What is a device driver ? There is also a part of the computer that is always ignored. Yes, you read it right, here we are going to know about such an important part which is also called Computer Driver or Device Driver.
Do you know what is this computer driver and how does it work? If not then this article of today is going to be very interesting for you because today we will know about all those small big things related to computer driver which is very important.
When it comes to drivers, it does not mean the drivers that you see on the roads every day. A device driver is a program in your computer that controls a piece of hardware that is attached to your computer.
A device driver is needed for almost everything in the computer so that they can function correctly. If a hardware piece does not have a driver, or does not have the correct driver, then that piece of hardware is completely useless for the remaining parts of the system.
It will be as if you have put a child in a car and are asking him to drive that car. They have no idea about the car and its driving without any instruction. Device drivers do the same thing in your computer, they give a set of instructions to the computer that how to use a device properly.
What is Device Driver ?
A device driver is also called a computer driver, or hardware driver. It is a group of files. This helps in communicating different computer hardware with the operating system.
Without drivers, the computer can never send and receive data . As if sending data to the printer is done.
If an appropriate driver is not installed then the device will not function correctly either.
Computer driver type
Device drivers are basically small computer programs that allow operating systems to communicate with hardwares that are connected to a computer.
By the way, the types of device drivers are very different for different computer hardware. At the same time, according to the basic functionality of a computer, there are some selected drivers that must be present in all computers. Let’s know about them.
BIOS (basic input / output system), it is the most basic computer driver in existence and it is designed according to the first program which is booted when a PC is turned on.
This BIOS is stored in memory which is built into the motherboard and it is designed to boot the hardwares that are connected with PC, these include hard drives, video display output, keyboard And mouse .
Motherboard drivers are small programs that are read either by Windows or Linux and allow for basic computer functions within the operating system.
These drivers normally include programs that allow for broadband ports, USB ports and I / O ports, mouse and keyboard. According to the design of the motherboard, these drivers may also have some basic drivers for video and audio support.
BIOS are not at all the same as motherboard drivers .
Hardware drivers are programs that are designed to allow pieces of computer hardware, such as expansion slots, to function in a computer.
Video cards, sound cards, network cards and other expansion cards come with driver discs to ease the installation process of the hardware. Other devices, such as some types of digital cameras and MP3 players, have PC drivers programmed with their software, which make them easy to use in personal computers .
Virtual Device Drivers
Virtual device drivers are very different from most drivers. Where in the majority of drivers, parts of hardwares are allowed to work with a particular operating system, while virtual device drivers emulate a piece of hardware and essentially trick the computer into thinking it read Is doing a piece of actual hardware only.
A particularly popular use is that of these virtual device drivers. ISO files are emulated without any actual disc, including one of these drivers in a CD or DVD drive .
How does the driver work?
The main function of a device driver is to act as a translator between the operating system and a device. The operating system wants to communicate with the device mainly for two reasons, that is, to send data and to receive data.
But the issue in this is that an operating system is a software and device is a hardware. Both use different languages and do not understand each other’s languages.
In such a situation, the driver plays a part of a translator between them so that both of them can easily communicate with each other.
First of all, the Operating System explain what the driver wants to send or receive from the hardware. Now device drivers understand the requirement and explain further hardware.
In this, keyboard, scanner , printer etc. are called peripheral devices and device driver or hardware driver help these peripheral devices to connect with the OS (Operating System).
Let’s understand with an example how a Driver works:
Suppose you have to print something which requires a printer application. First of all, this application calls a function that is implemented by the OS. Next, the Operating System calls a function that is implemented by the driver and then the driver communicates with the printer.
It then goes to the required data and sends it through the operating system near the application.
Let’s understand the drivers in an even more oversimplified way:
1. It is absolutely not necessary that the companies which design the device will also have to write to the drivers. There are many cases where a device is designed according to an published hardware standard. This means that Microsoft can also write the driver, and the device designer does not need to write any driver either.
