What is computer drivers ?

Do you know that every hardware on the computer needs drivers ? No, I don’t mean you. You’re not the driver of your computer, literally speaking. Just imagine a car. Without a driver, it can still move but without a driver, the car might just move straight and will not move as we wanted and desired. The same goes to computer drivers. Without a proper driver, the hardware can still be used but it might not work properly.

There are a lot of drivers out there. Generally we can categorize drivers to two types. One is the generic driver for a hardware type and another is a specific driver for a specific hardware.

Generic driver is a universal driver that can be used with a hardware type. Usually this will be provided by the operating system itself. Generic allows a hardware to be run with minimum capability to allow the user to use it. Sometimes, some generic drivers can’t support certain hardwares from various vendors. For example, generic driver can be used to view an ATI graphic card without the full capability such as 3D support and graphic acceleration until ati drivers are installed to the operating system.

Specific drivers will enable specific hardware to run smoothly and at it’s full capability. Usually a hardware vendor will issue a specific driver for a specific hardware but sometimes they will release a general pack for a group hardwares. One thing for sure, you can’t use a driver released by a vendor with another vendor’s hardware. For instance, you can’t install epson drivers for printers from Canon.

There you have it. An introduction to computer drivers. Hopefully, I have the time to write more on how can we check the hardware manufacturer, model of the hardware and the correct driver for it.