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Driver signing for Windows

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Driver signing for Windows

Device drivers and operating system files included with Windows have a Microsoft digital signature. The digital signature indicates that a particular driver or file has met a certain level of testing and that it was not altered or overwritten by another program's installation process. Device drivers for hardware products that have the Designed for Microsoft Windows XP or Designed for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 logos have a digital signature from Microsoft which indicates that the product was tested for compatibility with Windows and has not been altered since testing. For more information about the Designed for Microsoft Windows logo, see Related Topics.

Depending on how your administrator configured your computer, Windows either ignores device drivers that are not digitally signed, displays a warning when it detects device drivers that are not digitally signed (the default behavior), or prevents you from installing device drivers that do not have digital signatures.

Windows includes the following features to ensure that your device drivers and system files remain in their original, digitally-signed state:

  • Windows File Protection

  • System File Checker

  • File Signature Verification

See Also

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