Installing Drivers

Objectives :

  • List the uses of device drivers
  • View the device drivers on your system
  • Use driver signing
  • Comply With Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)
  • Use the File Signature Verification tool
  • Install device drivers
  • Manage hardware devices using the Computer Management Console
  • Troubleshoot device drivers

Working of Driver :

A device can only function on the basis of its specialized commands

Only device driver has knowledge of these commands

Device driver converts the commands from the computer to the specialized commands of the device

Device driver acts as a translation medium between the device and the operating system of the computer

Working-of-Driver

Uses of Drivers :

Updates - Enables updates for a hardware device to be independent of the operating system

Troubleshooting - Used in case of a problem with a hardware device

Better Performance - Provides for better usage of the system

Viewing Device Drivers :

Users can test the status of a device driver

It is also possible to check whether a driver is installed for a particular hardware device

Driver tab displays the information related to the driver installed

Viewing-Device-Drivers

Driver Signing :

The Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Lab ( WHQL ) test program certifies device drivers that meet a certain standard

A digital signature is embedded in the device drivers that pass the WHQL test and these drivers are called signed drivers

Updated drivers have to go through testing process again to get a new digital signature

There are three options for driver signing Ignore, Warn and Block

Automatic installation of a new unsigned device driver can lead to following problems :

  • Installation of inferior drivers – can corrupt system memory and cause errors in functioning of system
  • Overwriting of system files – leads to compatibility problems. Devices that use these files will stop functioning and working of entire system deteriorate
  • Viruses –
  • Installation of incompatible drivers -

Complying with HCL :

Microsoft maintains a list of devices that have passed compatibility test of Microsoft Windows and are of high quality. This list is known as Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

You can comply with HCL by ensuring that Microsoft has certified all the devices connected to your computer

It is possible to recognize and deal with unsigned driver files and system files with the help of the File Signature Verification tool

Best Practices :

Read and understand the instructional manual or text file that is supplied with the driver

Incorrect installation or updating of drivers can corrupt the operating system

Keep in touch with driver manufacturer for latest updates.

Search the manufacturer’s web site for available updated versions of the driver.

It is also useful to check for updated versions of drivers on websites such as www.driverzone.com, www.driversguide.com and www.drivershq.com

Be very cautious in following the instructions when you are uninstalling a driver

Any incorrect operation with respect to hardware drivers can cause great harm to the system.

Various problems that may occur are :

  • Computer does not Work Properly after Installation of New Driver
  • Computer does not Update a Driver in Memory
  • Cannot Download Driver Updates from the Windows Update Site

Summary :

Drivers can be a part of the operating system or they can be installed separately

A device driver converts commands from the operating system to a format that is understood by the device

You can view the different device drivers in the Device Manager

Installation of low quality drivers can corrupt the computer

Microsoft certifies high quality drivers on the basis of the Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) test program

The Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) contains a list of the devices that are of high quality and are compatible with Windows 2000

You can ensure compliance with HCL by using the driver signing options and the File Signature Verification tool.