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Guidelines for Writing Device Installation Applications

Device installation applications   must do the following:

  • Support removal of all device-specific applications that they install. As part of that uninstall process, the device installation application should check whether any associated devices are still present on the system and, if so, warn the user.

  • Follow the guidelines for installing devices on 64-bit systems.

  • Starting with Windows Vista, list all the applications that were installed by using Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI), and that are available in Programs and Features in Control Panel. You can then uninstall these items if necessary.

  • In versions of Windows earlier than Windows Vista, list all the applications that were installed by using Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI), and that are available in Add Or Remove Programs in Control Panel. You can then uninstall these items if necessary.

  • Follow the guidelines for Microsoft Windows applications. See the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) website for more information.

Device installation applications can do the following:

Device installation applications must not do the following:

  • Instruct the user to copy or overwrite any files, especially .inf and .sys files.

  • Delete the installed driver files from the system during the uninstall operation, even if the hardware is removed.

  • Force any unnecessary system restarts. Restarts are generally not required for installing PnP devices or software applications. The bRebootRequired parameter of the UpdateDriverForPlugAndPlayDevices function indicates the need for a restart.

  • Use RunOnce registry keys to start device installation applications, because this requires a system restart.

  • Use a device or class co-installer, or a class installer, to start a device installation application, because the state of the system during device installation cannot be guaranteed to be safe for installing software applications. Specifically, if the device installation application runs during a server-side installations, the system will stop responding.

    After the device is installed, device installation applications can be started safely by using finish-install wizard pages or finish-install actions that are supplied by class installers or co-installers.

    For more information about class installers, see Writing a Class Installer

    For more information about co-installers, see Writing a Co-installer.

  • Use the Startup Group to start device installation applications.

  • Use win.ini entries to start device installation applications.

  • Force the user to install any device-specific applications, unless the device will not operate without the application. Examples might include utilities for setting configurable keyboard keys or for setting a modem's country/region code, if an inbox application does not support such a capability.

Note   To create a Windows Installer package for installing a device driver, use Driver Install Frameworks (DIFx).

 

 

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