PnP Device Installation Signing Requirements (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000)
Driver signing requirements for Plug and Play (PnP) device installation depend on whether a driver is being signed for public release or during development and test.
The Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) has test categories for a variety of device types. The list of test categories can be found at Windows Logo Program Test Categories. If a test category for the device type is included in this list, you should obtain a WHQL release signature.
Note On Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000, the INF file from the WHQL-signed driver package must use a device setup class that is defined in %SystemRoot%/inf/Certclas.inf. Otherwise, Windows treats the driver package as unsigned.
A WHQL release signature verifies that the driver complies with the HCK, verifies the identity of the publisher, and verifies that the driver has not been altered.
On Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP 64-bit versions, a driver in a device type that is not included in the HCK can be signed with a commercial release certificate. Signing a driver with a commercial release certificate verifies the identity of the publisher and that the driver has not been altered. However, unlike a WHQL release signature, a commercial release signature does not verify driver functionality.
For more information about release-signing, see Signing Drivers for Public Release (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000).
Drivers do not have to be signed during development and test prior to obtaining a WHQL release signature or release-signing with a commercial release certificate. The action that PnP device installation takes to verify a driver signature is the same whether the driver is signed for public release or signed prior to release during the development and test.
For more information about automating driver installation during development and test, see Signing Drivers during Development and Test (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000).
Build date: 11/16/2013