Why Drivers Don’t Always Work With Different Operating System?


An operating system is the lifeline of a computer or laptop. This lifeline is supported by drivers that connect all the hardware and software with the integral processors of the computer. The operating system itself is facilitated by drivers in every task that it does, right from the booting to shutting down and everything in between. You may notice that the same set of drivers would not always work on another operating system.

If you had Windows XP then you had to upgrade your drivers if you opted for Windows Vista. Likewise, you will have to upgrade or update your drivers if you are upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7, and likewise if you are switching from Windows 7 to Windows 8. The same applies to all operating systems. With Linux and Apple systems too, you need new drivers when there is a different or a higher version of an operating system.

There are primarily two reasons why drivers don’t always work with different operating system. First, there is the difference between the two operating systems. There will be different features, a whole new set of programs and codes, the language may also vary in parts and the kind of specifications that a new operating system would boast of would certainly be different. Old drivers cannot match up to the requirements of the new operating system. A natural update or downloading new drivers meant for the new operating system is the only way out.

Another reason is the vast difference between 32 bit operating systems and 64 bit operating systems. A 64 bit operating system would handle much more data at a much faster speed and also require and use more random access memory. The drivers needed for such central processing units would be very different from that needed by a 32 bit operating system. Even within the same operating system, you need to choose drivers according to this spec. 32 bit Windows 7 would need different drivers than what 64 bit Windows 7 would demand.

Drivers are programmed to suit specific hardware and software. They are meant to function in a certain manner. If a different operating system has similar programs, hardware, software and similar requirements from the drivers then you may not always change them but else you have to. There are some drivers that work perfectly well on Windows Vista and Windows 7, but that is not the norm.