Drivers for Windows® XP

Why does Windows® XP need drivers?

Drivers are software programs which help hardware devices like printers, graphics cards, storage devices, etc. connect and communicate with your computer system and execute commands. They act as translators for the programs and the connected devices. A hardware device gives out a set of unique commands and instructions which only its driver can understand and further decode for your computer. Without the proper drivers, the devices cannot be used. Mentioned below are some details on what drivers are and how do they help operate Windows® XP:

  • What are the different kinds of drivers and why do you need them?

  • How do you add drivers on Windows® XP?

  • What are the precautions to be taken while adding new drivers?

What are the different kinds of drivers and why do you need them?

Every operating system (OS) needs unique drivers which can only work on that platform. Additionally, all the available operating systems come with a few basic drivers, for instance, a keyboard or a mouse driver is already present in the operating system. However, for other hardware devices like printers, scanners, storage devices, graphics cards, audio devices, etc., drivers need to be installed. Further, if you upgrade from one operating system to another, you also need to upgrade the existing drivers or install new ones that sync with the new operating system. You should make sure that the right kind of drivers are in place, else your hardware won’t function properly.

How do you add drivers on Windows® XP?

While the basic drivers come installed with the system, to get the additional drivers, Windows® Update should be set up to the ‘Automatic Install’ mode, which helps in identifying and installing all the latest drivers required for your devices to work. Windows® then suggests the suitable drivers that enable the hardware devices to operate. It also allows you to view and install the drivers on your system. Again, you can go back to the CDs with the driver software that are given by the system manufacturer.

What are the precautions to be taken while adding new drivers?

It is extremely crucial to get the right driver for the right device. Before adding the driver, you should have an idea about its name and version. You should also check for its compatibility with the hardware. Downloading drivers from uncertified websites might damage your system. For Windows® XP, you should make sure that you go through proper websites to obtain the software. In case your operating system warns you about the driver’s incompatibility or integrity, you should immediately stop the procedure.

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