A very important point to remember when taking exam 70-270 is that Microsoft recommends you only install drivers that have been tested for compatibility with Windows XP. Drivers that have met the Designed for Microsoft Windows XP logo requirements are digitally signed and safe to install on your computer.

Windows XP includes three different options for driver signing. The option you select will tell Windows what to do when it detects an unsigned driver (this is a driver that has not been tested with Windows). You can configure the driver signing options from the System Properties dialog box. The different options include:

  • Ignore – Install the software anyway and don’t ask for my approval. Selecting this option means that any unsigned drivers will be installed on your computer and could cause instability.
  • Warn – Prompt me each time to choose an action. If this option is selected, Windows will present a warning when you attempt to install an unsigned driver.
  • Block – Never install unsigned driver software. By selecting this option, no unsigned drivers will be installed on the computer.

In some cases, unsigned drivers may not cause any problems on a computer. However, you can never be sure because they have not been tested. If you want to err on the side of caution, you can configure Windows XP to prevent the installation of unsigned drivers.

To accomplish this, open the System applet within the Control Panel. From the Hardware tab, select the Driver Signing button. Select the Block-Never install unsigned driver software option. Also verify that the Make this action the system default option at the bottom of the dialog box is selected. Click OK to close the Driver Signing Options dialog box. Click OK to close the System Properties dialog box. Users will not longer be permitted to install drivers that have not been signed.

You can also configure Driver Signing options through the Local Group Policy. Open the Group Policy Editor (click Start, click Run, and type gpedit.msc). Expand Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options. In the details pane, double click Devices: Unsigned driver installation behavior. Use the drop down arrow to make your selection and Click OK.

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