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Topic: Unsigned drivers message?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Unsigned drivers message?

    I keep getting that annoying unsigned drivers message when I install my audio drivers. Why?

  2. #2

    Re: Unsigned drivers message?

    So, I'm a Microsoft employee, and somewhat familiar with driver signing, but I'm by no means an expert at all the nuances. Here's what I can tell you...

    Driver signing's primary purpose is to let users identify the source of the code they are installing, avoiding the installation of malware.

    Think of it this way:
    If I were a hacker, I certainly wouldn't want to sign my code so that they would know who I am. If I stand behind my code (and in my experience EVERY pro audio company I know stands behind their code), then signing is really not a big issue - some extra work, but not a big issue as long as the process isn't onerous.

    So why do so many pro-audio drivers get delivered without a signature?
    Much of it is a misunderstanding, and one that we're working to correct with the release of Vista.

    Driver signing does take some extra work on the part of the vendor, but most of it is in understanding what needs to be done. Once this is done, driver signing can usually be easily incorporated into their processes.

    Another source of misunderstanding is that driver signing requires a quality assessment. For most Windows hardware, that means going through the WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) process for their device class. This process includes not only identity signing, but requires specific tests to be run with the results submitted to WHQL for review. These tests ensure that key goals are met (like getting into and out of standby without blue-screening, etc.) to keep your system stable. Once they pass, the drivers get signed by Microsoft, and can be made available to users via Windows Update.

    Since many Pro Audio devices do not fit into a specific device class, they are unlikely to go through this process. In addition, there is some delay (though minimal now, but in the past it could be considerable) while the tests are reviewed and many Pro Audio devices come with other utilities, etc., which may not be theirs to certify through WHQL.
    Last edited by Pat Azzarello; 08-10-2006 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Corrections
    Pat Azzarello

  3. #3

    Re: Unsigned drivers message?


    Does the vendor have to give some money for Driver signing ?


  4. #4
    Senior Member Richard Berg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Re: Unsigned drivers message?

    The bar for driver signing has been dramatically lowered. It's not just for WHQL approval anymore. They still need to buy a certificate from Verisign, though.

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