What are signed drivers?

The signed drivers are device drivers that include a digital signature, which is an electronic security mark that can indicate the publisher of the software and information that can show if a driver has been altered. When Microsoft signs it, the driver has been thoroughly tested to make sure that the driver will not cause problems with the system’s reliability and not cause a security problem.

Drivers that are included on the Windows installation DVD or downloaded from Microsoft’s update Web site are digitally signed. A driver that lacks a valid digital signature, or was altered after it was signed, cannot be installed on 64-bit versions of Windows. If you have problems with a device driver, you should download only drivers that are from Microsoft’s update Web site or the manufacturer’s Web site.

Windows was designed to work with a large array of devices. Unfortunately, in the past, there were times when a device was added and a driver was loaded, the driver caused problems with Windows. As a result, Microsoft started using signed drivers to help fight faulty drivers. Although signed drivers will not fix a faulty driver, they make sure the publisher of the driver is identified, the driver has not been altered, and the driver has been thoroughly tested to be reliable so that it will not cause a security problem.

Note: You cannot install a driver that lacks a valid digital signature or that has been altered after it was signed on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Windows Server 2008 R2 is delivered only in 64-bit versions; all drivers must be signed for Windows Server 2008. If you are using a newer version of Windows that is not a 64-bit version, you can use the File Signature Verification program (Sigverif.exe) to check whether unsigned device drivers are in the system area of a computer.

Articles in this Course

  1. Selecting Server Hardware
  2. Selecting the Software
  3. Performing Clean Installation of Windows Server 2008 R2
  4. Performing an Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2
  5. Disk Cloning and System Preparation Tool
  6. Performing an Unattended Installation
  7. Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 Using Windows Deployment Services
  8. Understanding Windows Licensing
  9. Understanding Windows Activation
  10. Understanding Windows Updates
  11. Understanding User Account Control
  12. Introducing System Settings
  13. Changing Computer Name and Domain Settings
  14. Configuring Remote Settings
  15. Changing Date and Time
  16. Understanding Plug and Play Devices
  17. Understanding Signed Drivers
  18. Using Devices and Printers
  19. Using Device Manager
  20. Using Computer Management Console and Server Management Console
  21. Managing Programs
  22. Managing Roles and Features
  23. Comparing IDE and SCSI Drives
  24. Introducing Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks
  25. Introducing Hot Spares
  26. Using Storage Explorer and Storage Manager
  27. Introducing Disk Partitioning Styles
  28. Comparing Types of Disks
  29. Introducing File Systems
  30. System Information
  31. Using the Event Viewer
  32. Understanding Boot.ini
  33. Understanding BCDEdit
  34. Understanding Advanced Boot Menu
  35. Using the System Configuration Tool
  36. Understanding Virtual Memory and Paging File
  37. Using Task Manager
  38. Using Performance Monitor
  39. Using Resource Monitor
  40. Introducing Fault-Tolerant Components
  41. Understanding Clustering
  42. Understanding Power
  43. Introducing Backup Media
  44. Introducing Backup Items
  45. Introducing Microsoft Windows Backup
  46. Understanding Shadow Copies of Shared Folders
  47. Understanding HOSTS and LMHOSTS Files
  48. Exploring DNS
  49. WINS
  50. Introducing Domains and Trees and Forests
  51. Introducing Sites and Domain Controllers
  52. Introducing Organizational Units
  53. Looking at Objects
  54. Introducing Groups
  55. Introducing Group Policy
  56. Setting NTFS Permissions
  57. Looking at Effective NTFS Permissions
  58. Copying and Moving Files
  59. Looking at Folder and File Owners
  60. Encrypting Files with NTFS
  61. Network Discovery and Browsing
  62. Looking at Special and Administrative Shares
  63. Installing Printers
  64. Looking at Printer Properties
  65. Setting Printer Permissions
  66. Managing Print Jobs
  67. Configuring Internet Printing
  68. Managing Web Sites with IIS
  69. Managing FTP with IIS
  70. Creating Virtual Machines
  71. Managing Virtual Machines