The driver store is a protected area of a computer that contains device driver packages that have been approved for installation on the computer. After a device driver package is in the driver store, a standard user on the computer can install its device without needing elevated user permissions.
This topic provides a procedure that an administrator can use to stage a device driver installation package in the driver store.
Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review the details in "Additional considerations" in this topic.
|To stage a driver package in the driver store|
Open a command prompt that has administrator privileges. Click Start, All Programs, and Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
The PnPUtil command-line tool does not work unless you run the command prompt as an administrator.
If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.
At the command prompt, type the command:
pnputil.exe -a <PathToDriver>/<Driver>.inf
Specifies that the driver package is to be added to the driver store.
Specifies the path to the folder where the driver is currently located.
Specifies the name of the .inf file that describes the driver package.
To see all of the command-line parameters for the PnPUtil command, type the following at the command prompt:
If the driver package is not signed, or is signed by a certificate that is not currently in the Trusted Publishers certificate store, the Windows Security dialog appears asking you to confirm whether the driver should be installed. View the details of the message to determine the problem with the driver's signature. If you are sure that the driver package is valid and safe, click Install to finish the staging operation.
When staging is complete, the PnPUtil tool reports a Published name that is assigned to this package in the driver store. This name is the one that must reference if you want to delete the driver package from the store later. If you need to determine the published name for a driver package, use the command
pnputil.exe -e, and then search the output for the driver you need.
By default, membership in the Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to install a device driver package in the driver store. A standard user can install a driver package only if the following conditions are met:
The device driver package is signed with a valid digital certificate. For more information, see the documentation about signing and staging device drivers found on the Microsoft Web site (
The device setup class for the driver is in the computer policy Allow limited users to install drivers for these device classes. For more information, see Configure Computer Policy to Allow Non-Administrators to Install Specific Devices.
- The device driver package is signed with a valid digital certificate. For more information, see the documentation about signing and staging device drivers found on the Microsoft Web site (