A computer driver is basically a software program which enables the user to control and operate hardware connected to the system. Installing the computer driver means enabling the access of hardware functions where-as updating the computer driver means making the driver up-to-date so that the user can enjoy the latest features.
So when it comes to installing or updating the driver, the first and the foremost important thing to keep in mind is that the driver which you install is of the particular hardware which you want to operate.
For example if you wish to install the drivers of a graphic card, you may have a list of hundreds of drivers available, out of which you would have to find the particular driver for your graphic card in order to make it functional and perform at its best.
A list of sources through which commonly used drivers are found:
- Compact Discs (CD)
- Digital Video Discs (DVD)
- Floppy Diskettes
- Universal Serial Bus (USB)
- Memory Cards
- Executable files
Knowing the exact model of the hardware is quite important, and so is the version of the windows that you are running. You may find the drivers for your printer model but still not be able to operate it; this is usually because the drivers which you are trying to install are not for your version of Windows.
Majority of the drivers are available on the internet today. Hardware drivers are usually found on the official websites of the company, for example the drivers for HP’s printer P1102 can be found on HP’s official website. However the basic software drivers which are essential to run the windows are usually found on Microsoft’s website.
Drivers available on the internet are usually found in a compressed file which needs to be downloaded and uncompressed before a user can install the driver. The important thing to remember here is the location of the folder where the driver is downloaded. By using WinZip you can unzip (decompress) most files formats.
A computer driver can also be installed through an executable file which comes with the hardware. All what the user needs to do is double click the setup file, and the installation will begin automatically. But it is important to note that such executable files should only be run f they come from an authentic source.
Note: Downloading a driver from an unauthentic source or running a setup which did not come officially with the hardware can prove to be dangerous as it might contain harmful viruses.
If you wish to update a driver, all what you need to do is obtain the latest driver and run it. The procedure of updating is similar to that of installation. However during the updating, the software wizard would notify the user that the driver is already installed, and give user the option to either update the current version of the driver or delete it.
Whether you install a driver for the first time or update it, it is recommended to reboot the system for the changes to take place in the system’s memory.