Hardware Device Drivers: It is the software which enables operating system to communicate with hardware. When an application need to read or access data from device, application communicate with operating system and operating system communicate with driver. Hardware device drivers are written by company which manufactures device. After getting data from hardware device driver data is return to operating system and operating system return data to application.
Not all drivers have to be written by the company that designed the device. In many cases, a device is designed according to a published hardware standard. This means that the driver can be written by Operating System vendor, and the device designer does not have to provide a driver.
Not all drivers communicate directly with a device.
The computer Motherboard (mainboard) has built-in hardware like Graphic card, NIC card, Sound card, USB ports, Wireless NIC card etc. Motherboard manufacturing companies provide drivers for same in CD/DVD. Microsoft, Linux operating system has built-in database of standard drivers for display cards, NIC, sound and other so when we install operating system then OS automatically installs these standard drivers for display, sound, network adapter and other. But device perform properly when it gets original device drivers written by manufacturing company. In windows operating system Device Manager is a built in tool given in control panel manages hardware devices and its respective drivers. In windows 10 you can open Device Manager by multiple ways.
1) Start->Search->Device Manager
2) Write click on Start -> Select Device Manager
3) Start -> Control Panel -> Device Manager
4) Start- > Windows Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Device
Select device and right click and select properties. In below picture right clicked on NIC card and selected properties.
Select general tab, in general we come to know Device type, Manufacturer and Location.
Select ‘Driver’ tab, in Driver tab you will found name of company which has provided Driver files, date of driver file when it has published, version of driver and digital signer.
Driver signing associates with a digital signature for driver package. Windows installation uses digital signature to verify integrity and identity of vendor.
On the same tab you will get tabs like –
1) Driver details -> Shows the driver files and its location.
2) Update drivers ->To update drivers.
3) Roll back driver -> If after installing latest updated drivers device fails then rollback updated drivers to previous version.
4) Disable -> Disable device
5) Uninstall -> Uninstall drivers means ultimately uninstall device.
Sometime device starts malfunctioning, it may because of drivers of respective device corrupts, uninstall the device. Right click on console of device manager and select ‘Scan for hardware changes’ then system again detect the device and install fresh drivers.
In some cases need to update drivers. Most of the hardware device manufacturer’s site has list of their products and respective drivers. Administrator can visit the manufacturer site and select product and download the respective drivers.
If device fails after installation of updated drivers then roll back to the previous version of drivers.
Select ‘Resources’ tab from same windows. In resources tab we get information about ‘IRQ’ no of device. Interrupt Request Number (IRQ) is given to device depending on its priority, means when we are working, which device request to processor first for the execution of its task. Keyboard has highest priority. Sometime IRQ number of two device may same and it causes a conflict between device and result of that one device works and another doesn’t. On same windows we come to know whether device has conflict or not.
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