2. Not all drivers communicate directly with a device. For a given I / O request (such as reading data from a device) many drivers are layered into a stack, which participate in that request.
You can visualize this stack in a traditional way where the first participant is at the top and the last participant is at the bottom. Some drivers of the stack can participate in it by converting that request from one format to another.
These drivers do not communicate directly with the device; They simply manipulate the request and pass the request to the drivers who are located at the bottom of the stack.
3. The only driver of the stack that directly communicates with the device is the function driver; The drivers that perform auxiliary processing are called filter drivers.
4. Some filter drivers observe and record those information regarding I / O but they do not actively participate in them. For example, some filter drivers act when the other drivers in the stack to ensure the limb of verifiers correctly I / O request to handle or are not.
Types of Windows Drivers
Microsoft Windows drivers mainly consist of two types of drivers:
It executes in user mode, and it typically provides an interface between a Win32 application and kernel-mode drivers or other operating system components.
For example, in Windows Vista , all printer drivers execute in user mode.
It is executed in kernel mode, which is a part of the executive. It has kernel-mode operating system components that manages I / O, Plug and Play memory, processes and threads, security, and more.
Kernel-mode drivers are typically layered. Generally, higher-level drivers typically receive data from applications, filter that data, and then pass it to a lower-level driver that supports device functionality.
Some kernel-mode drivers are also WDM drivers, which confirm the Windows Driver Model (WDM). All WDM drivers support Plug and Play, and power management. WDM drivers are actually source-compatible (but not binary-compatible) across Windows 98 / Me and Windows 2000 and later operating systems.
Like the operating system, kernel-mode drivers are implemented in discrete, modular components that have a well-defined set of required functionalities. All kernel-mode drivers supply a set of system-defined standard driver routines.
Types of Kernel-mode Drivers
There are basic 3 types of Kernel Mode Drivers . Which are the highest-level, intermediate, and lowest-level. Each driver differs very little from each other but varies greatly in their functionality.
1. Highest-level Drivers
Highest-level drivers include file system drivers (FSDs) that support file systems, such as:
- File allocation table (FAT)
- CD-ROM file system (CDFS)
Highest-level drivers always depend on support from underlying lower-level drivers, such as intermediate-level function drivers and lowest-level hardware bus drivers.
2. Intermediate Drivers
These are drivers such as a virtual disk, mirror, or device-type-specific class driver. Intermediate drivers depend on support from the underlying lower-level drivers. Intermediate drivers are subdivided in the following way:
3. Function Drivers
It controls specific peripheral devices in an I / O bus.
4. Filter Drivers
They insert themselves into the above or below function drivers.
5. Software Bus Drivers
It presents a set of child devices, in which still higher-level class, function, or filter drivers can attach themselves.
For example, a driver that controls a multifunction adapter containing an on-board set of heterogeneous devices is called a software bus driver.
6. Any system-supplied class Driver
They export a system-defined class / miniclass interface, in effect, an intermediate driver with one or more linked miniclass drivers (also called minidrivers).
Each linked class / minidriver pair provides functionality that is equivalent to a function driver or a software bus driver.
3. Lowest-level Drivers
It controls an I / O bus to which peripheral devices are connected. Lowest-level drivers do not depend on lower-level drivers.
Hardware bus drivers are system-supplied and usually control dynamically configurable I / O buses.
Hardware bus drivers work with Plug and Play manager so that they configure and reconfigure system hardware resources, all child devices that are connected with I / O buses that the driver controls.
These hardware resources contain mappings for device memory and interrupt requests (IRQs). (Hardware bus drivers subsume some of the functionality that the HAL component provides during the launch of the Windows NT-based operating system, which was before Windows 2000.)
4. Legacy Drivers
These are the drivers that directly control a physical device. These are the lowest-level drivers.
What is software driver
There are some drivers that are not associate with any hardware device.
For example, suppose you have a tool had to type of access that can core operating system data structures, which can be the access is only run in the kernel mode from the code.
You can do this by splitting that tool into two components.
