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What exactly is a device driver? Answered



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Best Answer 9 years ago

Device driver: A piece of software which provides a standard way for other software to talk to a piece of hardware. Typically it conforms to some sort of programming or operating-system standard on one side (so it can be treated as one of a class of similar devices), and deals with the details of that particular piece of hardware on the other.

For example: The hardware operations needed to operate a diskette, an internal hard disk, a USB-attached hard disk, or a network-attached disk are all different -- but you don't want the user's program to have to deal with those differences. The device drivers, together with the operating system, hide those differences so the user just treats it as a file system and The Right Things Happen.


9 years ago

In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device.

A driver typically communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications subsystem to which the hardware connects. When a calling program invokes a routine in the driver, the driver issues commands to the device. Once the device sends data back to the driver, the driver may invoke routines in the original calling program. Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating-system-specific. They usually provide the interrupt handling required for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interface.

You can read the rest of the article at the Wikipedia web site