The First Thing You Need to Know About Hardware Drivers
When your computer is working properly, then you have probably not had good cause to even think about the drivers that operate various parts of your computer. Even if you’re not actively thinking about them, device drivers are a critical component of every computer. In fact, if the drivers that operate different devices on your computer stop functioning correctly, then there can be serious repercussions for your computer’s stability, performance, and even whether or not it works at all.
Because device drivers operate almost entirely under the hood of your computer, it can be difficult to tell if they are functioning properly. Unless you’re a highly tech-savvy individual, you probably won’t even know that your drivers have problems until it is too late.
What Do Device Drivers Actually Do?
Device drivers are an interesting piece of software that accompanies virtually every piece of hardware in your computer. Essentially, device drivers serve as a set of instructions for the various parts of your computer, informing each component how to operate. This can include informing your scanner how to calibrate itself, directions for how your webcam should focus, and even governs how much ink your printer uses for each page.
If all of your device drivers are functioning just as they should, then the various devices on your computer will be able to communicate with each other and there shouldn’t be any conflicts. Your devices will also be able to perform in exactly the ways that they are supposed to, and shouldn’t give you any errors.
So What Happens When Your Device Drivers Become Outdated or Broken?
Depending on the nature of the device, outdated, corrupted, or even broken device drivers can have some seriously consequences. Broadly speaking, the functionality of any given device with a faulty driver will be limited, and different devices will react in different ways. Unfortunately, for the computer user, the end result of a faulty driver will nearly always be the same: you won’t be able to use your device as you should.
While it might seem that being unable to print, scan documents, or even use your webcam is problematic enough, device driver errors and faults can be even more serious. Depending on how integral your particular device is to the rest of your computer, your entire system could crash. If a minor driver has an issue, fixing it can be as simple as installing a program and connecting to the Internet. However, if a significant driver has problems, then you may need to have your computer professionally repaired.
Usually, when a device driver becomes corrupted, broken, or disabled, your operating system will give you a specific code to inform you of what went wrong. Below, we have listed some of the various codes that are more commonplace. If you see any of these, it is important to continue reading below to find out how to repair them yourself. Some of these codes include:
- The driver for this device might be corrupted, or your system may be running low on memory or other resources. (Code 3)
- This device cannot start. (Code 10)
- This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system. (Code 12)
If you run into any of the above errors, and if you are in the need for the very specific ess maestro3 pci audio (wdm) driver – it's better not to download the driver from unknown sources, but rather use a professional driver update utility such asDriverGenius, to save time and keep you away from trouble. Even though there is no guarantee that any specific driver will be found using driver update software – the scan process is very fast and user friendly, and you might as well find other drivers that needs to be updated on your machine, and that you weren't even aware of.
What You Can Do to Fix and Update Broken or Outdated Device Drivers
When it comes to repairing and updating device drivers on your computer, there are two primary ways in which you can attempt to address the problem: the difficult, manual way, or the automatic, easy way.
To update your device drivers manually, you must first determine exactly which device driver has developed a problem or become outdated. This can mean scanning your registry if your operating system fails to tell you exactly which device is having problems. Once you have found out which device is having problems, you must then visit the website of the device manufacturer and search for the exact version of your device. If you can find the proper driver for your device, then download that driver, install it according to the instructions provided to you by the manufacturer, and then restart your computer. Assuming that everything went according to plan, then your device should now be updated and fully operable.
To update all of your device drivers, simply repeat this process for all of the devices on your computer.
The easy way to perform this process – for every device on your computer – is to download Driver Genius, and to update and repair every device driver on your computer by clicking on a single button.
How Can I Avoid Ever Having Driver Conflicts?
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to manually guarantee that you won’t run into device driver conflicts at some point during the lifespan of your computer. Unless you are willing to check and update all of your drivers on a weekly basis, it is only a matter of time until you run into potentially severe complications. However, by using a device driver software suite like Driver Genius, you can perform these updates automatically.
What About Third-Party Drivers?
A quick search on the Internet will reveal dozens of different websites offering non-manufacturer device drivers. Often, these will be advertised as being more efficient, faster, or even outright better than the standard device drivers. However, you should never use these. While a small fraction of these third-party drivers may be legitimate, the vast majority will infect your computer with viruses or spyware, and slow your computer down further – making the original problem far worse.
Thankfully, the comprehensive device driver software suite Driver Genius only downloads and installs certified, official drivers.
What Can Driver Genius Do For You?
Driver Genius is quick: Driver Genius takes only a handful of minutes to complete a total system scan of all of your device drivers, and will have your computer running at optimal levels in the time it would take even the most advanced user to download and install a single driver.
Driver Genius is both easy to use and highly effective: Designed for both the novice user and the computer repair veteran, Driver Genius is more than capable of meeting the needs of anyone that uses a computer – no matter their skill level.
Driver Genius is an award-winning software: Because of how effective Driver Genius is in maintaining the device drivers of your computer, Driver Genius has won multiple awards for reliability, speed, and effectiveness of maintenance.