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The TESTSIGNING Boot Configuration Option

The TESTSIGNING boot configuration option determines whether Windows Vista and later versions of Windows will load any type of test-signed kernel-mode code. This option is not set by default, which means test-signed kernel-mode drivers will not load by default on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and later versions of Windows.

Note  For 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, the kernel-mode code signing policy requires that all kernel-mode code have a digital signature. However, in most cases, an unsigned driver can be installed and loaded on 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. For more information, see Kernel-Mode Code Signing Policy (Windows Vista and Later).

The TESTSIGNING boot configuration option is enabled or disabled through the BCDEdit command. To enable test-signing, use the following BCDEdit command:


Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

To disable test-signing, use the following BCDEdit command:


Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

Note  After you change the TESTSIGNING boot configuration option, restart the computer for the change to take effect.

Caution  Administrative privileges are required to use BCDEdit to modify BCD. Changing some boot entry options using the BCDEdit /set command could render your computer inoperable. As an alternative, use the System Configuration utility (MSConfig.exe) to change boot settings.

Note  Before setting BCDEdit options you might need to disable or suspend BitLocker and Secure Boot on the computer.

To use BCDEdit, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the system and run the command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated Command Prompt window, create a desktop shortcut to Cmd.exe, right-click the Cmd.exe shortcut, and select Run as administrator.

The following screen shot shows the result of using the BCDEdit command-line tool to enable test-signing.

Screen shot of the results of using the TESTSIGNING boot configuration option

When the BCDEdit option for test-signing is enabled, Windows does the following:

  • Displays a watermark with the text "Test Mode" in all four corners of the desktop, to remind users the system has test-signing enabled.

    Note  Starting with Windows 7, Windows displays this watermark only in the lower left-hand corner of the desktop.

  • The operating system loader and the kernel load drivers that are signed by any certificate. The certificate validation is not required to chain up to a trusted root certification authority. However, each driver image file must have a digital signature.

 

 

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