What is Device Drivers?

A device driver is a computer program that allows higher-level computer programs to interact with a device. It controls the communications between a computer program and various hardware devices such as the sound card, the video card, the ethernet card.

Purpose

• A device driver simplifies programming by acting as a hardware device and operating systems . Every version of a device, such as a printer drivers, requires its own hardware-specific specialized commands. In contrast, most applications utilize devices (such as sending a file to a printer) by means of high-level device-generic commands such as PRINTLN (print a line). The device-driver accepts these generic high-level commands and breaks them into a series of low-level device-specific commands as required by the device being driven. Provides an easy step-by-step process for finding and installing drivers.

• Offers a huge searchable archive of hundreds of thousands of driver/firmware files, manufacturer information, and links.

• Includes discussion boards that give members the opportunity to interact with others with their hardware type, and learn from their experiences (very useful!).

• Offers a driver found area where members can upload new and hard to find drivers for others to download.

• Provides a driver request board where members can make requests for specific drivers.

• Includes resources for Windows, Mac, Unix/Linux, and other platforms.

• Provides links to helpful tutorials, valuable utilities, and other resources.

• Offers a great collection of old, out of date, and hard to find drivers.

Virtual Device Driver
Some Windows programs are virtual device drivers. These programs interface with the Windows Virtual Machine Manager. There is a virtual device driver for each main hardware device in the system, including the hard disk drive controller, keyboard, and serial and parallel ports. They're used to maintain the status of a hardware device that has changeable settings. Virtual device drivers handle software interrupts from the system rather than hardware interrupts.


Device Driver Dependencies and Interactions
Plug and Play
For automatic configuration of device drivers to occur, the system should have a BIOS compatible with Plug and Play. Plug and Play technology provides software and hardware support that enables the Windows operating system to detect and configure the hardware with little or no user involvement. This makes it easier to add and configure hardware on a computer running Windows Server 2003 without needing special knowledge about hardware configurations.

Power Management
The device driver offers enhanced power-management features for desktop and mobile computers. The operating system supports the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification, which provides reliable power management and system configuration features. Devices and drivers designed in compliance with the ACPI specification work with the operating system to respond to or request changes in the system power state.

Computer drivers are used for interfacing with:
• Printers drivers
• Video adapters drivers
• Network cards drivers
• Sound cards drivers
• Local buses of various sorts - in particular, for bus mastering on modern systems
• Low-bandwidth I/O buses of various sorts (for pointing devices such as mice, keyboards, USB, etc.)
• computer storage devices such as hard disk, CD-ROM and floppy disk buses (ATA, SATA, SCSI)
• Implementing support for different file systems
• Implementing support for image scanners and digital cameras

A device driver is a program that controls a particular type of device that is attached to your computer. There is driver for printers drivers, video drivers, CD-ROM readers, diskette drives, and so on. A device driver essentially converts the more general input/output instructions of the operating system to messages that the device type can understand.

Right now there is various device manufacture such as Motherboard driver. Many company produce motherboard like MSI, Asus, Intel and soon. Usually the consumer buy motherboard that include motherboard drivers CD's. Content that CD's usually include audio drivers, video drivers, ethernet drivers and soon.



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