Windows requires a digitally signed driver!

Error Message: Windows requires a digitally signed driver!
Program Compatibility Assistant Windows 7

Some programs like Virtual Audio Cable or Vmware Server require a digitally signed driver or Windows 7 will come up with an error message. You can disable driver signing in Windows 7 completely, but you should be careful what you install then. Luckily, Windows 7 test drivers don’t have to be digitally verified.

Important: The driver signing enforcement in Windows 7 and Vista is there for a reason. Unsigned drivers could theoretically contain malicious code and harm your computer, that’s why I don’t recommend it. For educational purposes I still want to show you how it’s done. If you use the knowledge is up to you.

Windows Requires a digitally signed driver Windows 7

Method 1: Disable Digital Driver Signing in Windows 7 & Enable Test Mode

Run cmd.exe as administrator: (enter cmd.exe in search field, right-click on it)

Run CMD.EXE as administrator in Windows 7

Enter the following two lines:

bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

Caution: This will enable the test-signing mode of Windows 7. To disable this mode you simply enter:

bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

What is the test-signing mode?

Windows 7 system loader and kernel load will now accept drivers without SIGNED certificates. A validation is NOT required.
A watermark will show you that you are currently in test-signing mode and it should be turned off after you tried your drivers.

Method 2: Disable Digital Driver Signing via GPEdit.msc

1. StepRun GPEDIT.msc:

Run GPEDIT.msc

2. StepUncollapse “User Configuration” – “Administrative Templates” – System Driver Installation”, click on “Code signing for device drivers”.

System Driver Installation

3. Step Enable code signing for device drivers, but from the dropdown field select “Ignore”.

“Ignore” directs the system to proceed with the installation even if it includes unsigned files.

Disable Code Signing for Device Drivers

Method 3: Disable Digital Driver Signing via Regedit.exe

1. StepOpen up the registry:

Regedit.exe Windows 7

2. Step Uncollapse: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Driver Signing]

3. Step Change the BehaviorOnFailedVerify key value to
“0” [=Ignore].
“1” [=Warning Message]
“2” [=Block]

How to sign a driver & add unverified signature

Important: The three method above allow you to disable digital driver signing in Windows 7, but you still have to create a test certificate for your driver to install the driver in Windows 7 driver signing test-mode.

Download Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider for Windows 7

Driver SIgnature Enforcement Override Windows 7

0. (Prerequisite): Disable UAC

1. Step Select “Enable Test Mode” and click on “Next”, follow the instructions.

2. Step Select “Sign a System File” and click on “Next”, copy and paste the path to your unsigned driver:

Sign a system file in Windows 7

External resources

If you would like to learn how to create a driver certificate using the Windows Driver Kit, read this.

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