Drivers are the middleware that allow computer programs to use resources of a specific hardware device.

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36
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7answers
5k views

Why do printers require drivers?

I've always wondered why I need a 500+ MB printer driver installed on my computer every time I set up a new printer. Why can't computers simply send the file that needs to be printed to a printer and ...
24
votes
6answers
8k views

Why should I install hardware drivers if my computer is working fine?

I've just installed Windows 7 on my PC. I went online to look for drivers. For my motherboard, Foxconn offers LAN drivers, on-board audio drivers, and chipset drivers. And for my graphics card, ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Why must I install drivers BEFORE plugging in a new peripheral?

I've always found this to be curious about installation instructions for computer peripherals; most commonly, installation of USB hardware in Windows XP. Installation instructions typically insist ...
22
votes
2answers
759 views

Does the BIOS have some sort of generic 'drivers'

How does the BIOS control I/O devices without any form of drivers? For example how is an image displayed whilst the computer is booting if the BIOS doesn't have any drivers for the graphics card. ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do my headphones not require drivers?

When I plug a new mouse or printer into my Mac, I need to install a new driver. However, I recently plugged new head phones into my computer, and they just worked. Why don't I need to install a ...
20
votes
8answers
38k views

What's the reason behind “Stereo Mix” becoming a missing option?

Several newer computers I've worked on (Dell, mainly) are using IDT or Realtek drivers which lack the Stereo Mix option in audio recording devices. I've tried all kinds of methods including ...
19
votes
13answers
73k views

Why does Windows 7 ask for additional drivers when installing from a USB 3.0 drive?

I just bought a new config ( ASUS p8z68-v lx, i5-2500k + ram and new graphic card ). Coming back and installing it in my old computer, I just saw that my DVD player was on IDE (yup…). So, I needed to ...
19
votes
5answers
31k views

Where should I find drivers for my laptop if it didn't come with a driver disk?

I had to reformat my machine because I had a virus. My machine did not come with a driver disk. How can I install drivers after having reinstalled windows?
18
votes
8answers
182k views

When installing additional printer 32-bit drivers fails on Windows 7 64-bit I get the error “Selected printer driver not found”, what should I do?

I've successfully installed Windows 7 (x64) and drivers for my Canon MP510, and have no problem printing with this setup. There is another PC in the network running XP SP3, and I want to share the ...
18
votes
6answers
20k views

Play audio over network with Windows 7?

I have seen software for Linux systems that allows me to send the audio from one system to another over the network, is there such a software (a driver likely) for Windows, specificly XP but Vista and ...
15
votes
3answers
39k views

How to mount read-write an ext4 partition on Windows?

I want to use ext4 on my external HDD, but it must be cross-platform. (At least Linux, Win7 & WinXP). Unfortunately, I haven't found any proper driver allowing Windows to WRITE to ext4. I've ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Automatic driver search & update on Windows?

I have a Dell laptop issued by my employer, and I always find it a real pain to search for, download and maintain their drivers. It baffles me that there does not seem to be a nice way (product, ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Windows 8.1 Black screen and no safe mode [closed]

PROBLEM Cannot run Windows 8.1 due to black screen. No mouse pointer. Sometimes white cursor in top left. Cannot enter safe mode: get black screen but with a row of blue pixels at the bottom or a row ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I emulate a 'fake' printer (driver) in Windows?

For testing, my application needs to send a document to the printer. I don't really want to print this out, so I am looking for a 'fake' printer driver which could essentially print to nothing. I know ...
14
votes
4answers
65k views

How to add drivers to Windows 7 installation DVD?

How I can bundle newer or missing drivers to Windows 7 DVD?
14
votes
3answers
24k views

How to diagnose Blue Screens in Windows 7 (64bit)

Using programs like WhoCrashed and BlueScreenView you can see the BSOD and the errors but how do you tell exactly what's causing the BSOD? I'm not sure if it because of bad hardware, bad driver ...
13
votes
6answers
109k views

How can I disable my laptop's built-in keyboard in Windows 7?

I have a HP Compaq Presario C700 laptop with Windows 7 installed on it. My laptop's keyboard is not working properly; some keys never work and some keys will keep on pressing. I've formatted the OS ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there any point in installing a monitor driver?

