Microsoft is now blocking some third-party drivers in Windows 8.1, 10 and Server

Windows 10 desktop background

If you start to see the error message "Windows can't verify the publisher of this driver software" in Windows 10, it is because of a change Microsoft is making to driver validation.

The change has been introduced with the latest cumulative update for Windows 10 as Microsoft starts to block some third-party drivers from being installed. It also means that when you try to view driver signature properties you may see the error message "No signature was present in the subject".

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Microsoft explains that: "This issue occurs when an improperly formatted catalog file is identified during validation by Windows. 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".

Affecting Windows 8.1, every version of Windows 10 from 1607 up to 2004, and Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2004, there is no workaround. If you find that you are unable to install a driver, or see any of the two error message listed above, Microsoft's advice is to "contact the driver vendor or device manufacturer (OEM) and ask them for an updated driver to correct the issue".

It's unlikely that individuals will initially have much luck prying updated drivers from manufacturers, but if enough people are vocal, perhaps Microsoft-pleasing versions will be released.

Image credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

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