Microsoft Starts Blocking bad Drivers To Protect Windows 10 PCs From Errors And Crashes

Microsoft has initiated a new way to protect computers running Windows 10 from showing errors and crashing. Windows 10 will now automatically block poor quality or bad drivers to ensure the PCs run reliably.

With this month’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has decided to shield Windows 10 from incorrectly formatted driver software. The company justifies preventing the installation of bad or poor-quality drivers by claiming the process ensures the Windows 10 PCs continue to function normally. In the past, Microsoft Windows 10 PCs have suffered from crashes, BSOD, and several new errors, the cause of which were majorly poor drivers.

Microsoft To Tag Poor/Bad Drivers And Warn Windows 10 PC Users About The Same:

Microsoft has indicated that Windows 10 users might receive a “Windows can’t verify the publisher of this driver software,” or a “No signature was present in the subject” error when installing a third-party driver. This could happen when Windows 10 OS identifies and tags improperly formatted catalog files during the validation process. Starting with the latest Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has initiated a campaign to identify and block poor quality drivers.

[Just an example of how Windows 10 would block drivers]
“Starting with this release, Windows will require the validity of DER-encoded PKCS#7 content in catalog files. Catalogs files must be signed per section 11.6 of describing DER-encoding for SET OF members in X.690.”

“When installing a third-party driver, you might receive the error, “Windows can’t verify the publisher of this driver software”. You may also see the error “No signature was present in the subject” when attempting to view the signature properties using Windows Explorer.”

Microsoft Deploys Poor Driver Detection On Most Major Windows 10 Versions:

While the latest Windows 10 version 20H2 or October 2020 Feature Update is yet to be included, the Windows 10 version 2004 will have such new warnings. Incidentally, even older versions of Windows 10, including version 1909, version 1903, version 1809, version 1803, version 1709, version 1607), as well as Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC v2019, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC v2016, Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB, and even Windows 8.1 will start seeing the new driver-related errors.

Whenever Windows 10 OS users see the error message, it is strongly recommended to halt the installation process of the driver. Microsoft asks users to contact the driver vendor or device manufacturer (OEM) and ask them for an updated driver to correct the issue. It is not clear if very old devices will stop working as their drivers might not be updated to ensure they clear Microsoft’s requirements.

Microsoft has taken an interesting approach to caution users about apps and drivers that impact Windows 10 performance. Recently, the company revealed a new feature that warns users about apps that want to autostart.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.