A Protected Mode Driver is a driver specifically created for Intel 32-bit processors. It took many years for drivers and applications to transition from 16-bit to 32-bit systems, despite the 386 processor being available since 1985.
Benefits of Protected Mode driver
Protected Mode drivers first appeared in Windows 95, and they offer several benefits compared to 16-bit drivers. They provide a higher degree of memory protection, which improves stability and security. They also allow more efficient use of memory resources, which enhances overall system performance.
Despite being designed for 32-bit processors, Protected Mode drivers are still compatible with 16-bit drivers used by DOS and Windows 3.1. This means that users can still use older hardware and software without any issues.
What is the difference between Protected Mode and Real Mode?
Protected Mode provides a higher degree of memory protection and allows more efficient use of memory resources compared to Real Mode. In Real Mode, the CPU can only access a limited amount of memory and does not have access to many modern features.
Which Windows versions support Protected Mode drivers?
Protected Mode drivers were first added to Windows 95, and they have been included in every Windows version since then, including Windows 10.
Protected Mode drivers provide several benefits, including improved stability, security, and performance. Despite being designed for 32-bit processors, they are still compatible with older 16-bit drivers used by DOS and Windows 3.1.