DRIVER SELECTION PROCESS ON VISTA AND LATER

Ever wondered why windows picks up different driver then the one you wanted it to, the following explains why

In reference to windows deployment using MDT, the drivers are pre-staged and the OS picks the appropriate one from the driver store, my advice is to be a control freek and pre-stage only the absolute required drivers for that particular device using MDT driver groups.

windows selects the driver based on best match of the following

  1. Device hardware ID
  2. Digital Signer Score
  3. Driver Rank

Windows selects the driver with the lowest rank value as the best match for the device.

However, if there are multiple equally ranked drivers that are a best match for a device, Windows uses the driver’s date and version to select a driver.

To picturize the process refer to
%windir%\inf\setupapi.dev.log

In this case I am using my Nvidia Graphic driver (NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT) selection as example

When windows loaded for the first time it found the Hardware ID’s of this device and matching drivers from the driver store

GraphicHWID
NVIDIA HW ID's

Driver Matches
Two driver matches found

Best driver selected based on above mentioned points

Key Points

  • Windows selects the driver with the lowest rank value as the best match for the device.
  • Unsigned drivers are last choice even when they have low rank value, so don’t ever change the rank manually this will break the integrity of the driver
  • WDDM v1.1 = win7 driver and v1.0 = vista driver.

Hope this aids in your driver troubleshooting 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s