Translucency vs Transparency With Windows Drivers

Let’s face it. In this world where technology reigns supreme, almost everybody acts like their very lives depend on computers. And why not? From a simple homework to complicated business plans, computers are tried and tested to make life simpler. So what happens if your most trusted ally suddenly goes haywire for some unknown reasons?

Funnily enough, most try to rationalize out loud with their computers as though it actually cares if you’ll be able to meet a certain deadline or not. This is exceedingly common with IT technicians and those involved in architecture. It is actually common to see people screaming at their computers for failing them at the most inconvenient times as if it will start running perfectly out of fear of retribution. While some would pound their computers into oblivion, the rest just gives up and hands over their machine to a computer ‘expert’ hoping against all hope that their precious files can still be recovered. But as the old adage stated “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” – most of the time, all one has to do is regularly update their Windows Drivers.

A Windows Driver is basically a type of software that helps an Operating System interface with a hardware (e.g. Printer, keyboards, monitor, etc.). Drivers are usually included and/or installed along with your hardware acquisition. Communication failure between a particular software and its hardware is usually brought upon by issues with the Windows Driver. Thus, updating your drivers is necessary if you want your computer to be in its top form and don’t want your work to be plagued with confusing computer error codes, or worse, suddenly see the blue-screen of death. It is one of the main reasons why most computer experts would probably recommend that you update your Windows Driver as a first-step in troubleshooting and will definitely correct most of the simplest error codes.

As mentioned earlier, updating your drivers is more of a prevention rather than cure, so it is essential that you know when exactly is the right time to do it. This includes

(1) Switching/upgrading your Operating System,

(2) New software features is being offered by the manufacturer and is available through updates,

(3) Fix bugs and glitches in the software, and

(4) Windows Update notifies you.

While several computer amateurs may dissuade you in updating your drivers because of its perceived nuisances, remember that those updates are there for a reason and that is to help your computer run as smooth as possible.

Most software companies offer a driver update at least once a year so it is vital that you check regularly if there are any updates available for download. With the continuous progress and advancements in computer technology, it is no surprise that both software and hardware errors are quite common; an update officially serves as a straightforward solution to a potential big problem.

Computers can serve as your best friend or your worst enemy depending on the situation. A combination of common sense and a basic understanding of computers is the key to a better man-machine relationship.

Getting Acquainted with Your Computer: What are Windows Drivers?

In this day and age, the only individual who has never even seen nor touch a computer might as well live under the proverbial rock. Even those involved in the legal and medical fields have embraced modern technology. As technology progresses, so does our society’s increasing dependency on computers. From small businesses to large industries, computers and computer-like technologies have inevitably become the heart and soul of operations.

A computer is technically an electronic device that accepts, stores and manipulates digitized information based on a program or a sequence of mathematical programs at a very high speed in order to produce the necessary results that is vital for its user. Since computers play an important part in our lives, it is only practical that we should familiarize ourselves with some of its most basic components.

Computers are mostly composed of software and hardware. Software is the common term for the computer programs that directs the operation of a computer. Hardware, on the other hand, is the generic term for all the computer’s physical parts such as the motherboard, storage controllers, mass storage drives (hard disk, CD-ROM, etc.), and other peripheral devices such as printers, scanners and webcams. Softwares and hardwares are literally connected with the use of drivers. English tutors in particular have enjoyed and utilized the power of computing.

A Windows Driver acts as a conduit and controller between a particular software and a specific hardware. It acts as a translator between devices and helps them to communicate with each other through the use of specialized commands unique to that driver and is often bundled as a dynamic link library or a DLL file. It is not unusual for one to buy a computer with all the pertinent drivers already installed in the unit. However, new devices would either mean new drivers or an upgraded version of an existing driver in order to convert the generic input/output instructions of that new device to a “language” that an operating system can understand. Simply put, without Windows drivers, your hardware will not function properly or will stop working altogether.

