What You Should Know About Printer Drivers

Printer drivers are a type of software within your computer that let you convert and transfer data from the computer to your printer. To successfully use a printer, several things need to happen. It needs power by being plugged into a wall (unless it is wireless), needs to be plugged into the computer with a USB cord and will need to have software that helps the computer and operating system recognize the printer and information being sent back and forth, which is where the drivers come in. If you go to a document on your computer in an attempt to print it, the only way the printer knows what to print and what details you have chosen is with these printer drivers. Without them, the printing process won’t work properly.

Updating a Printer Driver

The printer drivers that are required to allow for proper printing depend on the type of printer and operating system, as well as different processors being used. So if it is your home computer, you only need to worry about the operating system you have on your personal computer and look for drivers to match your printer and computer. However, if multiple people and computers need to all use the same printer on a server, you may need additional drivers for each individual computer’s operating system. This is common in an office environment if employees bring in their own laptops, each of which may be slightly different and need to have new drivers updated for the use of the printer. In other cases, the drivers become corrupt, requiring updates to be complete.

Before downloading any type of file or system change such as a driver update, you need to make sure to back up your system. Creating a restore point is also good. This way, should something happen during the download or install, you can go back to the way your computer was prior to the download or install. It is far better to take this short bit of time to do this before a download than worry about what to do after something fails. Always back up before any driver update.

Sources:

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/update-drivers-computer.htm

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/what-is-a-driver

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