Updating Drivers and System Files

Windows 2000 supports updating drivers in a few different ways. One way is via Device Manager, where drivers can be updated on a device-by-device basis as necessary using the Update Device Driver Wizard. Note that it is also possible to update device drivers (as well as system files) via the Windows Update feature. The good news is that only an administrator can do this.

Windows 2000 also supports a few new features with respect to drivers. One of these features is driver signing. Simply, Microsoft digitally signs all drivers and system files included with the operating system in order to certify that they have been tested and function correctly under Windows 2000. As the administrator, you can control how the system responds to unsigned files via the Hardware tab in the System program, where you will find the Driver Signing button.
Note that if you attempt to install an unsigned driver, by default the system will warn you, but you can also configure it to ignore the signatures or block unsigned files completely (you should also know that this can be controlled via Group Policy – more on this later in the series as well). Other important things you should know about driver signing in Windows 2000:

  • The Signature Verification Utility, Sigverif.exe, will show you all drivers and system files that have not been digitally signed. You can save the output to a file, and choose which types of files to scan via the Advanced properties in the program.
  • Another tool that exists in Windows 2000 for the purpose of verifying driver activities is the Driver Verifier tool, Verifier.exe. This tool can be used to verify that a driver is functioning correctly and without errors.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of 2000Trainers.com. He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.