As mentioned earlier, most Windows Drivers are already available on your operating system when you purchased a computer. However, some drivers may need either a disc or a visit to the manufacturer’s website in order to be downloaded and installed. Furthermore, most drivers are subject to errors and glitches which can only be corrected by updating them using a program called Windows Update. Most manufacturers update their hardware drivers more than once a year so it is critical that one comprehends the drivers that needed to be updated. An update gives the driver a chance to install new features made available by its manufacturer and at the same time, find solutions to recurring hardware problems.

Most computer problems are a result of a faulty driver. More often than not, various computer error codes are products of (1) driver not installed properly, (2) wrong driver is installed and (3) driver is not updated. It is also important to take your operating system’s compatibility with a particular Windows Driver into consideration. And remember: Always read the instructions provided by the driver’s manufacturer. Don’t let the fine print force you to skip reading. As a wise man once said, the devil is in the details – understand the instructions provided and the system requirements before you click the “Run” button. A faulty or wrong driver can actually damage your computer beyond repair.

Familiarizing yourself with your computer’s intimate parts can help you, only understand its intricate mechanisms, but can also help you in maintaining your devices optimum performance.

How to Update Your Graphics Drivers

There is no question that, in this day and age, computers have become a necessity in our society. From simple doodling and homework to complex business strategies and massive storage of private and government data, computers have indeed been an indispensable partner in modern life. However, the use of computers is not limited for “serious” business. For other people, it’s all about fun and games.

Every computer owner has, in one way or another, played a game or two in their respective units. Whether its single player games like Plants vs. Zombies™ and Angry Birds™ or the more competitive massively multiplayer role-playing game such as Defense of the Ancients (DotA)™ and Counterstrike™, every computer user has inevitably become a ‘gamer’ in their own geeky ways. Unfortunately, leisurely activities such as these take their toll on your computer – specifically your graphics driver.

In technical terms, a graphics driver contains a series of mathematical instructions that activates the computer’s graphics device, usually the display screen. They are used from sound devices, to gaming, to kitchen modeling. It uses the PCI Express interface and is responsible for determining the maximum resolution for your display along with the number of colors that can be displayed. Normally, this driver is already integrated into your motherboard when you purchased a computer. Like other Windows Drivers, a graphics driver benefits from updating rather than by leaving it as it is for long periods of time.

For those who uses their computers solely for gaming purposes, the decision on whether to update your graphics driver usually depends on the game’s developer. In order to maximize the hardware, most video card manufacturers collaborate with various game developers to release driver updates that would ultimately improve your display’s performance. You can achieve this by following the steps listed below in order to update your graphics driver:

Create a system restore point. Don’t do anything until you have created a backup plan, just in case the update does not yield the results you are hoping for. A system restore point allows your operating system to roll back to its previous state – before you have installed or updated anything.

You can do this by right-clicking “My Computer” then “Properties”. This will  open the Control Panel Tab. Click “System Protection” then go to “System Restore”. This will automatically create a restore point for you.

Find out what type of video card you are using and get its manufacturer’s name. You can do this by right-clicking your Desktop and selecting “Properties”. This will open the Display Properties Tab. Go to the “Settings” Tab, you can find out the chipset type and the video card’s manufacturer on the Display line.

Visit the manufacturer’s website to get the latest drivers. Most video card manufacturers have a download site in which you can download and install updated drivers. Just follow their instructions and you’re all set. Of course, it is not unheard of that the drivers offered by the manufacturer is not supported by your operating system. If that is the case, then it is better if you visit your unit’s website – that is, if you are using a Dell™ system then you must download the latest drivers from their website. The same goes for other computer brands.

After updating and restarting your computer, the display may revert back to its default low-resolution display. Fret not. Just adjust your screen settings in the Display Properties Tab.

Even if you are not using your computers excessively for gaming or gardening configuration, you can benefit in updating your graphics driver since it not only improves performance but also fixes any bugs and glitches that were present in your system.

So what are you waiting for? Update your graphics driver and let the games begin!

Post written by Sam Jameson, writer and distributor of products like these: