Most common people do not comprehend the significance of computer drivers. In simple words, computer drivers are as important for the hardware and peripheral devices in computer as a human driver is essential for a car. There are countless categories of PC drivers with the most common types are audio drivers, graphics and video drivers, LAN card drivers, printer drivers etc. Every hardware connected to a computer has an analogous driver including mouse, keyboard, printer, hard drive, CD Rom and so on. Each type has its own significance, and different functions to carry out centered on their nature.
Another real life example to clarify the importance of computer drivers would be; computer peripherals and hardware are just like juveniles who have no idea of the world around them, the processor is their teacher and drivers are the guides with which the teacher communicates with the kids (hardware). These guides (drivers) not only teach the kids their duties but also help the teacher (processor) understand what specific directions should be given to different kids. Without these guides, your computer will be nothing but a chaos. Nowadays, most of the drivers are embedded in the operating systems, yet those folks who have suffered “driver problems” know how taxing they can be.
Talking more technically, device driver is actually a great, elegant package of software which allows the operating systems to manage various peripherals and hardware by different manufacturers expediently. Without drivers, if a manufacturer fabricates a new hardware it will obviously not be recognized by a previously launched operating system. This new hardware, no matter how useful, would be serviceable to only those users who have the latest operating system with a definition of this hardware. Therefore, device drivers keep the operating system up-to-date.
Most of the hardware have their drivers on a CD which comes with the package e.g. modem drivers, while some other drivers get automatically installed by the operating system e.g. flash drive drivers. To see the list of devices attached to your PC, right click on my computer, then click manage and in the console you will see “Device Manager”. When you click on the Device Manager, all the devices present will appear in the left pan. A device without drivers or with an out-of-date driver will have a yellow question mark beside it. By right clicking on any of these devices you can perform different operations i.e. update driver, roll back drivers to a previous state, uninstall the drivers etc.
Though apparently it seems ok, yet only installing drivers on your machine is not enough. In most of the cases, the device might be working properly but a minor issue with the driver would be a substantial liability on the processor, which you may be failing to notice. That is why the manufacturers offer updated drivers from time to time and you must keep all your drivers up-to-date. These updated drivers often have bug-fixes, offer more speed or optimal usage and can greatly boost the performance of your PC.
It is always good to gather some knowledge before updating or installing new drivers for your device because an unsuitable driver can cause the hardware to malfunction. So make sure you know what you are going to do. It is a fact that not everyone has enough knowledge about drivers, in fact most of the users do not pay any attention to their device drivers. The best place to gain knowledge is the manufacturer’s website, or you may directly contact them. Unfortunately, most of the companies do not offer a reasonable customer service and they simply ignore you request. This is where online forums come handy. There are past masters and other users who faced similar problems and finally solved it, waiting to help others. Just post your request and see how quickly you get a reliable solution!