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Why it’s important to update drivers regularly

Drivers are software programs that allow your computer’s operating system to communicate with and give instructions to the hardware devices and software programs you want to use with your computer. From hardware devices like a webcam, printer to software applications and programs like games, Internet downloads, or common programs like Word or Excel, you need to have current and up-to-date drivers for your computer.

Outdated drivers can cause your computer to crash, prevent programs and applications from working, and can cause error messages, or simply prevent you from using your computer the way you want.

Common error messages that outdated drivers can cause include:

* “STOP: 0xc0000221 Bad image checksum, the image user32.dll is possibly corrupted. The header checksum does not match the calculated checksum.”

* “Error: Cannot load dll CnxtSdk.dll.”

* “The device driver for the keyboard device is preventing the machine from going to sleep. Please close all applications and try again. If the problem persists, you may need to update this driver.”

* “STOP: 0xc000026C (Unable to load device driver) Driver name.”

* Error caused by a device driver. Thank you for submitting a bug report to Microsoft.”

Yeah, those are some pretty technical phrases, almost like trying to read a foreign language. But, if you get any of these types of messages from your computer, you can be sure that an outdated driver is causing the problem.

You need to update your drivers regularly because Windows updates the Windows operating system regularly. If you install a new piece of hardware on your computer, your computer’s operating system may have older code and may not be able to communicate effectively with the new device. Downloading a new driver to suit the new product will provide the codes and programming instructions to operate the new device on your computer’s operating system.

If your computer keeps crashing every time you open a particular program, reach a certain level in a game, or connect a hardware device like a camera, you most likely have an outdated driver. Crashing your system or shutting down your computer unexpectedly is a sure sign that you have an outdated driver that is sending old code and instructions to your computer’s updated operating system.

A computer crashes when the operating system can’t understand too many extraneous instructions. It’s like someone throwing up their hands in despair and shouting, “I don’t understand” or “I can’t handle this.” If you continually receive instructions from your boss at work in a language that he never learned, you would find it extremely frustrating. I’m sure many of you can relate to this! An outdated driver is giving your computer’s operating system instructions in a foreign language, so it’s no wonder the computer crashes when it can’t cope.

For example, Windows sometimes finds it difficult to enter a sleep mode, such as “standby,” “hibernate,” or “sleep” if your computer has an outdated driver. You may even have trouble shutting down the computer. This is because the operating system is still receiving instructions that it cannot interpret from the outdated driver. In these cases, it sends the computer an instruction to shut down, but the operating system says, “Wait, I can’t shut down now, I’m still getting an incoming message from this driver.”

Outdated drivers can cause a multitude of problems for your computer’s operating system. If you get error messages, your computer crashes, or the computer can’t shut down properly, you probably have an outdated driver causing your problems.

Very good, you have been patient and have read all this information. Now she’s probably wondering, “Is this guy really going to tell me how to update drivers?” Why yes, I certainly will. Thanks for his patience.

There are several ways to update your drivers. One method is to go to the particular manufacturer’s website and search for the particular driver based on the make and model number of the hardware device. Once you have located the driver, download it, open the file and install it on your system. It is extremely important to ensure that you download the correct driver or your hardware device or PC could experience errors or malfunction altogether.

A second, much easier method of updating drivers is to install quality driver update software. These programs perform a scan of the entire computer system and identify any old or outdated drivers. The software then collects the most up-to-date drivers from its database (usually millions) and downloads them to your computer system. This definitely takes the fuss and frustration out of trying to update drivers manually!

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