Registering and Queuing a CustomDpc Routine

A driver registers a CustomDpc routine for a device object by calling KeInitializeDpc after it has created the device object. The driver can make this call from its AddDevice routine, or from DispatchPnP code that handles IRP_MN_START_DEVICE requests.

Just before the driver's ISR returns control, it can call KeInsertQueueDpc to queue the CustomDpc routine for execution. The following figure illustrates calls to these routines.

diagram illustrating using a dpc object for a customdpc routine

As the previous figure shows, a driver that has a CustomDpc routine must provide the storage for a DPC object. Because the driver must pass a pointer to the DPC object from its ISR, the storage must be in resident, system-space memory. Most drivers with CustomDpc routines provide storage for their DPC objects in the device extension, but the storage can be in a controller extension if the driver uses a controller object or in nonpaged pool allocated by the driver.

When the driver calls KeInitializeDpc, it must pass the entry point for its CustomDpc routine, along with pointers to the driver-allocated storage for the DPC object and to a driver-defined context area, which is passed to the CustomDpc routine when it is called. Because the context area must be accessible at IRQL = DISPATCH_LEVEL, it also must be in resident memory.

Unlike a DpcForIsr routine, a CustomDpc routine is not associated with a device object. Nevertheless, drivers typically include pointers to the target device object and current IRP in the context information supplied to the CustomDpc routine. Like a DpcForIsr routine, the CustomDpc routine uses this information to complete an interrupt-driven I/O operation at a lower IRQL than the ISR.

As the previous figure shows, the ISR passes pointers to the DPC object and to two additional parameters, which are driver-defined, to KeInsertQueueDpc. If all processors in the machine currently have code running at an IRQL greater than or equal to DISPATCH_LEVEL, the DPC object is queued until the IRQL falls below DISPATCH_LEVEL on a processor. Then, the kernel dequeues the DPC object and the driver's CustomDpc routine is run on the processor at IRQL DISPATCH_LEVEL.

Only a single instantiation of any one DPC object can be queued at any given moment. Thus if an ISR calls KeInsertQueueDpc more than once with the same Dpc pointer before the driver's CustomDpc routine is run, the CustomDpc routine runs only once after IRQL falls below DISPATCH_LEVEL on a processor.

A CustomDpc routine is responsible for doing whatever is necessary to complete the I/O operation that caused the interrupt.

The ISR and CustomDpc routines can be run concurrently on an SMP machine. Therefore, when writing CustomDpc routines, follow the guidelines set out in the previous section, Registering and Queuing a DpcForIsr Routine.