What is a Driver. A PC is made up of a set of peripherals. To control each of them, the operating system you need a software interface between it and the hardware. We call driver (controller) each program that allows the operating system to manage its material.

What is a Driver and its functions.

The role of the driver is to act as a mediator between the system and external peripherals or extension cards.

Drivers are developed by the manufacturers of the corresponding hardware. However, although your equipment (hardware) does not change (it is not mutated), it is possible that the hardware manufacturer will provide a new version of the driver a few months later… The opposite would be surprising!

In fact, the software contains bugs (software bugs) or sometimes they can only be detected after testing with a large number of people. And manufacturers rarely have time to improve these kinds of tests. In addition, with the evolution of hardware, it can happen that a material compatible with existing "all peripherals" becomes incompatible with another type of new or evolved material.

Therefore, a simple driver update can improve the performance of a material with a gain of up to 10%. However, you must know how to find these updates and how to install them. But, if you think that one of your current peripherals works correctly, it is better not to try to update it:

While a peripheral is working, it is recommended not to systematically try to install the latest drivers, unless you know exactly what improves or what bugs it fixes!

On the other hand, if you are not satisfied with the operation of a peripheral, the best and simplest solution is to update it. To do this, you need to know its exact name (in general, the reference can be found on the box, in the manual, on the invoice or on the product itself), as well as the name of the operating system, in which you must use it .

How does a driver work?

In principle, any peripheral, including "basic" hardware, requires drivers to function. However, you do not need to install drivers for your HDD, why?

To download the operating system you must access the HDDBut how do you do it if you don't have an operating system yet?

Is BIOS the fact that, at the beginning, acts as an operating system, allowing vital components (card of video, hard drive, floppy drive, keyboard) boot thanks to standard drivers. In fact, the BIOS initializes the video card that has, graphical functions that will show the first information. The same goes for the hard drive that will boot the system using standard drivers.

Once the operating system starts, it will take over the power to control some peripherals thanks to the drivers provided by the hardware manufacturer, or thanks to the patented standard drivers (developed by the manufacturer of the operating system).

Plug and Play

Plug and play (PnP or plug 'n play) literally means "plug and play." It is a standard developed to facilitate hardware detection and installation. It is based on the following fact: plug & play cards contain a BIOS that will communicate a unique number (which indicates the hardware) during the PC startup and will indicate the resources that should affect it. When downloading the operating system, the BIOS will provide you with this information (the operating system that must also follow the Plug and play standard) that will determine the driver to be used ...

En every start From Pc, the BIOS analyzes all the controllers connected to the bus, identifies them and, when analyzing the resource requirements of each one, allocates the available resources (IRQ, DMA, etc.) for the Plug'n'Play peripherals; then the configuration manager tries to avoid conflicts (two peripherals assigned the same resources).

In the case of SCSI hardware, communication is established between the SCSI adapter (intermediate between the motherboard and SCSI peripherals) and peripherals (including a BIOS) that are attached. Therefore, if you have configured the BIOS to do a boot sequence that begins with the SCSI adapter, you will be able to boot the system directly from the controller with this functionality. If your controllers (or your motherboard) do not support this feature, you can to update your BIOS. This, however, involves risks-

Plug & play seems to be a revolution in the sense that you no longer need to install anything. However, the reality is not that simple. Only a few items, such as the keyboard or the hard drive, are truly "plug & play." Most of the time it will only help you detect a new peripheral, you need to install the drivers anyway ...

Install a driver in Windows

Updating the drivers may improve your system performance, but that does not mean that your peripherals will run "faster"; they usually won't run that bad. This means that if your system is working perfectly it is unrealistic (but we've all done it) to believe that it will improve its performance with new drivers, because if, on the one hand, installing new drivers can be beneficial on an unstable system, you can also create new ones. problems in a stable system. Therefore, we should update only what is wrong.

The reasons that lead you to update your drivers are the following:

  • replace a standard controller with a manufacturer-created controller
  • change from a 16-bit controller to a 32-bit controller (communication with this material will be faster)
  • replace a driver for Windows 95 with a driver for Windows 98 (if you have this system)


So far everything about what a Driver is, its functions and how to update them.