In the battle to keep Windows PCs operational and avoid extensive computer repair, consumers can gain an advantage by performing regular driver maintenance. A computer's drivers are critical components that allow the machine's hardware to recognize and work in concert with its software.

What do drivers do?

It's not incorrect to compare a driver's responsibility to that of a speech translator. These devices are essential in the process that enables hardware to work with installed applications and programs. Printers, video and sound cards, storage hardware and digital cameras are also some of the devices that may interact with a computer's drivers.

If problems with any of these components arise, they can sometimes be attributed to an incompatible or malfunctioning driver.

Proper driver maintenance

So, what's the best way to ensure drivers are working at optimal condition? For starters, users can purchase third-party software that's designed to perform routine maintenance and updates, which may help ensures a computer's drivers are in top shape.

Additionally, newer versions of the Windows operating system can be set to automatically download the required drivers each time a new piece of hardware is connected to a computer.

Microsoft recommends enabling automatic driver updating features, and the company also provides consumers with the option to have Windows Update periodically to check for new driver information each time it runs. If they wish, users can turn each of these options off and perform manual driver maintenance.

Either way, keeping on top of driver updates can be a great way to avoid the frustration that comes when a newly purchased device won't work with a computer. In the case of serious driver damage, an experienced Maryland computer repair specialist should be equipped to handle the job.