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Storage Drivers and Device Objects

Last Updated: 7/30/2016

The storage device stack consists of a tree of device objects created by the drivers that are involved in handling I/O to storage devices on the system. The root of this tree is a functional device object (FDO) for a storage adapter or for another driver stack integrated with the storage stack. The leaves of this tree are device objects for use by file systems and user-mode applications.

Like any PnP driver, a storage class or storage filter driver adds itself to the tree in its AddDevice routine by creating a device object with IoCreateDevice and attaching it to the device stack with IoAttachDeviceToDeviceStack, using the pointer to the device object passed to the driver's AddDevice routine by the PnP manager at initialization. IoAttachDeviceToDeviceStack attaches the new device object to the current top of the device stack.

A tape miniclass, medium changer miniclass, or SCSI miniport driver is not required to create a device object and attach it to the device stack. Instead, the system-supplied tape class, changer class, or SCSI port driver handles these tasks on behalf of the miniclass/miniport, calling miniclass/miniport driver routines to gather the data needed to create the device object.

Storage port drivers create physical device objects (PDOs) of type FILE_DEVICE_MASS_STORAGE. The disk class, CD-ROM class, tape class and changer class drivers create FDOs of types FILE_DEVICE_DISK, FILE_DEVICE_CD_ROM, FILE_DEVICE_TAPE, and FILE_DEVICE_CHANGER respectively.

For information about designing PnP drivers, see the PnP Driver Design Guidelines. For information about PnP-related IoXxx routines, see the Plug and Play Routines.

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