Windows 7 What are Device Drivers?

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When you have your computer reinstalled, chances are you could have many problems such as audio is not working, display quality becomes primitively poor, internet connection drops occasionally, and even worse- your keyboard and mouse simply don’t follow your instructions! When it comes to these situations, it’s probably that your device drivers are not properly installed.


It appears that quite a large amount of computer users do not know device driver at all. In this article, I’m going to break down some facts and basics about it, and you’ll understand what a fundamental role that device drivers play in your computer.

First, you know that your computer is made up with various visible components (ie. cpu, memory stick, hard disk, peripherals). But they cannot work without the invisible operating system, which acts like a general commander and tells them what actions to take in order to accomplish tasks for you. However, devices and operating system cannot communicate with each other directly. Drivers are therefore created to help them understand each other. Drivers work like translators and liaisons to convey operating system’s meaning into different languages that different devices can comprehend, without which, devices cannot receive instructions from operating system and accordingly cannot function properly at all.

However, some devices, such as CPU, memory stick, monitor, keyboard and mouse, seem to be able to work directly without asking us to install drivers for them. This is because these devices are must-have components for a computer to work in basic function. So codes were built in BIOS (software that is loaded immediately when a PC is powered on) at early stage so that they could be supported directly by operating system. Other than that, most devices (like graphic card, audio card, network card) require a specific driver being installed to work properly. You may notice that when you connect a scanner, camera, printer to your computer, you’re always asked to install a certain driver first.

To have drivers installed is not yet done, it is also important to keep them up-to-date. Drivers are mostly released by official device manufacturers, who keep updating them not only to ensure the best compatibility with different operating system, but also for enhanced performance of devices. Nvidia, for example, a noted brand for graphics chips, averagely upgrade video card driver 2-3 times every month. By installing updated drivers, you will usually get better performance and new features out of your devices.

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