A few weeks back, Microsoft announced that it will no longer provide drivers for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 systems via Windows Update starting from June 17, 2021.
Microsoft announced this move after the SHA-1 Trusted Root Certificate Authority for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 got expired on May 9, 2021.
In spite of the discontinuation of SHA-1 certificates, partners that use Microsoft’s Trusted Root Program can still be able to publish incompatible SHA-2 drivers to the unpatched Windows 7 and Windows Server systems causing degraded functionality or restricting devices from booting up.
Systems encounter these issues due to the code integrity failures triggered by incompatible SHA-2 signed drivers.
The change was made to reduce the impact of these issues and the disruptions clients using these Windows versions are encountering.
Naim Mohammad, Technical Program Manager at Microsoft said that from June 17, 2021, Microsoft won’t offer drivers to Windows Update for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Signed Drivers Still Available for ESU Clients
Though, signed drivers will yet be offered for Volume Licensing clients in an Extended Security Update (ESU) program to guarantee ideal driver reliability.
Mohammad further stated that if your organization uses the Extended Security Updates program, you will continue to have the capability to deploy drivers to your managed devices utilizing the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS_and other supported methods).
Microsoft said, till January 2023, submissions for Windows 7 and Windows Server drivers for the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP) will still be accessible.
Microsoft partners are requested to carefully read the below steps to sign drivers for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 by the Partner Center for Windows Hardware:
- Eliminate the present signatures from driver binaries
- Generate new catalog files utilizing INF2CAT
- Sign the security catalog files with the help of the IVH/OEM certificate registered with the Partner Center for Windows Hardware.
- Add the driver to your HCK file
- Sign the HCK file with the IVH/OEM certificate which is registered with the Partner Center for Windows Hardware
- Present the driver package to the Partner Center for Windows Hardware for signing
- From the Partner Center for Windows Hardware, download the signed driver bundle
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