Drivers are software programs that allow your computer operating system to talk to and give instructions to hardware devices and software programs you want to use with your computer. From hardware devices such as a webcam, printer to software applications and programs, such as games, downloads from the internet or common programs such as Word or Excel, you need to have the 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Outdated drivers can cause your computer to crash, prevent programs and applications from working and can cause error messages or can simply prevent you from using your computer as you want to.

Common error messages outdated drivers can cause include:

* “STOP: 0xc0000221 Bad image check sum, the image user32.dll is possibly corrupt. The header check sum does not match the computed check sum.”

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

* “The device driver for the keyboard device is preventing the machine from entering sleep mode. 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 sending an error report to Microsoft.”

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 But, if you receive any of these types of messages from your computer, you can be sure that an outdated driver is causing the problem.

You should update your drivers regularly because Windows updates the Windows operating system on a regular basis. If you install a new piece of hardware onto your computer, you may find that your computer operating system has older codes and cannot communicate effectively with the new device. Downloading a new driver to suit the new product will give the codes and programming instructions to operate the new device to your computer’s operating system.

If your computer continually crashes every time you open a particular program, reach a certain level on a game or attach a hardware device like a camera, there is a good chance you have an outdated driver. Crashing the system or turning off the computer unexpectedly is a sure sign you have an outdated driver that is sending old codes and instructions to your updated computer operating system.

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

As an example, Windows sometimes finds it difficult to enter a sleep mode, such as “standby”, “hibernate”, or “idle” if your computer has an outdated driver. You may even have problems in turning the computer off. This is because the operating system is still receiving instructions that it cannot interpret from the outdated driver. In these cases, you send the computer an instruction to shut down, but the operating system says, “Hang on, I can’t close now, I’m still receiving an incoming message from this driver.”

Outdated drivers can cause multitudes of problems for your computer operating system. If you receive error messages, your computer crashes or the computer cannot shut down properly, you probably have an outdated driver causing your problems.

Alright, so you have been patient and read through all this information. Now you are probably wondering, “Will this guy actually tell me how to update drivers?!” Why yes, I most certainly will. Thank you for your patience.

There are several ways to update your drivers. One method involves going to the particular manufacturers website and searching for the particular driver based on the make and model number of the hardware device. Once you have located the driver, download it, open up the file and install it on your system. It is extremely important to make sure you download the correct driver or your hardware device or PC could experience errors or malfunction altogether.

A second and much easier method up updating your drivers is to install a quality driver-updating software. These programs perform a scan of your entire computer system and identify old or out-of-date drivers. Next, the software gather the most up-to-date drivers from its database, (usually in the millions), and download them onto your computer system. This definitely takes the grief and frustration out of trying to update drivers manually!