Vista 64 and digitally signed drivers help !

By Gate keeper ·
I just purchased a new machine with vista 64 SP1 .. that i intended to use as a test machine.

what i was planning to do was:

- install vmware on it and have 1 vmachine as a server and 5~6 vmachines as workstations connected to the server all running at the same time .. so i could carry out some test before i let loose on the production network.

the problem is:

- vista 64 SP 1 enforces digital driver signing i.e. drivers that affect the kernel in any way must be digitally signed by the developer (which vmware has not done)

I have googled for days and every work around I have found does not work for SP1 including putting the OS in test mode OR hitting F8 on boot up and explicitly selecting the "disable enforcing driver signing" at every boot up OR editing "bcdedit.exe" but nothing seems to work.

One alternative is, to use Virtual box which is digitally signed by sun micro systems instead of vmware.My guys are all familiar with vmware ... which they have been trained on.

but that wont help in the future when a similar thing happens with an unsigned driver.

any help would be appreciated with:

- disable the requirement for digitally signed drivers
- a better idea for a test lab (this machine already took out a big chunk of change in my budget )

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Step-by-Step Guide: Signing and Staging Device Drivers
I have not tested this as yet, but you can give it a go. Sounds pretty good though.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

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Thanks but ....

by Gate keeper In reply to Step-by-Step Guide: Signi ...

This is included as a notice in the link you gave:
"The 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 require that all kernel mode device drivers be signed with a Software Publishing Certificate issued by a certification authority. If you use a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, then you need a driver package that is already signed or have access to a Software Publishing Certificate with which you can sign the driver package. If you sign a 64-bit kernel mode device driver incorrectly, it will not load or run successfully. If the device driver is required to start the computer, your computer might fail to start. Ensure that you test your packages thoroughly on each type of computer on which you will deploy them."
I have found several ways to work around the driver signing issue but none are valid for vista 64 bit !

but your link did answer some other lingering questions and for that thanks !

the only reason i'm sticking with vista 64 is because the machine has 8GB of RAM , vista 32 bit, can only recognize 4GB .. and this will not be enough to run all my virtual machines at the same time.

digitally signing drivers is a prohibitive expense to smaller development shops

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nothing yet

by Gate keeper In reply to Vista 64 and digitally si ...

so i went with virtual box for now .. but if anybody can find a solution or has gone through this experience .. it would be much appreciated !

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VMWare drivers are signed.

by Bob.Kerns In reply to Vista 64 and digitally si ...

I am running VMWare on my Vista 64 bit system. (SP1 now). I have verified that the drivers ARE signed. And as we know, if they weren't, they wouldn't run, and since VMWare runs...

I really do not know what your problem is. I just know it's not what you think it is.

What I'd suggest is contacting VMWare for assistance.

You'll note that the download links very explicitly state that they're for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions (for both VMWare Workstation and the free VMWare Server).

I'm sympathetic -- I know how painful it can be trying to solve a problem and getting nowhere because the problem isn't what you thought. Been there, too many times.

That's definitely what's happening to you now.

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