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NDIS Protocol Drivers (NDIS 5.1)

Note   NDIS 5. x has been deprecated and is superseded by NDIS 6. x. For new NDIS driver development, see Network Drivers Starting with Windows Vista. For information about porting NDIS 5. x drivers to NDIS 6. x, see Porting NDIS 5.x Drivers to NDIS 6.0.

A network protocol, which is the highest driver in the NDIS hierarchy of drivers, is often used as the lowest-level driver in a transport driver that implements a transport protocol stack, such as a TCP/IP or IPX/SPX stack. A transport protocol driver allocates packets, copies data from the sending application into the packet, and sends the packets to the lower-level driver by calling NDIS functions. A protocol driver also provides a protocol interface to receive incoming packets from the next lower-level driver. A transport protocol driver transfers received data to the appropriate client application.

At its lower edge, a protocol driver interfaces with intermediate network drivers and miniport drivers. The protocol driver calls NdisXxx functions to send packets, read and set information maintained by lower-level drivers, and use operating system services. The protocol driver also exports a set of entry points ( ProtocolXxx functions) that NDIS calls for its own purposes or on behalf of lower-level drivers to indicate up receive packets, indicate the status of lower-level drivers, and to otherwise communicate with the protocol driver.

At its upper edge, a transport protocol driver has a private interface to a higher-level driver in the protocol stack.



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