Windows 7 / Getting Started

Driver Signing

Using the Windows Driver Kit (WDK), enterprise administrators can sign custom-developed drivers using Authenticode and then stage these drivers to Windows systems or images. Windows 7 provides the ability to digitally sign drivers using an organization's own digital certificate, such as one generated by an enterprise certification authority (CA). An organization can use its digital certificate to sign unsigned drivers or to replace the driver vendor's signature with its own. The administrator can then use Group Policy settings to distribute the digital certificate to client computers and configure them to install only those drivers that the organization has signed. For information on how to do this, see Device Management and Installation Step-by-Step Guide: "Signing and Staging Device Drivers in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008" found at For information on the WDK, see

Note Although you can use unsigned drivers with 32-bit versions of Windows Vista or later versions, 64-bit versions of Windows Vista or later versions require all device drivers to be digitally signed by the developer. For more information, see Knowledge Base article 946765, "A Description of the Differences Between 32-Bit Versions of Windows Vista and 64-Bit Versions of Windows Vista," found at

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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