Where the first component runs in user mode and present the user interface. The second component runs in kernel mode and has access to the core operating system data.
The one that runs the component in user mode is called an application , and the component that runs in kernel mode is called a software driver .
A software driver is not associated at all with a hardware device.
Software drivers always run in kernel mode.
The main reason for writing Software Driver is that it provides access to protected data, which are available only in kernel mode. But device drivers do not always require access to kernel-mode data and resources. While some device drivers run in user mode only.
How to check your computer’s computer drivers?
If you want to check the status of your computer’s drivers, then for this you can use the Device Manager of your system:
Let’s know how to do it.
1. In your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and the R key at the same time so that the Run box can be invoke.
2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to access Device Manager.
3. Here you can expand any one particular entry to check device / driver status.
Note Here you can see a common issue when you see a yellow exclamation mark on a device. This indicates that Windows has detected some problem in that device.
At the same time, to solve it, we have to update its device driver, for which you can right-click on it and choose the update driver.
Why do we need the latest drivers?
In many times there are many changes in the operating systems so that it is dealing with hardware. Whenever such things happen, then we have to update the drivers so that they can translate new commands properly, and together your devices can understand them.
Many times your devices have to learn a lot. for example. Your video card will have to learn about the new 3D drawing if you want to use new technologies.
At the same time, to make your video card capable, its manufacturer simply has to release an updated driver to explain how to display this new type of drawing. At the same time, without this latest driver, your video card can never run that new technology properly.
How to Locate the Right Software or Drivers for Your Computer?
Here I have told about some such methods, by which you can lock and download the drivers from the Internet.
Before searching for a driver, be aware of who is the manufacturer of your device and which model it is. If you are looking for software or drivers for an internal device for your computer, then you can find it in the support section of the manufacturer’s website of that device.
You can find it in those CDs or DVDs that you would have got while buying the computer.
If the manufacturer who made your hardware is still in business, then his drivers may appear listed in his web page.
At the same time, if that hardware device manufacturer does not do more business now, or its drivers are currently unavailable, then you can use the drivers of third-party companies that have good user ratings.
How to update Computer Drivers or Device Drivers?
If you want to update your device drivers, then for this, I have given three easy steps below, which can be used.
Method 1: Update the drivers through the manufacturer’s website
You can manually update your device driver by going to the website of the manufacturer of that device, and then searching for the most recent correct driver. When choosing a driver, keep in mind that the driver is compatible with your exact device model and operating system version.
Once you have downloaded that device driver in your system, then you can double-click that downloaded file and you have to follow the on-screen instructions from which you can install the driver.
Method 2: Update Drivers Using Device Manager
1. First the device manager has to go to your computer.
2. Double-click to find that device in a particular entry, then you have to right-click on the device and then select Update driver.
3. Click Search for automatically updated driver software.
4. Wait for Windows to detect all updates and then follow the on-screen instructions from which you can install that update.
Many times Windows cannot automatically detect driver updates for you, in such a situation you have to take some measures so that you can update the device driver. Such as Third party Softwares.
Method 3: Update drivers automatically with the help of third-party software such as Driver Easy (Recommended)
If you lack the time, patience and computer skills to update the driver manually, for this you can use third party software such as Driver Easy.
Driver Easy is a software that automatically recognizes your system and also discovers the right drivers for it. Here you do not need to know which system you are using, which operating system is running, etc. At the same time there is no chance of installing the wrong driver. This software takes care of everything.
1. Download and install Driver Easy.
2. Run Driver Easy and click Scan Now. Driver Easy then scans the computer and detects any problem drivers or outdated drivers.
3. Then click the Update button so that it automatically downloads the correct driver version of your devices.
Or you click Update All which automatically downloads and installs all the drivers which are missing or out of date in your system. But for this feature you have to buy the Pro version of this software.
Device driver download
I hope you have liked this article about my device driver . It has always been my endeavor to provide complete information about the computer driver to the readers, so that they do not have to search in any other sites or internet in the context of that article. This will also save their time and they will also get all the information in one place.
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