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Chapter 23. Be Paranoid: Disaster Recove... > Using Device Driver Rollback

Using Device Driver Rollback

Device drivers are software components that act as “middle men” between the operating system and a hardware device. The operating system makes standard system function calls, which the device driver intercepts. The driver then uses its own code to communicate with the hardware device and return any data resulting from the call to the operating system. A device driver is basically just an interface between the operating system and hardware. This makes it easy to write the operating system because Microsoft doesn't have to write code for every possible device you can hook up to your computer. Instead, vendors (and in some cases Microsoft) can write device drivers and when the hardware component is installed, the appropriate device driver is as well.

Microsoft tries to make installing drivers a simpler, safer process by using a technique called Device Driver Signing. However, even though a device driver may be digitally signed and work perfectly with the device for which it is intended, other problems can occur from loading a new device driver. For example, the new driver may interfere with system resources used by another driver already installed, and hence can cause system problems and instability.


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