What Is a PCI Device Driver?

by Bridgette Ashmore
pci slots image by Witold Krasowski from Fotolia.com

The inner workings of a computer involve a mix of both hardware devices and software. One example of this mix is a PCI hardware device, which needs a software driver to function. Without this driver, the device will not function.

Drivers

A device driver is a program that controls a particular piece of computer hardware. This hardware can be external, like a printer, or internal, like a sound card. Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating system-specific. Most devices come with a driver; you can also download drivers for free from most hardware manufacturers' websites.

PCI Devices

Peripheral Component Interconnect, or PCI, is the standard interface used to connect peripherals to a personal computer. Components like sound cards, network cards and TV tuner cards all use PCI to translate information from the main processor.

PCI Device Drivers

A PCI device driver is the program that allows a PCI device to function as intended. Different PCI devices use different drivers. If you receive an error message about a driver, it may have become corrupted or uninstalled. In this case, you need simply to determine the manufacturer of the device, then visit that company's website to obtain the driver.

References

Photo Credits

About the Author

Based in CT, Bridgette Ashmore has been writing on a variety of topics since 1996. Her articles have been published in trade publications such as "LibraryScope" and "24/7" as well as topic-specific magazines like "ATV Rider" and "Side by Side." Ashmore has received numerous academic awards and possesses several college degrees—most recently a Master of Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology.

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