New Windows 10 driver system could lead to errors, Microsoft warns

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As part of its recent October 2020 Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has made a significant change to the way in which Windows verifies drivers that could lead to headaches for end users.

The reason behind the change is well-intentioned as the software giant wants to prevent malware from exploiting vulnerable hardware drivers to compromise Windows 10 systems.

Microsoft's new driver verification model will certainly help protect users but it could also lead to driver errors in Windows 10 if the company is unable to verify the software publisher of a driver.

Currently Windows 10 displays two driver error messages that users might seen when the verification process fails. The first error message reads “Windows can't verify the publisher of this driver software” while the second reads “No signature was present in the subject”. These error messages imply that Windows discovered an improperly formatted catalog file while trying to validate a driver and that the installation process will fail.

New driver system

According to a Microsoft support document, users “should contact the driver vendor or device manufacturer (OEM) and ask them for an updated driver to correct the issue” if Windows 10 is unable to verify a driver.

While this makes sense, Windows 10 users will likely be frustrated by the fact that they now have to reach out to a company with such an odd request as the result of a change Microsoft made to its own operating system

Thankfully though, users are most likely to experience these issues when they apply old driver updates. However, installing an older driver can often be the only fix available when a company releases a new driver that doesn't work.

Hopefully Microsoft's new driver system will improve over time but if you do receive a driver error message before then, you'll have to reach out to a driver vendor or device manufacturer directly with the hope that they have an updated driver ready to fix the issue.

Via Windows Latest

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.