Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Troubleshoot driver problems in Vista with the Driver Verifier Manager

If you are encountering unpredictable errors, lockups, or BSODs in Windows Vista, chances are that your system is suffering from the effects of a faulty third-party driver. As you know, the device drivers that come with Microsoft Windows Vista have a digital signature that indicates that the driver has met a certain level of testing and that it has not been altered. You also know that any hardware that carries a Certified for Windows Vista logo will come with drivers that have a digital signature from Microsoft that indicates that the product was tested for compatibility with Windows Vista.

However, not all third-party hardware manufacturers are willing to take the time and effort to submit their products to Microsoft for certified testing and aren’t really interested in having a digital signature from Microsoft assigned to their drivers. And, unfortunately, uncertified drivers are a big source of problems in Vista.

Fortunately, Vista comes with a great utility called the Driver Verifier Manager. While not a new utility (it came with Windows 2000 and Windows XP), the version that comes with Vista has some new features that make it easier to use. In this edition of the Windows Vista Report, I’ll show you how to use the Driver Verifier Manager to troubleshoot driver problems in Windows Vista.