Microsoft warns Windows 10’s new driver change could lead to errors

Windows 10 drivers validation

With
October 2020 Patch Tuesday cumulative updates, Microsoft
made a change that aims to tighten Windows verification of
driver software. This change has been introduced to prevent
malware from exploiting vulnerable hardware drivers to
compromise a Windows 10 machine.

As part of these new security improvements, Microsoft says
Windows 10 will block users from applying OEM or manufacturer
drivers if Windows can’t verify software publisher.

While the new driver verification model is important for
security, this change could lead to driver errors on Windows 10
if Microsoft is unable to verify the drivers. Microsoft is
currently aware of two driver error messages that users of all
supported versions of Windows 10 might see when the
verification fails.

The first error message is “Windows can’t verify the publisher
of this driver software” and the second is “No signature was
present in the subject”.

Both error messages imply that Windows found improperly
formatted catalog file in the driver validation and
installation of drivers will fail.

If you get above two errors when installing drivers from your
OEM or driver vendor website, Microsoft says you
need to contact the manufacturer and ask them to upload the
driver with appropriate fixes.

Users are likely to experience these issues only when they
apply old driver updates. The newer drivers issued by Intel,
AMD or Nvidia are already compatible with Windows 10’s new
validation model.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft is working on a number of

changes to stop drivers trashing installations of Windows
10. For instance, Microsoft now allows hardware partners
(Dell, HP, Intel, etc) to ask for Windows 10 feature upgrade
blocks when they find driver compatibility issues during their
tests.

Likewise, Microsoft is also exploring new machine learning
technology to reduce compatibility issues caused by driver
updates on Windows 10.

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