Thursday, May 24, 2007

Device drivers Rating, punish vendors

Microsoft (Quote) is putting its Windows Crash Analysis reports to use in a way that is sure to give new meaning to the term making the grade.

The company is launching a Driver Quality Rating (DQR) system that will grade device drivers on their quality, based on how often they crash. A low grade could mean OEMs will shun the product.

The DQR system scores driver on a 1-9 scale, with one being best and nine the worst. Drivers that rarely, if ever, crash will be scored 1-3 and rated "green."

Drivers with a modest record will be in the 4-6 range and rated "yellow."

The kiss of death is a 7-9 score and a "red" rating. The score will be generated from user-submitted crash reports.

The Online Crash Analysis Team will be a part of the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) program. WHQL will handle crash submissions and testing drivers. Also, driver manufacturers will be given a test suite that Microsoft uses internally to certify their drivers, according to Raghu Ram, group manager for the Windows logo program.

To achieve a "Green" status, a driver must have been released and in use for at least 120 days, starting June 1, 2007, and must maintain that stability for the 120 days. If the driver suffers problems and loses its Green rating, the OEM must resolve the issues within 90 days.

Failure to do so would mean losing the right to claim a Windows Premium driver status, said Ram. It's hardly punitive but it is a loss of bragging rights. Microsoft is doing this to light a fire under some hardware providers to offer better quality device drivers, since they are often the source of system failures.

2 million drivers !

When Vista was released to manufacturing (RTM) in November, it had 1.4 million device drivers, three times what XP had at RTM.
At the January launch, there were 1.7 million drivers, and now that number is close to 2 million.

When a consumer installs any new operating system, the software generally polls the attached devices, and attempts to match them to its list of drivers. For Windows 2000, only 350 devices were installed in the box; for Windows XP, 10,000 drivers shipped with the operating system. With Vista, 20,000 drivers came bundled with the operating system. Windows Update, the stopgap method if a driver isn’t found, included 2,000 additional drivers at Windows XP’s launch, and 13,000 drivers at the launch of Vista.


Disable Vista drivers signing check

1. Type "cmd" in the Search Box included in the Vista Start menu.
2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open a command prompt window with elevated privileges.
3. Enter bcdedit /set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
4. Reboot

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Show hidden drivers

Method #1
1.1. Set system variable

1.2. Logoff and logon
1.3. Open Device Manager (Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager)
1.4. From the View menu click Show Hidden Devices and notice the change

Method #2
2.1. In registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment

2.2. Create the following value (DWORD): devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices and give it a value of 1.
2.3. Reboot
2.4. Goto 1.3

Thanks to Daniel Petri

Drivers lists

1) List all installed drivers:
Start->Run->cmd [Press Enter]
driverquery [Press Enter]

2) List active drivers:
Start->Run->cmd [Press Enter]
sc query type= driver [Press Enter]

(type exactly, place __one__ space between "=" and "driver")

Saturday, April 28, 2007

ATI maintenance utilities

Removes SMARTGART and ATI drivers components. Download here.

CATALYST Uninstaller
(This tool is used to delete all ATI related files from your system. This includes ATI CATALYST software suite and any ATI Demos.)

SMARTGART Uninstaller (This tool is used to disable and remove the SMARTGART feature from your system.)

ATI Utilities ( identifies the ATI GRAPHICS CHIP in your system (labeled "Graphics Chipset (ASIC)"), bus type, BIOS part number, and memory size)

DriverGuide logins

test this
login Driver2
password all