What is Driver Verifier?
Driver Verifier is included in Windows 8, 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 to promote stability and reliability; you can use this tool to troubleshoot driver issues. Windows kernel-mode components can cause system corruption or system failures as a result of an improperly written driver, such as an earlier version of a Windows Driver Model (WDM) driver.
Essentially, if there's a 3rd party driver believed to be at issue, enabling Driver Verifier will help flush out the rogue driver by flagging it and causing your system to BSOD.
Before enabling Driver Verifier, it is recommended to create a System Restore Point:
Vista - START | type rstrui - create a restore point
Windows 7 - START | type create | select "Create a Restore Point"
How to enable Driver Verifier:
Start > type "verifier" without the quotes > Select the following options -
1. Select - "Create custom settings (for code developers)"
2. Select - "Select individual settings from a full list"
3. Check the following boxes -
- Special Pool
- Pool Tracking
- Force IRQL Checking
- Deadlock Detection
- Security Checks (Windows 7)
- Concurrentcy Stress Test (Windows 8)
- DDI compliance checking (Windows 8)
- Miscellaneous Checks
4. Select - "Select driver names from a list"
5. Click on the "Provider" tab. This will sort all of the drivers by the provider.
6. Check EVERY box that is NOT
provided by Microsoft / Microsoft Corporation.
7. Click on Finish.
Important information regarding Driver Verifier:
- If Driver Verifier finds a violation, the system will BSOD.
- After enabling Driver Verifier and restarting the system, depending on the culprit, if for example the driver is on start-up, you may not be able to get back into normal Windows because Driver Verifier will flag it, and as stated above, that will cause / force a BSOD.
If this happens, do not
panic, do the following:
- Boot into Safe Mode by repeatedly tapping the F8 key during boot-up.
- Once in Safe Mode - Start > type "system restore" without the quotes.
- Choose the restore point you created earlier.
If you did not set up a restore point, do not worry, you can still disable Driver Verifier to get back into normal Windows:
- Start > Search > type "cmd" without the quotes.
- To turn off Driver Verifier, type in cmd "verifier /reset" without the quotes.
- Restart and boot into normal Windows.
How long should I keep Driver Verifier enabled for?
It varies, many experts and analysts have different recommendations. Personally, I recommend keeping it enabled for at least 36-48 hours. If you don't BSOD by then, disable Driver Verifier.
My system BSOD'd, where can I find the crash dumps?
They will be located in C:\Windows\Minidump
Any other questions can most likely be answered by this article:
Using Driver Verifier to identify issues with Windows drivers for advanced users