It is extremely important for your computer that all hardware and software parts work seamlessly in a coordinated manner. Computer device drivers facilitate this by enabling communication between software on your computer and your hardware devices. Drivers work by converting the instructions sent by software on your computer into a language that a hardware device can comprehend. A device driver is required for interacting with all kinds of peripheral devices including keyboards, mouse, printers, scanners, and pen drives.
Most users remain oblivious of device drivers until something goes wrong.? Before something goes wrong, many users absolutely have no idea about what a device driver is or how to go about resolving errors related to device drivers. This often leads them to seek external help without troubleshooting the problem themselves.
Your Windows operating system supports hundreds of hardware devices that help your computer perform different tasks. For this, the PC comes equipped with device drivers for a majority of peripheral devices. Every device has a specific driver. For example, a video adaptor is driven by a video driver or a VGA driver. So, it is quite likely that when you connect a new video adaptor, you can use it without any errors. However, occasionally, you may come across a hardware error during the installation of a new device or even with a device that you have been using successfully in the past.
There are three main ways of troubleshooting a device driver error:
- Rolling back the device driver: In case you start encountering problems after you upgrade a device driver, you should roll back to the previous version of the driver.
- Update the device driver: If you notice that a device driver is either outdated or incompatible with your Windows operating system or if you encounter random issues related to the driver, you may need to update the current driver.
- Reinstall the device driver: If your hardware stops operating suddenly and if upgrading the driver does not resolve the issue then you may need to uninstall and reinstall the device driver.
Whenever any of your hardware devices does not work, it is recommended that you check for device driver issues before proceeding to investigate other hardware related problems.
You can perform the above three troubleshooting tasks through either of the two methods given below:
- Manual method: You can use the built-in facility provided with Windows known as the Device Manager which helps you manage your device drivers and perform various tasks, such as driver updates, roll back, removal, and installation. To open the Device Manager, right-click on My Computer and then select Properties. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager. Although the Device Manager is available within Windows, driver maintenance and repair is quite time-consuming and the chances of errors are quite high.
- Automatic method: A popular method to efficiently and automatically manage device drivers is to use a third-party driver scanner tool, such as Driver Finder. Driver scanner tools have a user-friendly interface that makes the process of managing your device drivers and updating them a pleasant experience. These tools automate most of the process and provide customer support in case you are unable to do something.