Device Drivers For Peripheral

You always hear someone asking whether you have the Device Driver or Software Driver for the peripherals that you want to connect to your computer. But what is this driver for ?  It is a program that comes with your peripheral so that it can interact with the computer after installation.

Similarly, for any hardware to work with Windows, you need to install and configure a device driver for it. Windows XP includes many drivers for commonly used hardware devices but if you have a newer or less used peripheral, you must obtain the right device driver from the manufacturer so that it can be configure with  the Windows operating system that you are using.

In most cases, Windows automatically recognizes your new device and asks for the driver so that it can install it. You can even manually use the Add Hardware Wizard to help you install the proper driver for the new device. However, nothing can be done if you do not have the right or proper device driver !

When you open the Device Manager ( Control Panel > System > Hardware Tab > Device Manager ), you will find a list of devices that is used by your computer. Any device with problem will be highlighted. Click the + next to the hardware device type to view all the corresponding devices.

It can be identified with one of the following symbols:

1. A black exclamation point (!) on a yellow field indicates that the device is in what Windows calls a “problem state.” Note that a device in a problem state can still be functioning, even though it has some sort of problem. The problem will be explained by the accompanying problem code.

2. A redX” indicates that the device is currently disabled. This usually means that the device is physically present in your system, but doesn’t have a driver loaded although it could also mean that a driver is loaded but not functioning properly.

3. A blue i on a white field indicates that the device is not using the automatic settings, but has a manual configuration instead. (This icon isn’t necessarily bad, because it doesn’t indicate a problem, only a different type of configuration.).

How To Update Your Driver

To update a device driver, select the peripheral on the Device Manager list, right-click and select Properties. Then go to the Driver tab and select the Update Driver button.

When the Hardware Update Wizard appears, select which option you want update the driver. If you have new driver software from your hardware’s manufacturer, check the Install From a List or Specific Location option, and then insert the disk or CD-ROM and follow the onscreen instructions to install the specific driver.

If you’d rather have Windows search for a better driver, check the Install the Software Automatically option. Windows will now search for an updated device driver from the web. You must be online to make this function works. If it finds one, follow the onscreen instructions to install it. If it doesn’t find one, choose to keep your present driver.

You can always search for new and updated drivers at the device manufacturer’s Web site. You can obtain plenty of device drivers from DriverGuide.com (www.driverguide.com) and WinDrivers.com (www.windrivers.com).

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