A computer is made up of various pieces of hardware that are manufactured by different companies. Each piece of hardware uses their own drivers to communicate with the other pieces of hardware, as well as with the programs you are running on your computer. Since hardware is a fixed item, meaning you cannot change the hardware on a constant basis, the manufacturers of the hardware release updated drivers frequently to keep the hardware up to date with the latest technologies. In order for you to keep your hardware up to date, you have to update your drivers on a regular basis.
A driver is a little piece of software that communicates to your hardware and tells it what it is capable of doing. If the driver is old and does not understand the instructions it is receiving from the rest of the system, it will not know how to explain that to the hardware and the program you are trying to use. This will result in either a system crash or complete system failure. This is why is it very important to keep your drivers up to date.
The first thing you need to do is know what hardware you have and what drivers are currently installed. You can do this a couple of ways:
DXDIAG – is a diagnostic tool for DirectX on your computer. Go to START, then click on RUN and type in DXDIAG and click ok. In here you will find information on your BIOS, video card and sound card.
Device Manager – Right click on My Computer then on Properties and then click on the Hardware tab. Once there, click on Device Manager. Inside here is every piece of hardware in your system. Right click on the one you want then choose Properties. In there you will find the driver information.
Alternatively, if you know the model of the hardware, you can go directly to the manufacturers website and more often than not, they will have a detection tool that will do all the work for you. All you have to do from that point is download the driver file to your desktop and install it.
Installing the driver is pretty straightforward, the first thing you want to do is disable your Anti-Virus, as those programs have been known to mess up the driver installation. Just double-click on the driver file you downloaded and follow the prompts. Normally you will have to perform a system reboot after the installation is complete to finish the installation.
That’s all there is to updating your drivers. This is something you will want to check on at least once every three months or sooner if you experience any issues.