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Using a Device Interface

Last Updated: 7/30/2016

Device interfaces are available to both kernel-mode components and user-mode applications. User-mode code can use SetupDiXxx functions to find out about registered, enabled device interfaces. See SetupDi Device Interface Functions for more information.

Before a kernel-mode component can use a specific device or file object, it must do the following:

  1. Determine whether the required device interface class is registered and enabled.

    A driver can register with the PnP manager to be notified when an instance of a device interface is enabled or disabled. To register, the component calls IoRegisterPlugPlayNotification. This routine stores the address of a driver-supplied callback, which is called whenever an instance of a device interface instance is enabled or disabled, for a specified device class. The callback routines receive the DEVICE_INTERFACE_CHANGE_NOTIFICATION structure, which contains a Unicode string representing the interface instance's symbolic link. See Using PnP Device Interface Change Notification for more information.

    A driver or other kernel-mode component can also call IoGetDeviceInterfaces to get a list of all registered, enabled device interface instances for a specific device interface class. The returned list contains pointers to the Unicode symbolic link strings that identify the device interface instances.

  2. Get a pointer to a device or file object that corresponds to an instance of the interface.

    To access a specific device object, the driver must call IoGetDeviceObjectPointer, passing the Unicode string for the required interface in the ObjectName parameter. To access a file object, the driver must call InitializeObjectAttributes, passing the Unicode string in the ObjectName parameter, and then pass the successfully initialized attribute structure in a call to ZwCreateFile.

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