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What's New in Device Management and Installation

Publikováno: duben 2009

Rozsah platnosti: Windows Server 2008 R2

Device Management and Installation (DMI) is a collection of features that help information technology (IT) professionals to centrally manage and configure the hardware and device driver configurations of the computers on their networks. In an enterprise computing environment, control is needed over how users can install and use devices attached to their computers. The features described in this topic are available in Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2.

For more information about DMI in Windows Vista®, Windows 7, Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, see Device Management and Installation (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=143990) in the Windows Server Technical Library.

The following changes are available in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2:

These changes to DMI will be of interest to IT departments who already have or want to have a repository of tested and approved device drivers for deployment within their organizations, as well as those who want to manage installation of allowed devices by using Group Policy. The following groups might be interested in these features:

  • IT managers

  • Desktop administrators

  • OEM and hardware developers

This section describes the following new functionality provided by this feature:

The new Devices and Printers folder displays the devices that are connected externally to your computer, including devices that are connected over the network, wired or wirelessly. By viewing the contents of the folder, you can see which devices are connected, view details about those devices, and perform configuration tasks.

By using the Device and Printers folder, you can easily add new wired and wireless networked devices and printers to your computer. Windows detects devices automatically if they are set to be discoverable over Bluetooth, wireless USB, Wi-Fi, and wired network connections.

Windows can automatically download updated information about the devices attached to your computer, including photorealistic images of the device, and additional tasks that can be performed by using the device.

Device Stage is a new technology in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that takes device management a step further. Device Stage provides a page with a picture of the device, details about its status, and links to common tasks for the device. For a list of devices that support Device State, see Products Supported by the Device Stage (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=147284).

Administrators can control whether computers can download the additional metadata about devices from the Internet by using the Group Policy settings described in the section What settings have been added or changed?.

The Devices and Printers folder provides end users with an easier way to install, view, and manage devices on the local computer. It combines many of the features of Device Manager and other device management tools into a single, easy-to-use interface. It also simplifies configuration of multifunction devices such as combined printer/scanners, by representing them as a single logical device. Device Stage provides end users with easier access to individual features of a device.

Many device drivers require additional software to expose the full functionality of the device in Windows. For example, a scanner might need optical character recognition (OCR) software in addition to the device driver to perform the scan-to-text function that users expect. Vendors of device drivers that are hosted on Windows Update can now include information about this additional software, and when the user installs the device, a Windows Action Center message appears that states that additional software is available for the device. When the user clicks the message, a vendor-provided message appears that can contain a Web URL from which the user can download the additional software.

Administrators can control whether the Windows Action Center displays the message about additional software by using the Group Policy settings described in the section What settings have been added or changed?.

This feature provides an easy way for users to access all of the software required to use a device. Instead of having to search a vendor's Web site to discover if software is available, users are instead automatically shown a dialog box with information about the available software and a link that allows them to immediately download the software.

This section describes the following changes to existing functionality:

When Windows detects a new device, it looks in several places for the device driver software needed to make the device operational. In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the default order has changed to help ensure that the most current drivers are found, and to provide an administrator greater control over which drivers are available to client computers.

By default, Windows Update is searched first to ensure that the most current drivers are used. If a suitable driver is not found on Windows Update, then the built-in driver store and network paths specified in the DevicePath registry key are searched.

Administrators can change this search order by using the Group Policy settings described in the section What settings have been added or changed?. By using this setting, Windows Update can be searched after the driver store and DevicePath folders, or you can disable using Windows Update for device driver searches.

In addition, the Found New Hardware wizard is no longer used. This means fewer clicks for the user, and less opportunity for wrong decisions that can result in non-working devices. Elevation by User Account Control is no longer required for drivers found on Windows Update or the DevicePath folders, further reducing the interaction required by the user.

This feature gives an administrator more control over the device drivers that are used in the managed network environment. While we recommend using Windows Update to ensure the latest device drivers are available to your users, we recognize that in some environments device drivers must be tested for compliance with security and compatibility requirements, and that only approved drivers must be used. The search order Group Policy setting and DevicePath registry key help ensure that only the device drivers that the administrator approves are available for use by the computers on the network.

Device Installation Restrictions are settings that you can use to allow or deny the installation of devices. In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, these settings operate retroactively. That is, if the setting prohibits a specified device class, and a device of that class is already installed on the computer, then Windows automatically uninstalls that device and prevents its reinstallation. If the removal of the device driver requires a restart of the computer, then the administrator can specify how long the computer delays before enforcing the restart.

Administrators can configure the devices that are allowed or prohibited by using the Group Policy settings described in the section What settings have been added or changed?.

This feature gives an administrator more control over the devices that can be used on computers in the managed network environment. It helps reduce the risk of use of prohibited devices that were installed before the device restrictions settings were deployed.

Group Policy settings

The following Group Policy settings are all found in:

Local Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation

 

Setting name Description Possible values

Prevent metadata retrieval from internet

New. Prevents the Devices and Printers folder and Device Stage from downloading custom images and information about devices from the Internet.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

  • Disabled

Prevent creation of a system restore point during device activity that would normally prompt creation of a restore point

New. Disables the creation of a system restore point when a new device driver is installed. This can significantly reduce the amount of time that it takes to install a driver, and reduces the performance loss caused by the disk activity from the creation of the restore point.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

  • Disabled

Prevent Windows from sending an error report when a device driver requests additional software during installation

New. Prevents Windows from producing an error that appears in the Windows Action Center when a device driver installer is configured to ask the user to install additional software. If the software is required for correct operation of the device, then you must provide another mechanism to supply the software to the computer.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

  • Disabled

Prioritize all digitally signed drivers equally during the driver ranging and selection process

Modified. In previous versions of Windows, the default behavior of this setting when not configured is disabled: drivers signed by Microsoft are prioritized over other signed drivers.

In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the default behavior of this setting when not configured is enabled: all signed drivers are treated equally in the ranking and selection process.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

  • Disabled

Specify search order for device driver source locations

New. This setting configures whether Windows Update search occurs before or after the driver store and DevicePath folders, or if Windows Update search occurs at all. The default behavior of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is to search Windows Update first.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

    If enabled:

    • Search Windows Update First

    • Search Windows Update Last

    • Do not search Windows Update

  • Disabled

The following Group Policy settings are all found in:

Local Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation\Device Installation Restrictions

 

Setting name Description Possible values

Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs

Updated. This setting now supports a new check box: Also apply to matching devices that are already installed. Selecting this check box causes already installed devices to be uninstalled if they match an identifier in the list.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

    If enabled, then you can select or clear this check box. If selected, the check box applies only to devices that are already installed.

  • Disabled

Prevent installation of devices using drivers that match any of these device setup classes

Updated. This setting now supports a new check box: Also apply to matching devices that are already installed. Selecting this check box causes already installed devices to be uninstalled if the associated device driver matches an identifier in the list.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

    If enabled, then you can select or clear this check box. If selected, the check box applies only to devices that are already installed.

  • Disabled

Time (in seconds) to force reboot when required for policy change to take effect

New. If either of the previous two settings uninstalled a device driver and a restart of the computer is required, then this setting specifies the delay before the restart is forced, giving the user an opportunity to save any changes to open documents.

  • Not configured (default)

  • Enabled

    If enabled, this setting supports an integer value representing the number of seconds. The default value is 120.

  • Disabled

These features are available in all editions of Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2, except Device Stage is not available on the N versions of Windows. In addition, the N versions of Windows do not support functionality related to Windows Portable Devices.

For more information about Device Management and Installation, see Device Management and Installation (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=143990).

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