The Videos Graphics Array or VGA specifically refers to a display standard. VGA, the graphic display system was first developed by IBM for PC’s. It became a standard approved by the industries to be used in PC’s before which it enjoyed a widespread public approval.
Though continual development has resulted in far advanced graphic systems and hardware, currently the VGA system is the minimum supported graphical standard which can be implemented without any device specific driver software.
The VGA system was widely used because of the simplicity with which it could be installed into the PC’s motherboard. This is because it was introduced and also probably kick-started the trend of implementing Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) which can be installed with relative ease.
The VGA standard has about 2.6 million colors with a maximum resolution of 720 x 400 pixels. Installing a VGA driver has become rather simple with the VGA card manufacturers having the drivers available to download over the internet. The VGA drivers usually need to be installed or re-installed when the graphics card is changed/upgraded or if there are consistent display problems on the monitor.
How to Install a VGA Driver
Before installing a new VGA driver, it is recommended to uninstall the older driver as a hardware conflict may occur. To do this, follow the sequence of Start > Control Panel > Hardware > Device Manager > Display Adapter. Select the name of the graphics card and under the driver tab, click on Uninstall. Alternately, it is also possible to upgrade the existing drivers using the Update drivers tab.
The computer must then be shut down and the new VGA card should be installed onto the mother board before which the computer should be disconnected from the power so as to prevent damages/shocks from static charges. The new VGA card should come with an installation CD which will contain the appropriate drivers that are needed for the hardware to function properly.
VGA Driver Installation and Update
To know the manufacturer or the model details of the VGA driver installed on the computer, the same sequence can be followed. Right click on the display device and click on properties. The general tab should contain the above details, including the version of the drivers installed.
This information would be useful in determining whether a software/driver update is necessary. Alternately, most manufacturers nowadays have special applications that determine whether a driver update is necessary or even possible.
Installing VGA Driver updates are important because they improve the overall functioning and interfacing of the hardware, since it is the software that fundamentally controls the hardware. The differences are not always discernible to the end user but depending on the graphics card , it may even allow new features.
In modern operating systems like Windows 7, any new hardware or VGA card is automatically detected and the corresponding drivers are found on the internet and downloaded. The user approval or the administrator approval is usually required before the final installation.
Modern operating systems also automatically create a system restore point in case of any mishaps. It should be noted that, if for any reason, the incorrect VGA drivers are downloaded and installed as well or display problems are encountered, it is possible to roll –back to the previous drivers.