to the device. The device then sends the requested data back to the driver, which in turn communicates that back to the application.

These little drivers also have the ability to request certain commands or functions in return from the application that initiated the "call" to the device. With this constant back and forth communication, it is essential that a driver is running the most current available version of both the software application and of the driver itself.

Some of the common device drivers that you probably have on your pc are the small programs that came with your printer, your digital camera, your cell phone, any Bluetooth device that you have and hard drives that are removable. Without the right device driver you will find it virtually impossible for any of these external tools hardware devices to be recognized by the operating system, let alone function correctly.

When people have problems with printers, scanners, USB drives and other devices, one of the most common problems is with the drivers. Because these small programs function as a go-between and interact with both operating systems and other computer software programs, they have a tendency to be become corrupt.

When a device driver becomes corrupt, the item of hardware that they "drive" can start to behave erratically or stop responding completely. One very common problem that happens is when a printer driver gets corrupted. If your printer suddenly starts producing pages that are not formatted the way they appear on the screen, or print out nothing but sheets full of code, then the problem is most likely a bad software driver.

The good news is that it is very easy to replace a device driver that has gone bad. Most of the time on a PC running Microsoft Windows, such as Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can reinstall the driver from the CD-ROM that came with your device, as it will simply over-ride the defunct version.

However, before installing Mac drivers, it is recommended to completely remove all associated files from your pc before re-installing the newer version. If it has been awhile since you bought the device, then the best thing to do is go to the website of the manufacturer and search for the most recent version of the driver.

In many cases this is the easiest and fastest way to fix a problem with an external hardware device, although it is often an overlooked solution. Sometimes, when installing a new version of device drivers, users also find improved performance as a surprise bonus. Because of this, it is helpful to establish a routine of checking with the manufacturer regularly for updates.
About the Author
Browse to Mike Selvon portal to find out more about the essential software drivers . We greatly appreciate your feedback at our computer software blog.
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