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What is the purpose of a device driver?

Answer: A device driver is a file that lets the computer know the configuration and specifications of a certain hardware device. Some examples of devices that need drivers are hard drives, DVD drives, and PCI cards. Without the driver file, the computer will be unable to communicate with the device. Often, Windows will alert the user if there is a new device which doesn't have a driver installed yet. It will then hopefully let you install the correct driver for it. "Hopefully" being the key word...

Published: September 17, 1999 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center