Technical definition: A driver is a computer software which is actually used to run any system device. A Computer driver provides an interface between the hardware device and the operating system or other computer programs.
In other words, we can say that a computer software has an access to the hardware device via drivers. These are necessarily needed to be installed in the computers to program on devices. It is the key to the device it is specified for, as there are different drivers for different hardware.
In our computers, a driver is often packaged as a dynamic link library (DLL) file.
Types of Driver Software for Windows Operating System:
There are different drivers for different operating systems.
Following are few windows drivers:
1. Kernel-mode drivers:
They execute in kernel mode as part of the executive, which consists of kernel-mode operating system components that manage I/O, Plug and Play memory, processes and threads, security, and so on. Kernel driver software are typically layered. Generally, higher-level drivers typically receive data from applications, filter the data, and pass it to a lower-level driver that supports device functionality.
Following are its further types:
- High level drivers: Highest-level drivers include file system drivers (FSDs) that support file systems
- Intermediate drivers: Some intermediate drivers are virtual disk, mirror, or device-type-specific class driver. They depend on support from underlying lower-level drivers.
- Low level drivers: They control an I/O bus to which peripheral devices are connected. Lowest-level drivers do not depend on lower-level drivers.