Thursday, 30 January 2014

Windows 8/Windows 8.1 procedure for unsigned drivers and problems with antivirus

Windows 8/Windows 8.1 procedure for unsigned drivers and problems with antivirus


There are a couple of problems with "new" software when using Windows 8 or 8.1, not specific to BladeRF, SDR-Console V2, or UT-100C DVB-T dongle betas.


My comments are not a criticism of Windows 8, it is a vast improvement on Windows 7 and a necessary path for creating an ecosystem operating system where a common user interface is available on all devices, be they PCs, laptops, tablets or phones. This is necessary for the central administration of all devices in an enterprise setting. In any case, I prefer the Windows 8 interface and access programs in the start tiles system. Windows Explorer has been re-written and is much better.


The first issue is that Windows 8 won't install unsigned drivers or even tell you that it hasn't. Given security issues, that is not such a bad thing, but I wish Windows 8 would at least tell you of the problem (as Windows 7 does) when installing drivers, codecs too, I think. Developers can get around the problem by getting drivers signed, but I understand that easier said than done, particularly with beta software.


The issue is "easy?" enough to get around as Windows 8.1 provides a special restart which turns off the blocking of unsigned drivers. It is accessible through Settings- Change PC settings-update and recovery- recovery- advanced settings- advanced startup- restart now. On restart, an option (7 from memory) is available to start with the driver protection turned off. The process is a little different in Windows 8 from memory; Google it if need be.

For a more detailed guide see: http://www.howtogeek.com/167723/how-to-disable-driver-signature-verification-on-64-bit-windows-8.1-so-that-you-can-install-unsigned-drivers/. I am not sure you get the compatibility warning at the start.

The second issue is Norton Antivirus. Again, it is only doing its job, but it quarantines any executable code that is not in common use. I can't remember the error it gives, but it at least tells you. That specific protection can't be turned off, so it is necessary to turn Nortons off while dealing with the code and exempt relevant files and folders from the antivirus.


Ok, it's a bit inconvenient, but it's there for our protection. You can't have it both ways using beta devices and code.


The exact position in regard to BladeRF, I am not sure of its current status re Windows 8 or Nortons, as I have been doing other things, as you can see from my blog. Specifically I do have these issues with the DVD-T TX and its software, but I work around them as outlined above.


I don't want to start a flood of anti-Windows 8, it's been overdone already. Windows 8 is a good operating system given the changing nature of computing. My advice is use it and you will why you didn't change earlier.

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