Therefore, hardware drivers can cause many problems

If the PC suddenly crashes, a device driver is often the cause. A driver is a small program that provides communication between the hardware and the operating system. It is indispensable for a smooth process. You can read why this is the case in this article.

Since drivers take care of the dialog between the hardware and the operating system, it makes sense that the respective component manufacturers also program the drivers. This is very often, but not always the case. Microsoft and a few other vendors provide universal drivers that anyone can use. They ensure consistent performance across many device configurations. The majority of mice and keyboards use generic drivers developed by Microsoft, for example.

Many devices can also use a universal driver, but the full (performance) potential is only exploited by the product-specific drivers. A good example is the graphics card. Although it gets along with generic Microsoft drivers and also outputs an image, it will not provide all functions and achieve the full performance. This only works with the manufacturer driver.

Regardless of who developed the drivers, their benefits are always needed: the word processor communicates with the printer driver to start printing, while it works in parallel with the graphics driver to display the text. Without a driver, the program would not know how to communicate with the printer or monitor so that printing and image output can take place.

Another advantage: software developers do not have to learn the respective hardware languages. You can simply insert a basic print function into your program and rely on the fact that the respective printer driver takes care of the details such as layout or duplex. However, software often uses multiple drivers to work with one device, with communication being routed in parallel across each driver. The best way to explain this is with the help of languages: Imagine the software only understands German and the device only understands English. The first driver speaks only Italian and English. That would advance communication a bit, but it would not be enough. The second interpreter in the form of the second driver speaks Italian and German. Since the data is chased by all drivers, communication ultimately comes about.

Device drivers ensure the interaction between hardware and software. Problems with a driver can even cause system crashes.


Device drivers ensure the interaction between hardware and software. Problems with a driver can even cause system crashes.

Thanks to the close cooperation between software, drivers and hardware, PC operation runs smoothly. If something is wrong here, crashes can occur. Back to our language barrier example: a translation is only as good as the worst translator in the chain. So if the interpreter speaks perfect English, but only moderately German, then there may be promises or mistakes. The result: the German speaker does not understand what was meant exactly. So it can happen that the operating system tells the graphics driver to deactivate the fans, although the opposite was meant. This causes the GPU to overheat and the system to crash.

There are even more complex problems, but in principle the systems can hardly recover from incorrect or missing requirements. If you suspect that a device driver is the cause of the system crashes, then first collect all the information to support the suspicion. Third-party programs for a driver update are not recommended. They often cause even more problems.

As long as the system runs smoothly, you don’t need driver updates. Graphics card drivers are expressly excluded from this. They are worthwhile because they often include new techniques that improve performance and actually solve problems.

The blue screen after the system crash often provides a clear indication: If a hardware driver is specified as the cause, you should update or reinstall it. It is best to use “Windows Update” in the “System Settings” of the operating system. Alternatively, you can download and install the driver from the corresponding manufacturer’s website. But start by looking for operating system updates first, because Windows 10 does a pretty good job on this point. The manufacturer’s website is only asked if this does not result in a solution to your driver problem. Pay attention to the correct product name to get the right files.


Find and install drivers for old devices on the Internet


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