The File Signature Verification Tool allows you to scan your computer and find unsigned device drivers. Any files that are signed can trigger a flag if modified; hence, we protect critical files with signatures. DirectX device drivers can be checked using the DXdiag tool. Start The File Signature Verification Tool by typing sigverif in the Start search text box.
The File Signature Verification main window allows you to configure log settings from the Advanced button. You can either Append or Overwrite scan results to the previous ones. It is recommended to save the scan results as these will serve as a list of all device drivers found on your computer.
Most Windows 7 users troubleshoot device drivers’ problems by performing an update of a suspected faulty driver, if one is available! Although, driver updates are released to fix bugs and support new environments, sometimes it wise to verify the driver’s behavior before performing an update. Windows 7 provides a Driver Verifier Monitor tool which lets you monitor device drivers for problematic behavior.
The Driver Verifier Monitor is a tool that can put drivers under stress as to find incorrect behavior such as, illegal function calls or actions that might corrupt the system.
To use the Driver Verifier at the command-line, in a Command Prompt window, type verifier followed by at least one command-line parameter.
An important feature in the command-line version is the /volatile option which is a no reboot feature that helps you eliminate repetitive reboots. Additionally, you can monitor your driver while you attach and remove devices.
Although, there are various ways how to check for device drivers conflicts, the most convenient tool is the msinfo32. The System Information (msinfo32.exe) tool shows details about your computer’s hardware configuration, computer components, and software, including drivers. It has three categories and a summary item:
- System Summary: Displays general information about your computer and the operating system
- Hardware Resources: Displays details about your computer’s hardware
- Components: Displays information about disk drives, sound devices, modems, and other components installed on your computer
- Software Environment: Displays information about drivers, network connections, and other program-related details
In addition, it has an inbuilt search tool that helps you narrow your search!
If a device driver package is not signed with a trusted certificate then the user installing the driver needs administrative privileges to be able to complete the installation. You can allow ordinary users (non-administrator user accounts) to install specific drivers that do not have a trusted digital signature by adding them into the driver store. The driver store is a protected area that contains device drivers’ packages that have been approved for installation on the computer. Sometimes, this process is known as staging a driver package.
By default, updated device drivers from the Windows Update repository are downloaded and installed automatically on a computer. However, if drivers are not found in the driver store then, only an administrator (user with administrative permissions) can install them. You can change this behaviour by configuring a computer Group Policy so that ordinary users can install specific drivers.
Windows 7 downloads and installs device drivers automatically through Windows Update. However, you can modify this behaviour through the Device Installation Settings dialog box.
To open this dialog box type device installation in the Search text box on the Start menu and click Change Device Installation Settings. To disable the recommended action, select No, let me choose what to do
You use the Device Manager to install and update drivers for hardware devices, change the hardware settings for those devices and troubleshoot device problems. May be, the most common use of the device manager is to verify whether all hardware devices on your computer are working and/or installed properly. Additionally, I find this utility very usefull when I am updating drivers, checking current versions of drivers and enable/disable devices when performing some hardware checks.
You start the Device Manager as follows:
Go to Start/Search – type Device Manager and click the Device Manager link