I'm guessing that most of the world's PCs are running with a default "Plug & Play Monitor" driver which seems to work well enough, and having just swapped to a 2005FPW, installed the driver and ...
12
votes
5answers
30k views

Remove NVIDIA Update and UpdatusUser

Does anyone know how to remove the UpdatusUser user created by installing the NVIDIA driver? Or better yet, how to install the drivers in such a way that UpdatusUser won't even be created? I have ...
12
votes
1answer
17k views

What is the difference between the different nVidia Quadro drivers?

I have a nVidia Quadro FX 1700 graphics card and there are different drivers offered at the nVidia driver page: Quadro ODE Graphics Driver Quadro Performance Driver Quadro Partner Certified Driver ...
11
votes
3answers
441 views

Why does simple plug and play hardware sometimes include drivers?

I have about 7 devices (speakers, mouse, etc.) that are all USB. They all came with CD's containing drivers for it. My question is, why do they? All 7 of these devices have run just fine on every ...
11
votes
3answers
505 views

What is different about GPU drivers from other device drivers, that allows for performance optimizations?

It seems like the big two GPU makers are constantly releasing updated drivers that have a small performance boosts here and there. When they're for the same game, I bet it adds up over time. With ...
11
votes
7answers
12k views

Screen is black at login screen if display driver is enabled

I have a Lenovo x200 and recently its screen didn't work, so I took it to a repair lab. The guy told me they replaced the screen inverter. I powered up the laptop and the ThinkPad logo was shown, so I ...
11
votes
3answers
16k views

Can I safely delete the files created by NVIDIA display drivers?

Every time I install a NVIDIA driver the files get unzipped into C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver. I assume the setup copies the files to another location and this unzipped data is only useful for the ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

50 USB webcams in a single computer. Is that really possible?

Theoretically an USB HD webcam working at 15 FPS consume a bandwidth nearing 18MB/s - 1280 (width) x 960(height) x 3(RGB channels) x 15(FPS) - without compression. An USB 2.0 controller have a ...
11
votes
2answers
729 views

Windows cannot enter very low-res video mode with modern graphics cards/drivers

NEW! I was trying to post here yesterday, but it kept giving me an error. I have discovered that it actually is not using DirectX at all, but GDI or whatever is the non-DX graphics in Windows (not ...
10
votes
2answers
372 views

should you install specific drivers from your motherboard / video card manufacturer, or let Windows do the job? [duplicate]

I have a computer which is working fine after a windows re-install. However, I did not install any drivers at all, they seem to have been installed via Windows Update. Back then, I remember I had to ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between a device driver and module?

Question: What is the difference between a Device Driver and a Module (or Kernel module) in the context of both Linux and Windows specifically? I understand the purpose of a device driver, can you ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Mouse Cursor Occasionally Looks Wonky

My computer has three video cards, six monitors, and (believe it or not) a mouse. Generally, all six outputs display the correct mouse cursor. Occasionally, the outputs on a random video card will ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

Enable/disable Windows 7 device via command line

I have a device that I often enable and disable using the Device Manager. I'd like to write a script to do this programmatically (that is, using the command line). I saw a program called devcon that ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

2 identical PCs - can I swap a single hard drive between and expect Windows 7/XP to work?

I currently work in 2 different locations, traveling between the 2 every few weeks or so. I currently have screens, kb, mouse etc... in both locations, so I just pick up my tower case when I want to ...
9
votes
5answers
39k views

What is a UFR II printer driver and why might I use it in preference to another type?

