Missing hardware driver errors
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To better understand where missing hardware drivers can lead to, let’s see what a driver really is. In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device. A driver typically communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications subsystem to which the hardware is connected. When a calling program invokes a routine in the driver, the driver issues commands to the device. Once the device sends data back to the driver, the driver may invoke routines in the original calling program. Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating-system-specific. They usually provide the interrupt handling required for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interface.
So, basically, the driver is a computer program that facilitates communication between another program or application (like a game, a printer software, or mouse) and the specific hardware devices. This makes hardware drivers very important parts of our system. If somehow our drivers are missing or driver files are corrupted, the associated hardware device will work below its performance, or not work at all. Below are some common events triggered by missing hardware drivers:
- Games do not work – display adapter drivers are missing or corrupted
- Internet and LAN connections do not work – network adapter drivers are missing or corrupted
- Printer/Scanner does not work – hardware drivers are missing or corrupted
- Audio does not work – Audio hardware drivers are missing or corrupted
- Your brand new joystick/gamepad is not recognized by Windows - hardware drivers are missing or corrupted
These are just a few of the issues. Every hardware device has its own driver. Whenever this driver is unavailable (missing, unrecognized, or corrupted), the hardware device also becomes unavailable. Windows features support for thousands of hardware devices, but it simply cannot feature support for all of them. Even if you manage to install a driver through Windows, it will most probably be outdated. Although the hardware device will work, it will frequently experience errors, crashes, or freezes. Overall, your Windows will work slow, and crash frequently.
If your mainboard (motherboard) drivers are missing, all your hardware devices (even those with the latest drivers installed) will behave strange. Some might not work at all, while some might work until another error stops them. As you can see, missing hardware drivers can generate a lot of errors and make your Windows almost unusable. Here are a few fatal errors you might encounter:
- STOP: 0xc000026C Unable to load device driver DriverName
- STOP: 0xc0000221 Unable to load device driver DriverName
- STOP: 0xc0000221. Bad image check sum, the image user32.dll is possibly corrupt. The header check sum does not match the computed check sum.
Errors also include the famous blue screen (also called the blue screen of death). When the blue screen is displayed, your computer has no alternative but to restart Windows. There is no escape from this error. The error message can be something like below:
0X000000A0 (0X00000002, 0X0007011E, 0X0000000, 0X0000000) INTERNAL_POWER_ERROR
Although it does not look like a driver error, it is! The device driver for the keyboard device is preventing the machine from entering sleep mode.