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back to article New tool enables loading of unsigned drivers in Vista

A new software tool has been released by Linchpin Labs that allows the loading of unsigned and legacy drivers on Windows XP, 2003, and most importantly Vista. One of the system management and control methods that Microsoft implemented with Windows Vista is requiring system drivers to be digitally signed before they will load …

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In short then,

Basically Atsiv is the nail in the coffin of whatever stability and security Vista could actually hope to have.

Congratulations, guys. You have officially killed a Moon launch worth of code. Now that you've driven Vista down to Windows Me level, can you do anything about killing the DRM infestation and overreaching tendency that Vista has to phone home ?

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Anonymous Coward

Well done

Microsoft has gone well overboard with Vista and DRM as pointed out on http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html.

If any of Microsofts DRM checks, including unsigned driver loading, fail then the system is designed to cripple itself. This is contrary to the most basic and common-sense engineering principles – this system is designed to fail. This tool goes a long way to making Vista actually usable. Well done.

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Ed

Broken next Tuesday...

Apparently the next Patch Tuesday update will break all existing methods for loading of unsigned drivers...

http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=41691

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Unsigned drivers? I don't understand.

I'm not sure I understand, especially the comment about 2K3. I'm running EE R2 and SP2 on several different machines, x86 and x64. On all of them I've been able to load unsigned drivers with a quick click of OK to the query "Is it okay to load this driver?" I've been loading unsigned drivers on 2K3 since January. Now that my customer is about ready to ship the product, the driver group is finally going to get them signed.

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Read the article again

Atsiv is not a standard feature of Vista, nor is it a recommended one. The last line of the article clearly states "so use is at the user's own risk". If you want to install unsigned drivers and risk hosing your PC, you now have that option. However, no one is *forcing* you to use this utility.

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Dan

Not Broken

The patches posted in the previous post do not prevent loading unsigned drivers under Atsiv (not to say that it won’t be blocked in the future). BTW we don’t recommend downloading Windows updates from any site other than Microsoft – we tested with these updates under a VM image on an isolated machine.

The Atsiv tool isn’t for everyone and requires a level of understanding - as stated it was designed to provide compatibility for legacy drivers and to allow the hobbyist community to run unsigned drivers without rebooting with special boot options or denial of service under Vista. Atsiv simply provides choice.

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Good, now I don't have to wait for hardware manufacturers.

Am I the only person who finds it extremely irritating that certain major hardware manufacturers (Promise, Creative being the most notable) have this tendency to release unsigned drivers for Vista? Particularly Vista x64?

The early days post-installation were a huge pain in the ass because a number of companies simply never seemed to have heard of Vista, and had DEFINITELY never heard of x64, much less Vista x64. And when drivers were available, they were beta. And when they made a legitimate attempt at working, they were unsigned. And in the rare case that they were signed, they were buggy as hell.

The situation has since improved, but it left a VERY bad taste in my mouth for certain hardware vendors.

Vista itself has been a dream, though. I'm not convinced I've gained anything except some pretties, but I haven't lost anything (except the "net send" command. wtf?)

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

How about that... I just checked and realized the net send command is gone. I guess it's Microsoft's thinking that by disabling the Messaging service in XP SP2 there's no need for net send either. But of course the whole thing is a joke because some people are naive enough (or just plain unaware) to run without any firewall. Now we all have to suffer....

Moral of the story is: you can't protect people from themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

How about that... I just checked and realized the net send command is gone. I guess it's Microsoft's thinking that by disabling the Messaging service in XP SP2 there's no need for net send either. But of course the whole thing is a joke because some people are naive enough (or just plain unaware) to run without any firewall. Now we all have to suffer....

Moral of the story is: you can't protect people from themselves.

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Certificate now revoked.

Windows Defender has been updated to detect this as malware and MS have asked for the certificates to be revoked by verisign. The word 'Antitrust' springs to mind...

http://tinyurl.com/yrnz8p

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft comes down on Atsiv

How pathetic. Microsoft have brought their big guns to bear on this little utility by classifying it as Rootkit (err, why?), and somehow also successfully being able to exercise influence on Verisign to revoke its certificate!

This must be totally unprecedented, I mean, the certificate was bought from Verisign in Canada by a company in Australia, so what's Microsoft in the USA got to do with this transaction anyway? Code signing is a means to validate the author of an application, not a tool for Microsoft to use against anyone that it disagrees with.

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