Topics / Hardware and Software / Software Device Drivers

Software Device Drivers

A device driver is software that accompanies a hardware component, e.g a printer or scanner.

The device driver software sits between the hardware device and the operating system.

This allows generic instructions from software applications to be turned into specific instructions for that particular hardware device.  This avoids the need for software creators to know and program the instructions required to operate every make and model of a device.

Without the correct driver, a hardware component may not work correctly, or even at all.

Purpose of device drivers:

  • Operate and control a device attached to the computer
  • Provide an interface between the OS/application and the device
  • Tell the operating system how to communicate with the hardware device
  • Translate requests between a device and the computer
Topics / Hardware and Software / Software Device Drivers