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When a new device is detected, Windows checks the driver store to see if an appropriate driver package is staged there. If not, it checks several locations to find a driver package to place in the driver store. In order, these locations are:
- The folders specified in the DevicePath registry setting, as
described in this topic.
- Windows Update on the Web. For more information see Configure Windows to
Search Windows Update for Device Drivers.
- A file path or media provided by the user.
After Windows locates the driver package, it is copied to the driver store, and then installed from there.
This topic provides a procedure that you can use to modify the list of folders searched by Device Manager for a driver package.
Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.
|To configure Windows to Search Additional Folders for Device Drivers|
Start Registry Editor. Click Start, and in the Start Search box type
If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.
Navigate to the following registry key:
In the details pane, double-click DevicePath.
Add additional folder paths to the setting, separating each folder path with a semi-colon. Ensure that %systemroot%\inf is one of the folders included in the value.
Do not remove %systemroot%\inf from the DevicePath registry entry. Removal of that folder can break device driver installation.
- You can include paths using:
- Drive letters and folders, such as
- Environment variables, such as
- Network paths, such as
- Drive letters and folders, such as c:\foldername
- If the folders listed in the DevicePath
registry entry contain other subfolders, the subfolders will also
be included in the search. For example, including c:\ as one of the
paths will cause Windows to search the entire drive.
- Inclusion of a driver package in a folder
referenced by the DevicePath registry entry does not remove any
prompts created by the signature on the package. If the package is
not signed, or signed by an unknown or untrusted publisher, then
the user is still presented with dialog boxes to accept the
publisher. Inclusion of the certificate used to sign the driver in
the Trusted Publishers certificate store removes this additional
prompt. For more information, see the documentation about signing
device drivers on the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=62923).