A device driver is an important code that allows the system to communicate with certain hardware (such as graphics cards, Bluetooth, storage controllers, network adapters, etc.) and peripheral devices (such as mice, printers, keyboards, and monitors). And many others. Usually, use the built-in driver library and Windows Update service to complete the detection and installation of the device driver automatically.
However, sometimes some devices may need to be updated manually for various reasons. For example, if Windows 10 does not recognize the component. The device no longer works after the update. Windows Update is installing universal packages, or you need to apply critical fixes or quickly access new features.
Why device drivers are important to IT departments
Windows driver developer built this kind of software that enables the core of the computer to communicate with various hardware without describing how the hardware works in detail. The software controls the hardware connected to the computer and enables the computer to use the hardware by providing an appropriate interface. This means that the operating system does not have to elaborate on how the hardware works. The operating system or kernel can communicate with the hardware through a general interface. Therefore, the purpose of a device driver is to ensure that the device for which the hardware is designed works properly and can be used with different operating systems.
Device driver type: user and kernel driver
Almost all devices associated with the computer (from BIOS to the virtual machine, etc.) have device drivers. According to windows driver developers, device drivers can be divided into two categories:
- Kernel device drivers
- User device drivers
Kernel device drivers are general-purpose device drivers, which have been used as part of the operating system and operations. The system is loaded into memory together. Not the entire driver, but the appropriate flags so that the device driver can be called when necessary. Drivers refer to BIOS, motherboards, processors, and similar hardware, which are part of the kernel software.
The problem with the kernel device driver is that one of the called drivers has been loaded into RAM and cannot be moved to the swap file (virtual memory). Therefore, running multiple device drivers at the same time will slow down the computer. Therefore, every operating system has minimum system requirements. Different operating systems have added resources required by kernel device drivers, so end users do not have to worry about additional memory requirements.
User-mode device drivers are drivers that the user usually activates on the computer during a session. You can imagine the devices that users bring to the computer in addition to the kernel devices. Most plug-and-play device drivers fall into this category. Windows driver developers write drivers that can be written to the hard drive, so they do not consume many resources. However, it is recommended to store the driver associated with the game controller in the main memory (RAM).
Block Controller and Character Controller
Block and character device drivers belong to the categories of reading and writing data. Hard drives, CDs, USB drives, etc. Depending on the usage, it can be a block drive or a character drive.
Character driver is used for serial bus. Windows driver developers built these drivers only to write one character of data at a time. This symbol usually represents a byte. If the device is connected to a serial interface, use a character driver. The mouse is a serial device. It has character device drivers.
Block handler refers to writing and reading multiple characters at the same time. Generally, a block device driver creates a block and obtains as much information as the block can contain. For example, hard drives use block device drivers. CD is also a driver that blocks the device, but the kernel needs to check whether the device is still connected. Every time the application calls the CD to the computer.