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Chapter 23. Putting It All Together > Drivers: The Software That Goes With the ...

Drivers: The Software That Goes With the Hardware

In order to run devices like a printer or a scanner, Windows needs to know how to talk to that hardware. Providing those instructions is the job of the driver: a piece of software that comes with the hardware, usually on the accompanying CD-ROM. Any hardware that came bundled with your PC (such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor) probably has the necessary drivers already installed. But if you bought the pieces separately, or if you add a new peripheral to your original setup, you'll need to install the hardware driver.

The Windows XP installation wizard will, in almost all cases, recognize what type of new hardware you have installed and what software it needs. That means that if all goes well, Windows will prompt you with instructions to insert the disk with the necessary driver, then it will automatically run the installation software for you.


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