Signing Drivers during Development and Test (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000)

Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 do not require a driver to be signed during the early development and test phase of a driver prior to the final testing of a release-signed driver. In addition, a system administrator can set the driver signing option in Device Manager so that Plug and Play (PnP) device installation installs unsigned drivers without user interaction. A system administrator can set the driver signing option to Ignore, Warn, or Block, as follows:

  • If Ignore is set, PnP device installation installs an unsigned driver without displaying a user dialog.

  • If Warn is set, PnP device installation displays a dialog that informs the user a signature is not valid, and gives the user the option to cancel the installation of the driver.

  • If Block is set, PnP device installation displays a dialog that informs the user that an unsigned driver cannot be installed.

To automate the installation of an unsigned driver, set the driver signing option to Ignore.

On 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, you can use a commercial test certificate or an enterprise CA test certificate to test-sign drivers in the same manner as described for Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. However, this is of limited use because it only applies to drivers for which there is no Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) test program.

 

 

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