The concept of driver signing is sort of a double edge sword because on one hand we know that if we use drivers that are digitally signed that those drivers have been then tested to be used by our operating system with the component that we are using. So chances are we are not going to have any compatibility issues with drivers. We are not going to have any driver problems at all if we only use drivers that are digitally signed. So that sounds great. However if we only use drivers that are digitally signed then we are going to limit our flexibility in regards to what we can use because not all drivers are digitally signed. Yet so we have to decide how much risk we are willing to take in regard to the flexibility that we need to have so that we can install the components that we need to install on our servers and in our network. And driver signing is not just on servers driver signing has to do with all computers so we can set this manually or through group policy. We can set driver signing on Windows XP professional clients and on Server 2003 servers and we are going to talk about how we can do that manually and how we can roll it out with group policy. So when we decide what we are willing to accept we have 3 choices. Number 1, we can just say we are going to ignore the whole thing to say basically I don't care whether drivers are signed or not you are allowed to install. So anybody who wants to use any drivers they want great if they are signed fine if they are not I don't really care. In which case we would select ignore if we want people to understand that there is more risk in installing a driver that is not digitally signed, then we can set our system to warn in which case it just prompts it just says hey, this isn't signed what you want to do you want to keep going, you want to stop you want to go ask somebody else, you know what you want to do because this is not a signed driver and I just thought you will like to know but if they say yes I want to keep going and know what I am doing then they are allowed to do the installation so warn does not stop installation of unsigned driver. If on the other hand we decide we do want to block the installation of a unsigned driver we can do that as well so we set the system to block and we then will not be able to install unsigned drivers. So let us take a look at the system I am going to put some of this together. What are we going to do is we are going to go into the operating system. So we are going to click on start and then control panel and then system and then we are going to go to the hardware tab. You know hardware tab is the device manger. What I want to do is I want take a look at the driver for say my DVD drive so I am going to right click on it and click on property, the system brings up the dialogue box for my Samsung CDRW DVD drive and click on driver tab we can see that the driver provider is Microsoft driver date is 10-01-2002 and driver version and its digitally signed by Microsoft . So that driver ****** and that's where we can find out about the driver information. If we click on driver details we can see the additional details about the driver. Chances are ******* reason we need to do that is if we are making a comparison between two of the drivers one that did work on one computer and another one that for some reason did not work on another computer. So let us close out of that now we are going to click on the driver signing this is were we have these options, Ignore, Warn or Block. This would be just for this particular computer now. If I wanted to roll out a policy of driver signing for my entire domain then I could roll that out through group policies. So if we now click on start and then I just say I want to do it through my domain security policy. I go to the administrative tools domain security policy which is a group policy, and then I am going to go to local policies and then to security options under devices notice we have the option of unsigned driver installation behavior. So if we set this setting for unsigned driver installation behavior then we can affect all of the computers that take this group policy. Understand that on the clients, the only place we are going to find that unsigned driver option on a client or on a server is, if it is a Windows XP client or Server 2003 server. But if we set it on a Server 2003 if we set this unsigned driver option then any computer that takes this group policy will then be under it. That means that Windows 2000 professional client as well as Windows XP professional clients will be under this group policy. And we have the same type of options silently succeeds which is just like ignore warn but allow installation just like warn and then do not allow installation which is just like block. So this is how we manage driver signing. It is important to understand how to manage driver signing because it is important to have the right drivers in the right place. Some time we get the wrong driver in the wrong place and we need to know what to do to roll that driver back. So next we will talk about driver roll back and then we will talk more about how we can find our unsigned drivers and our signed drivers. So driver roll back is next.
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