Windows 7 / Getting Started

Managing Driver Installation Behavior

Policy settings for controlling driver installation behavior, including driver signing and driver search, are found under Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System \Driver Installation or User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Driver Installation, or both. However, the only driver installation policy setting that still applies in Windows 7 is the one that can be used to manage the driver installation behavior for standard users, specifically the following machine policy setting:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Driver Installation \Allow Non-Administrators To Install Drivers For These Device Setup Classes

This policy applies to Windows Vista or later versions and can be used to specify a list of device setup class GUIDs describing device drivers that standard users can install on the system. Enabling this setting allows users to install new drivers for the specified device setup classes. (The drivers must be signed according to Windows Driver Signing Policy or by publishers already in the TrustedPublisher store.) Disabling this policy setting or leaving it Not Configured means that only members of the local Administrators built-in group can install new device drivers on the system.

To configure this policy, follow these steps:

  1. Using Group Policy Object Editor on a Windows Vista computer, open the Group Policy object (GPO) linked to the organizational unit (OU) where your target users have their computer accounts.
  2. Navigate to the policy setting and double-click it to open it.
  3. Enable the policy. Click Show and then click Add.
  4. Type the GUID for the device setup class for the device type that you want to allow standard users to be able to install on computers targeted by the GPO. For example, to allow users to install imaging devices, such as digital cameras and scanners, type {6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f} in the Add Item text box. Continue by adding other GUIDs as needed.

More Info For a list of device setup classes and their GUIDs, see

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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