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How to disable Digital Driver signing in Windows 7 32Bit for mass deployment

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello all.

I have run into a jam. I need to upgrade the Wireless Network drivers of 220 tablet PCs running windows 7 32-bit. The drivers from the manufacturer of the network cards (atheros) are unsigned, so I need to disabe digital driver signing in a way that is least disruptive to the users. Another problem with these drivers is that they are basically a bare driver with no EXE attached. I have that sorted out using Devcon to make this work.

I have seen some talk of using BCDedit and turning off driver signing, but as I understand it, that requires a reboot. Is there any other way of doing this?

Thanks
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Question by:VillaMaria
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Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36489905
There is a user policy>Admin Templates>System>Driver Installation>Code signing for Device Drivers (never used it so cant validate it's behavior)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc975910.aspx

Personally, I would only leave enabled until you have your deployment completed (assuming it works)....

"Determines how the system responds when a user tries to install device driver files that are not digitally signed.

This setting establishes the least secure response permitted on the systems of users in the group. Users can use System in Control Panel to select a more secure setting, but when this setting is enabled, the system does not implement any setting less secure than the one the setting established.

When you enable this setting, use the drop-down box to specify the desired response.

--   "Ignore" directs the system to proceed with the installation even if it includes unsigned files.

--   "Warn" notifies the user that files are not digitally signed and lets the user decide whether to stop or to proceed with the installation and whether to permit unsigned files to be installed. "Warn" is the default.

--   "Block" directs the system to refuse to install unsigned files. As a result, the installation stops, and none of the files in the driver package are installed.

To change driver file security without specifying a setting, use System in Control Panel. Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, and then click the Driver Signing button."
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Author Comment

by:VillaMaria
ID: 36490068
Everything that I have read about that group policy setting has said that it does not work under Windows 7, or is that just Windows 64? The description in group policy also lists its requirements as Server 2003, XP, and 2000 operating systems only.
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LVL 66

Accepted Solution

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johnb6767 earned 500 total points
ID: 36493389
Youre right... I missed that on my spreadsheet.... Might need to use the bcdedit method, and do that maybe a few days in advanced of rolling out the driver.....

maybe once the change is made, set a flag on the machine, and only target THOSE with the driver....
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Author Closing Comment

by:VillaMaria
ID: 36495495
This is not the answer I was hoping for since it is the answer I had already come up with, but at least it is reassuring that it is the right answer, even if it will be a PITA to implement.
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