It is likely that the first time you come across the term Device Drivers is when you are experiencing some problem with your computer or peripheral devices. This is because Device or Software Drivers work quietly in the background, keeping all your devices running smoothly and effectively.
How do Device Drivers work?
Drivers are essentially snippets of code which enable communication between your Operating System and hardware or peripheral devices. In other words, your Printer Driver serves the function of relaying information between your computer and the printer, if you are using a Printer Driver for Windows 7 and actually running Windows 8, then this will cause problems.
The frequency and extent of these problems will vary depending on the level of compatibility between the hardware or device and the Driver. It is important to keep your Drivers up-to-date and use the correct and most recent Drivers for your devices. Failing to do so can lead to problems which often result in users unnecessarily replacing devices and computers. In a large number of cases, when a piece of hardware experiences problems, the problems relates to the device Drivers which may have become corrupt, be out-of-date or are sometimes missing entirely due to accidental deletion or changing computers or Operating Systems.
What are some typical Driver errors?
The type and frequency of Driver errors experienced varies hugely, depending on the device, Operating system and level of compatibility of the Driver. An out-of-date Printer Driver may result in the printer not being recognised by the PC, the PC crashing when print jobs are sent or even seemingly random characters being printed on the page.
If you are using incorrect Sound Card Drivers then you will at best experience a poorer sound quality than if you were using the prescribed Drivers.
How can I keep my Device Drivers up-to-date
You really have 2 main options here, you can either manually update the Drivers yourself (this has become a lot easier in more recent Operating Systems), or
You can use a driver update tool to automate this process for you and keep all your Drivers up-to-date