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Device Driver Technical Reference

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 uses device drivers to interact with hardware devices, such as displays and keyboards. Rather than access devices directly, Windows loads device drivers and calls functions in the drivers to carry out actions on the devices. Each device driver exports a set of functions; Windows calls these functions to complete an action, such as drawing a circle on a display or translating a keyboard scan code. The driver functions contain the device-specific code needed to carry out actions on the device.

Windows requires device drivers for the display, keyboard, and communication ports. Other drivers may also be required if the user adds optional devices to the system.

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