The Best Practices for Installing Applications on a Windows Server With No Digitally Signed Driver


Windows Server 2012 is set up to reject the installation of drivers without a digital signature. In order to install an application with an unsigned driver, you must change the security settings on the server before attempting to install the software. Unsigned drivers may make your system unstable or be incompatible with other programs you have on the server. Doing due diligence before beginning your installation will help you achieve success.

Verify the Driver

  • Check to make sure the driver is legitimate. A driver downloaded on a third-party site may not be the software it claims to be. Installing a non-verified driver can damage your system or give a malicious entity access to the files on the server. To verify the driver, either install it from a piece of media that came from the manufacturer, download it from the official site or call the company that released the driver to make sure you have the correct one.

Back up Your Information

  • One way to protect the information on your server is to back it up before installing any unsigned drivers. Keep a copy of all information and settings handy in case you need to restore it after the driver you're installing is in place. If it damages your system, it's much easier to restore the information than to start from scratch.

Allow Unsigned Drivers

  • Change your system settings so that unsigned drivers can be installed on Windows Server. Click "Restart" in the Power Options menu, and then select "Maintenance Planned." Hold down "Shift" and click "Continue." Click "Troubleshoot," "Startup Settings," and then "Restart." When the option appears, click "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement." Press "Enter" to turn Windows back on.

Test for Compatibility

  • Once you've installed the unsigned driver, test out the component it powers right away. Make sure you run programs that you use on a regular basis while the new unsigned driver is activated. If there's any type of problem with the system after the unsigned driver is installed, it's better to know sooner rather than later. You can always remove the driver and try another product if it is incompatible with the other software you use on Windows Server.

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