Accessing User-Space Memory

Drivers cannot allocate user-space virtual memory because they run in kernel mode. In addition, a driver cannot access memory through user-mode virtual addresses unless it is running in the context of the user-mode thread that caused the driver's current I/O operation and it is using that thread's virtual addresses.

Only highest-level drivers, such as FSDs, can be sure their dispatch routines will be called in the context of such a user-mode thread. A highest-level driver can call MmProbeAndLockPages to lock down a user buffer before setting up an IRP for lower drivers.

Lowest-level and intermediate drivers that set up their device objects for buffered I/O or direct I/O can rely on the I/O manager or a highest-level driver to pass valid access to locked-down user buffers or to system-space buffers in IRPs.



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