Enable Loading of Test Signed Drivers

By default, Windows does not load test-signed kernel-mode drivers. To change this behavior and enable test-signed drivers to load, use the boot configuration data editor, BCDEdit.exe, to enable or disable TESTSIGNING, a boot configuration option. You must have Administrator rights to enable this option.

Note

For 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, the kernel-mode code signing policy requires that all kernel-mode code have a digital signature. However, in most cases, an unsigned driver can be installed and loaded on 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. For more information, see Driver Signing Policy.

Administrator rights required

To use BCDEdit, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the system and run the command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated Command Prompt window, type cmd into the search box in the Windows taskbar, right-click Command Prompt in the search results, and then select Run as administrator.

Warning

Administrative rights are required to use BCDEdit to modify boot configuration data. Changing some boot entry options by using BCDEdit /set could render your computer inoperable. As an alternative, use System Configuration utility (MSConfig.exe) to change boot settings.

Enable or disable use of test-signed code

Run BCDEdit command lines to enable or disable the loading of test-signed code. For a change to take effect, whether enabling or disabling the option, you must restart the computer after changing the configuration.

Note

Before setting BCDEdit options you might need to disable or suspend BitLocker and Secure Boot on the computer.

To enable test-signed code, use the following BCDEdit command line:

Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

To disable use of test-signed code, use the following BCDEdit command line:

Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

The following figure shows the result of using the BCDEdit command line to enable test-signing.

Screen shot of the results of using testsigning, a boot configuration option

Behavior of Windows when loading test-signed code is enabled

When loading test-signed code is enabled, Windows does the following:

  • Displays a watermark with the text "Test Mode" in all four corners of the desktop, to remind users the system has test-signing enabled. Note¬†¬†Starting with Windows 7, Windows displays this watermark only in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop.

  • Displays a watermark with the text "Test Mode" in the lower-left corner of the desktop to remind users that the system has test-signing enabled.

  • The operating system loader and the kernel load drivers that are signed by any certificate. The certificate validation is not required to chain up to a trusted root certification authority. However, each driver image file must have a digital signature.