A new printer recently showed up at work. There are an abundance of possible drivers for it applicable to my system (Windows 7, 64 bit) including PCL5, PCL5e, PCL6 and UFR II. I'm familiar with PCL, ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How to find vendor and model of unknown drivers

I reinstalled windows on a new machine and the drivers are not present for the product network card. When in device manager all I get is the question mark and I am unable to figure out the actual ...
9
votes
1answer
524 views

VAIO laptop's wireless indicator blinking when connected to access point

I have a VAIO laptop model VGN-C22GH. It has a built in wireless card with a Intel Centrino processor on his motherboard. When using Ubuntu 10.04, the wireless indicator blinks violently. This ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I debug user mode driver failures in Windows 8

I have a 32 GB SD Card. Whenever I insert this card in to my newly upgraded Windows 8 laptop the OS stops responding normally. Metro Apps won't work. The system may or may not log in. Desktop apps ...
8
votes
8answers
121k views

How to enable AHCI in Windows XP without reinstalling

This question is part of a larger list of things I'll need to do before installing a new SSD drive, but I think it deserves its own question. Current setup: A dual-boot machine with Windows XP ...
8
votes
4answers
42k views

Synaptics - Windows 8.1, updating Synaptics failed

On Windows 8.1, I tried to install the latest Synaptics Touchpad Driver v17.0.19 and it failed for some unknown reasons. Turns out it's problem with Synaptics, not Windows. Synaptics did not "Sign" ...
8
votes
2answers
469 views

Is it possible to download minimal drivers on Windows, without the extra software packages?

The situation in all its glory: 30 megs for ATIs' "Display Driver Only". Almost 100 megs for NVidias' GeForce/Ion bloatware. 300 megs for an HP printer driver with immense amount of crap 30 megs ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Are drivers part of the operating systems?

I have difficulty in understanding what's included in an OS and what's not. Is a device driver such as a printer driver or graphic driver part of an OS? Thinking about the definition of an OS I ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

How can I install an Apple Magic Trackpad on a PC without Boot Camp?

I have a Apple Magic Trackpad and I'd like to use it with my PC. I have no other Apple hardware besides the Trackpad. I do not have OSX and thus no Boot Camp CD. The Trackpad uses Bluetooth and ...
8
votes
5answers
43k views

Windows 7: Base System Device drivers missing

I re-installed Windows 7 and I currently have 2 Base System Devices with a yellow exclamation which means it's unrecognized and the drivers for it are missing. Windows update has been unable to find ...
8
votes
1answer
54k views

How to completely remove printer from Windows 7

I'm having some issues with my Canon Pixma IP1900 printer - it doesn't respond to any OS requests. I am using Windows 7 x64 with additional Canon drivers and the printer used to work ok, but recently ...
8
votes
5answers
23k views

Virtual audio driver for Windows?

Is there any (possibly free or open-source) virtual WDM audio driver for Windows, with additional processing plugins, which would add one more layer between windows applications and actual sound ...
8
votes
4answers
34k views

How to reset video/display drivers in Vista without restarting OS?

Currently I have to reboot my system if an external monitor is hooked up for it to be correctly detected and used. I think it would be faster to restart/reset the video or display drivers instead. ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Logitech SetPoint Alternative for MX Revolution on Windows

Is there a software alternative out there for Logitech SetPoint on Windows (7)? Specifically for the Logitech MX Revolution Mouse. The required features are just key mappings and configuration of the ...
8
votes
1answer
18k views

Use an unsigned driver in Windows 7 x64

I'm trying to use the RBC9 SpaceNavigator TEST x64 build drivers for my SpaceNavigator 3d joystick so that it can work as a normal joystick in games like Quake. Unfortunately, I get the error "This ...
8
votes
3answers
25k views

Virtual sound card driver for Windows

I have no sound card on my machine, but I want to (automatically) record screen with audio on it. So I thing it's some kind of virtual sound card driver needed to loop back sound send to play to ...
8
votes
9answers
198k views

How do I solve an unidentified network issue? It can't connect to the Internet

I basically have a problem with Windows 7 connecting to my home network. It keeps identifying my home network as unidentified, and it continually does "identifying" until it simply say cannot connect ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the Requirements for Fullscreen Consoles in Windows 7?

When you try to switch a console to fullscreen in Windows 7, it gives the error This system does not support fullscreen mode. Of note is the part about “this system”, intimating that some systems do ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Windows 7 setup doesn't recognize my Intel SSD 320 series drive

I have replaced my hard drive with a Intel SSD 320 Series (120Gb) and changed the SATA mode to AHCI in the BIOS. But the Windows 7 setup doesn't recognize the SSD drive. I tried to install a driver ...