In the most fundamental sense, a driver is a software component that lets the operating system and a device communicate with each other. For example, suppose an application needs to read some data from a device. The application calls a function implemented by the operating system, and the operating system calls a function implemented by the driver. The driver, which was written by the same company that designed and manufactured the device, knows how to communicate with the device hardware to get the data. After the driver gets the data from the device, it returns the data to the operating system, which returns it to the application.

diagram that shows application, operating system, and driver

Types Of Computer Device Drivers

Device drivers are small computer programs that allow operating systems to read pieces of hardware connected to your computer. There are countless kinds of device drivers for dozens of different pieces of computer hardware. However, for a computer to have basic functionality there are a few select drivers that all computers must have.


BIOS (basic input/output system) is, by definition, the most basic computer driver in existence and is designed to be the first program that boots when a PC turns on. The BIOS is stored on memory built into the motherboard and is designed to boot the hardware connected to the PC, including the hard drives, video display output (whether it be video card or on-board), keyboard and mouse.

Motherboard Drivers

Motherboard drivers are small programs that are read by either Windows or Linux and allow for basic computer functions while inside the operating system. These drivers normally include programs that allow broadband ports, USB ports and I/O ports for the mouse and keyboard. Depending on the make of the motherboard, the drivers may also have basic drivers for video and audio support.

BIOS are not the same as motherboard drivers.

Hardware Drivers

Hardware drivers are programs that are designed to allow pieces of computer hardware, such as expansion slots, to function on a computer. Video cards, sound cards, network cards and other expansion cards come with driver discs to ease the installation process of the hardware. Other devices, like certain kinds of digital cameras and MP3 players, have PC drivers programmed into their software for easy use on most makes of personal computers.

Virtual Device Drivers

Virtual device drivers are different than most drivers. Unlike the majority of drivers, which allow pieces of hardware to work with a particular operating system, virtual device drivers emulate a piece of hardware and essentially trick the computer into thinking that it is reading from a piece of actual hardware. A particularly popular use for virtual device drivers is with reading .iso files without having an actual disc, using one of these drivers to emulate a CD or DVD drive.


driver provides a software interface to hardware devices, enabling operating systems and other computer programs to access hardware functions without needing to know precise details about the hardware being used. … Drivers are hardware dependent and operating-system-specific.

A driver typically communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications subsystem to which the hardware connects.
When a calling program invokes a routine in the driver, the driver issues commands to the device.
Once the device sends data back to the driver, the driver may invoke routines in the original calling program.
Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating-system-specific.
They usually provide the interrupt handling required for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interface

Device drivers are a set of software instructions that control the interface between a computer and a connected peripheral device.
Device drivers tell your machine what the device is, what the device does, and all the other instructions needed for proper operation.
For instance, Windows does not ship with a specific device driver set for all the features in your new Logitech keyboard that has custom buttons.

Drivers it’s a file which Make computers know its devices as sound cam graphic card , etc it is important2 make computer deal with high performance

In any operating system there are two important factors. shell and kernel. shell is closer to the user amd kernel is closer to the hardware. sometimes kernel cannot identify some hardware. to make a communication between kernel and a prticular hardware we will have to install Drivers which contain a set of instructions. i will make it simple, Drivers are the communication medium between kernel and hardware devices. most of the drivers will be installed along with the windows

Drivers are the Identification key for each and every device which needs to be connected to a computer. Windows has built-in drivers for most common devices like mouse, keyboard and monitor. For others you have to get the drivers from the manufacturer of the device.

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