Windows drivers have been and are a source of problems for system stability. So much for Microsoft’s management of its updates for the lack of rigor that some manufacturers have put to create or update them.
We have talked about it on other occasions. Windows is today a ‘monster’, a gigantic ecosystem that houses an uncountable amount of hardware and applications of all kinds that have to work on the system. And it doesn’t always do it properly, causing errors that destabilize the entire system. Drivers in Windows that we also know as drivers, are very important pieces of software for connection, management and operation of an electronic product in the Microsoft system.
Its management in Windows 10 is not ideal and Microsoft is implementing several measures to improve it. A year ago, Microsoft made a change to Windows Update to separate security and quality updates from drivers. These were moved to a new location that allowed users to independently search for new ones drivers without using Device Manager.
Later, and to complete the transformation of the driver service, since last November the user can see a clear distinction between automatic and manual updates in Windows Update with two clearly differentiated actions. On the one hand, automatic driver updates will be installed automatically when the user connects a device for the first time or when a device manufacturer publishes an official driver. On the other hand, optional driver updates can be installed manually on a machine if the user specifically requests them.
Windows Drivers: New OEMDRIVERS folder
In this line of change, the well-known Windows hacker, Albacore, has discovered a new folder called OEMDRIVERS that Microsoft will use to store third-party drivers. The folder is hidden and has been located in the latest Windows 10 test version, build 21343. It is expected to be implemented in the Windows 21H2 release.
You should know that since Windows Vista, the Microsoft system has included a folder called % SystemRoot% System32 DriverStore used to store system validated drivers. To avoid tampering, Windows only allows the installation of drivers located in this folder and before storing it in it verifies your digital signature to confirm that it has not been modified for malicious purposes.
In current versions of Windows 10, all drivers, whether Microsoft or 3rd party drivers, are stored together in DriverStore. This behavior will change in the future as third-party drivers will have their own folder hosted at C: Windows OEMDRIVERS. For this feature to work, it must be enabled before the first boot of a new version of Windows 10. Once it is enabled and the new version installed, Windows 10 will automatically migrate the external drivers to the folder.
We will see how it is implemented (probably in the major update of fall). Remember that the C: Windows system32 folder is the most important of the entire operating system and was originally intended to store only the reliable files necessary for its operation. Unfortunately, it was expanded with third-party executables and drivers, the truth is that they are not that reliable, nor does Microsoft seem to have full control over them.
While this change in Windows drivers will not offer a direct benefit to users, it should allow Microsoft reinforce the overall security and stability of the system. Anything that goes in that direction is good news.