Windows 7 / Getting Started

Device Metadata System

The Device Metadata System is new in Windows 7 and provides a process for defining and distributing metadata packages for devices that users connect to their computers. Device metadata is information that enriches the way that devices are displayed by and used with Windows; it consists of two types of metadata:

  • Device Display XML metadata This type of metadata is conceptually similar to sleeve art for music CDs and allows a photorealistic device icon to be displayed along with additional device information, such as manufacturer, model, and description fields.
  • Device Experience XML metadata This type of metadata is conceptually similar to a simple Web page and is used by the Device Stage UI. For example, such metadata can enable branding by allowing background and overlay images to be displayed and can display a large, photorealistic image of the device, provide real-time device status information, display a vendor logo and marketing information, and describe what the user can do with the device.

The device metadata system for Windows 7 delivers device metadata in the form of a package. This package consists of XML files, graphics files, and icon files and typically contains the following:

  • PackageInfo.xml Contains the hardware IDs, model ID, timestamp, schemas, and index and locale information for the device
  • DeviceInfo.xml Contains additional device information with an icon file for the device
  • WindowsInfo.xml Contains additional information needed by Windows

If the device supports Device Stage, the following additional metadata files are included in the device metadata package:

  • Behavior.xml Defines the layout of the Device Stage UI with any branding graphics included by the vendor
  • Task.xml Defines the tasks that the user can perform with the device using the Device Stage interface with associated icons and commands for these tasks
  • Resource.xml Contains any localized resources needed for the Device Stage interface

Note XML metadata can be associated with a device using either the hardware ID or model ID of the device, with model ID being the preferred method.

IHVs that create metadata packages for their devices must submit this metadata to Windows Quality Online Services (Winqual). This must be done to validate the quality of the metadata and digitally sign the package to guard against tampering. Once the package has been signed by Winqual, it can be distributed to users by the following methods:

  • Embedding the metadata in the hardware of the device
  • Including the metadata in the vendor's software that is included with the device
  • Installing the metadata on user's computers as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) add-on
  • Making the metadata available for download from Windows Metadata and Internet Services (WMIS)

When a device is first connected to a Windows 7 computer, Windows acquires the metadata for the device by using the following process:

  1. The DMRC checks the computer's local metadata cache and metadata store for metadata that applies to the device.
  2. If no metadata is found for the device, the DMRC visits the WMIS Web site to determine whether any metadata is available for the device.
  3. If no metadata is available for the device from WMIS, a standard icon is displayed for the device and descriptive information found in the device's driver is displayed. The device is then displayed in the Unspecified Device section at the bottom of the Devices And Printers folder.
  4. If metadata is found and downloaded for the device from WMIS, the Device Display Object feature parses the metadata and uses it to display the device in the Devices And Printers folder (and in the Device Stage interface if the device supports Device Stage).

Users can opt out of downloading metadata from WMIS by configuring the Device Installation Settings on their computers. For more information, see the section titled "Configuring Device Installation Settings" earlier in this tutorial. Administrators can also prevent the downloading of metadata from WMIS by using Group Policy. See the following section titled "Managing Device Installation Using Group Policy" for information.

Note Some older systems may display some internal devices, such CD/DVD-ROM drives, USB root hubs, and other devices, as separate devices in the Devices And Printers folder because the system is reporting these devices as removable when they actually are not. Updating the basic input/output (BIOS) on these older systems may resolve this problem.

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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