What is a driver for the PC? The explanation for IT laymen

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What is a driver? The question is not so stupid &# 8211; Finally, there is always that you install new drivers or finally to perform even a driver update. But what does that mean exactly? What does a driver and why do you need such a thing? Just answer these questions we in the following guide.

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What is a driver? Short explanation

A driver is special software that allows the operating system, for example, Windows, enables to communicate and to use this component (a printer or a video card, for example) with a particular hardware component. By driver programs and applications can receive data from the hardware and vice versa. A driver is thus a kind of intermediary between hardware or software: If you connect a device without installing the appropriate driver, the computer does not recognize the device and it can therefore not be used. Drivers are available for different devices &# 8211; among the most important drivers for:

  • graphics Cards
  • sound cards
  • hard drives
  • printer
  • Gamepad / mouse
Heap of computer hardware isolated on whiteWithout drivers, the computer does not recognize the various hardware components.

What is a driver and how you install it?

Operating systems such as Windows offer by default a number of generic drivers that are included with the system &# 8211; in the case of Windows they are called these drivers also standard Windows driver. The standard Windows drivers ensure that you can connect a device in many (but not all) cases, and not you have to continue to take care of the installation of the driver. Closes her example a new printer, Windows recognizes the device mostly automatically and installs the appropriate Windows standard driver. The whole is also called Plug & Play: Plugging and off you go &# 8211; So you need nothing more to do and the unit operates by itself.


The sticking point: With these standard drivers it often does not use the full functionality of the device concerned. Apart from a few exceptions (ASUS sound card drivers work for many users as worse than the standard Windows driver), it is therefore also recommended always to use the driver of the equipment manufacturer and to keep up to date. The drivers are usually supplied on a CD enclosed the device, can alternatively you download them for you from the manufacturer's website and install. Help installing offer you among others the following guides:

  • So you can update graphics card drivers
  • So you can install a printer and set up
  • For Ethernet controller driver and install
  • update drivers - the best tools
  • uninstall NVIDIA drivers and reinstall - Instructions

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