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Device Driver  

Device drivers are a set of software programs that control the interface between a computer and a connected peripheral device. A driver typically communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications subsystem to which the hardware connects. Device drivers are used by the operating system to control the hardware of the system without these drivers system doesn’t work. Drivers are hardware dependent and operating-system specific and they usually provide the interrupt handling required for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interface. Components that require drivers include keyboards, controllers, graphics cards, audio hardware, Ethernet hardware, wireless cards, ports, card readers, card slots and CD/DVD drives. Device drivers are necessary for many of the hardware components in a computer to work properly.

Device driver simplifies programming by acting as translator between a hardware device and the applications or operating systems that use it and Programmers can write the higher-level application code independently of whatever specific hardware which the end-user is using. A device driver essentially converts the more general input and output instructions of the operating system to messages that the device type can understand.

There are a few selected drivers that all computers must have they are BIOS, Motherboard Drivers, Hardware Drivers, Virtual Device Drivers. Almost all computer and hardware manufacturers include a group of drivers for different hardware devices and often for each of the supported versions of Windows.

Two basic types of Microsoft Windows drivers

1. User-mode drivers execute in user mode, and they typically provide an interface between    a Win32 application and kernel-mode drivers or other operating system components.

2. Kernel-mode drivers execute in kernel mode as part of the executive, which consists of   kernel-mode operating system components that manage I/O, Plug and Play memory,     processes and threads, security.


Some Types of Writing Device Drivers

1. Block Device Drivers

2. Character Device Drivers

3. Byte-Stream I/O

4. Memory Mapped Devices

5. Streams Drivers


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