Windows 7 / Getting Started

Detailed Installation Process

The following steps offer a detailed description of the device installation process:

  1. Windows detects that a new device is present.
  2. The PnP service queries the device for identifiers.
  3. Windows checks the three driver store index files-Infpub.dat, Infstore.dat, and Drvindex.dat-found under %SystemRoot%\Inf to determine whether an in-box or previously staged driver package is available for the device. If the driver was previously staged, Windows can install the driver without requiring the user to provide administrative credentials. In other words, standard users can install devices that have drivers staged in the driver store.
  4. If no driver package for the device is found within the driver store, Windows recursively searches for a driver package for the device within the configured driver search locations, which in Windows 7 now includes Windows Update by default. If a suitable driver package is found, Windows confirms that the user has the permissions needed to install the device and verifies that the package has a trusted and valid digital signature. If the driver package satisfies these conditions, the package is then copied (staged) to the driver store.
  5. The PnP service copies the driver files from the driver store to their final locations on the system.
  6. The PnP service configures the registry so that Windows can use the new driver.
  7. The PnP service starts the driver and the device becomes functional.

For more information about the device driver installation process in Windows 7, see the section titled "Enhancements to the Device Installation Experience in Windows 7" later in this tutorial.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Devices and Services
  2. Understanding Device Installation and Management
  3. Device Enhancements in Windows 7
  4. Display Enhancements in Windows 7
  5. Understanding Device Installation
  6. Driver Store and Driver Packaging
  7. Driver Staging vs Installation
  8. Driver Staging and Installation Process
  9. Detailed Installation Process
  10. Managing Driver Packages
  11. Using PnPutil.exe
  12. Using Dism.exe
  13. Driver Signing
  14. Driver Ranking
  15. Installing and Using Devices
  16. Enhancements to the Device Installation Experience in Windows 7
  17. Scenario 1: Driver found in Driver Store
  18. Scenario 2: Driver found on Windows Update
  19. Scenario 3: Driver in Driver Store, But Better Driver on Windows Update
  20. Scenario 5: No Driver Can Be Found for the device
  21. Scenario 6: Vendor -supplied media is available
  22. Scenario 7: Additional Device Software is Available For Download from vendor
  23. Configuring Device Installation Settings
  24. Using the Devices And Printers Folder
  25. Understanding Device Stage
  26. Understanding the Device Experience Architecture
  27. Device Containers
  28. Device display object
  29. Device Metadata System
  30. Managing Device Installation Using Group Policy
  31. Managing Device Installation Behavior
  32. Managing Driver Installation Behavior
  33. Blocking Installation of Removable Devices
  34. Managing Device Redirection Behavior
  35. Troubleshooting Device Installation
  36. Using Windows Error Reporting
  37. Using the SetupAPI Log File
  38. Using Driver INF Files
  39. Using Device Manager Error Codes
  40. Using Driver Verifier
  41. Repairing Driver Store Corruption
  42. Repairing Index File Corruption
  43. Understanding Power Management
  44. Power Management Enhancements in Windows 7
  45. New Power Policies in Windows 7
  46. Configuring Power Management Settings
  47. Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Power Options Utility in Control Panel
  48. Configuring Power Management Settings Using Group Policy
  49. Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Powercfg Utility
  50. Understanding Services
  51. Service Enhancements in Windows 7
  52. Managing Services
  53. Managing Services Using Task Manager
  54. Managing Services Using the Sc.exe Command