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Turn Off Driver Signing Enforcement in Windows 7

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 (13 comments)

So here's the deal (my theory anyway); Microsoft is trying to make their system more stable and secure, but to do that, they have to have some standards of quality for drivers used on the system. That's good in theory, but the problem is that the only realistic way of doing that means that Microsoft makes companies pay them to certify and then sign their drivers.

While I can't argue with the theory, the practice is that some of your favorite software and still usable hardware won't work and that's not cool. Even worse, sometimes you won't know what's wrong. There's no indication of what's wrong, just that your hardware or software isn't loading right.

However, there's a trick to make Windows stop forcing drivers to be signed. Before giving up, try this trick. When booting, press the F8 function key a few times until you see this boot menu:

If you have ever loaded Safe Mode in any version of Windows before, this should look familiar. In fact, Safe Mode is one of the options, but in this case, the one you're looking for is a new option near the bottom called Disable Driver Signature Enforcement

Use the arrow keys to highlight it and then press the ENTER key. Windows will load like normal, but now it won't require Microsoft approved drivers.

Making it Easy

So that ends the portion of this post that sounds like every other site online that tells you the same thing. The one thing that they're all missing is this: it's very easy to start booting your computer and turn to check a phone or pick up something off the floor and miss the timing for hitting the F8 key.

If you do, the computer will boot and you'll have to restart it and try again (which is very annoying!). So here's a trick for delaying the boot long enough for you to click the button.

Step 1: Download EasyBCD

First, download EasyBCD from here.

EasyBCD is a program that helps you set up multiple boot options in Windows for when you have more than one version of Windows on your computer and want to be able to choose between them while loading (You're not actually adding a second boot, you just want to activate the menu for one).

Step 2: Open EasyBCD and Add an XP Dual Boot Option

Start up EasyBCD and this is what you'll see.

When you see the Add/Remove Entries screen, on the bottom right, you'll see this:

You may notice that the default options are for installing an XP dual boot option so you can just click to add it now if you want. However, I suggest changing the name from Windows XP to "Delay Option" or "Don't Click Me" or similar first. Click Add Entry and then you should see this:

Step 3: Use it!

You're done! EasyBCD is useful if you want to change the name, you actually DO add a second operating system, or if you experience boot problems (which EasyBCD can help fix), but you can remove it if you want.

So now whenever you boot, it will stop and show you this screen for at least 30 seconds:

All we've done is introduce a delay at the precise point you would need to press F8. As long as you press F8 before the countdown completes and the boot continues, you'll still see the boot menu at the top of this article that will let you pick to disable driver signing. Huzzah!

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