Drivers are used to control peripheral devices such as a printer and other hardware such as audio/video controllers connected to or built into your PC. The main task of a driver is to establish communication between the devices and programs by acting as a translator.
Common Driver Problems and Errors
Generally, driver problems occur due to:
- Conflicts as a result of missing or busy resource.
- Instability caused because of bugs in the driver or the operating system component causing frequent buffer errors in the system.
- Poorly designed driver with low frame rates that reduce your system stability and performance.
- Incompatibility with operating system.
- Corrupt or incorrect registry entries.
Listed below are some of the common driver errors, generated due to a missing or damaged driver file.
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.
Troubleshooting Common Driver Errors
Many times the error itself does not indicate the cause of the problem. Therefore, the first step in troubleshooting driver errors is to isolate the cause. You can do this by checking device settings.
To check device settings, open the System Properties dialog by selecting the System icon from the Control Panel. Next, select the Hardware tab, and then select the Device Manager button. Device Manager provides you with information related to devices installed on your system. You can browse through various component categories to identify the device with conflicts. Double-clicking the problematic device will enable you to open a new dialog box that will give you information related to the nature of the problem.
Most of the time hardware problems are due to a faulty device driver. To fix these problems, you can choose to upgrade to a new driver version, rollback to an older version, or reinstall the device driver. You can also use the recovery console to replace the corrupt driver file with the original file.
To reinstall the driver, open Device Manager and navigate to the hardware you need to reinstall. Right-click the device and select the Uninstall command. Next, select OK and then Yes to restart your PC. On startup, your Windows system will automatically detect the hardware and install the driver for it.
To upgrade the driver for your hardware, first visit the manufacturer’s web site and download the updated driver. Next, install the driver software and restart your computer.
To rollback a driver to a previous version, first identify the hardware in the Device Manager window. Next, right-click the hardware and select Properties. In the properties dialog box of the hardware, select the Driver tab, and finally click the Roll Back Driver button to restore the previously installed driver.
In case this fails, restart your PC with the Windows XP CD-ROM and select ‘R’ from the Welcome to Setup screen to open the Recovery Console. Login using the administrator password and run the command ‘cd windows\system32\drivers’. Next, rename the damaged driver file by running the ‘ren DriverName.sys DriverName.bak’. Now copy the original driver file from the Windows XP CD-ROM to the Drivers folder by running the command ‘copy CD-Drive:\i386 DriverName‘. Finally, exit the recovery console and restart the system.
In case none of these methods are able to fix the problem, then you might have to reinstall or replace the hardware. If the errors still persist, then you might have to try to restore or reinstall the operating system.
Missing, corrupt, incompatible, and poorly designed drivers are some of the common reasons behind driver errors. Most of the driver problems can be fixed by reinstalling or upgrading the driver. In case the driver fails after upgrading, then you might have to roll back the driver to a previous version. At times, you may have to use the Recovery Console to restore the corrupt file, or it may be that you have to reinstall the entire operating system. As a preventive measure, you must keep your PC updated with the latest security and antivirus updates. You must also regularly scan your system registry using a reliable registry cleaner software. This software helps you in eliminating unwanted and corrupt entries from the registry, thereby enabling you to prevent the occurrence of frequent errors on your PC.