Windows 7 / Getting Started

Driver Staging and Installation Process

The driver staging and installation process alternates between user mode and kernel mode as follows:

  1. The files in the driver package are copied to a temporary secure location within the user profile as Configuration Management Interface (CMI) objects. The driver store then validates trust for the driver package under the LocalSystem context.
  2. If verification succeeds, the driver package is copied from the temporary location to the driver store under the LocalSystem context. After the driver package has been added to the store, its INF file is parsed to determine the names and locations of the required driver files. This information is added to the index files for the store. The driver package in the temporary location is then deleted.
    In addition, during the staging process, a system restore point is created to allow for quick rollback to an earlier state in case installing the driver destabilizes the system.
    (You can use Group Policy to disable the creation of automatic restore points when drivers are updated or installed. See the section titled "Managing Device Installation Behavior" later in this tutorial for more tutorial.)
  3. If the driver package needs updating later (for example, if a new version of the driver is released on Windows Update), this is initiated under the User context but takes place under the System context. (This step is optional.)
  4. When the PnP service detects the presence of the device, the driver is installed from the driver store under the LocalSystem context. Installation takes place silently and transparently from the user's perspective because no additional prompts for files are needed.
    Note that a Found New Hardware message balloon may appear above the notification area as the device is being installed, and a second balloon notifies the user after the device is installed. However, you can use Group Policy to disable these notifications. See the section titled "Managing Device Installation Behavior" later in this tutorial for more information.
  5. If the vendor-supplied driver requires the installation of support software (for example, a control center for a display driver) in addition to the core device driver, a Finish Install page is displayed and runs under the User context (requires local administrative privileges or elevation) to allow the user to install the required support software for the device. (This step is optional.)

For more information about driver staging, see the section titled "Managing Driver Packages" 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