driver writing != bus driving

Ilias Tsigkogiannis' Introduction to Windows Device Drivers and Windows Audio Concepts

Questions for me

Questions for me

  • Comments 34
During the last few months I've received many driver-related questions either as emails or as comments in my posts. Since many people might have the same or similar problems, I would like to use this post as a way for you to ask me any questions that might be related to drivers, debugging, low-level windows programming, etc. Of course, since the nature of this blog is introductory, I would prefer it, if the questions are of the same level. Of course, I'll try to do my best and answer your questions as accurately as I can, however keep in mind that for mode advanced questions you can ask Peter Wieland (for user-mode drivers) or Doron Holan (for kernel-mode drivers). Finally, keep in mind, that my main area of focus is UMDF :)
Leave a Comment
  • Please add 7 and 2 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Hi Ilias,

     I'm a new bee to driver development and your blog was most helpful. I was almost lost figuring out the basics for driver writing. Thank you very much for your wonderful blog. I need one help from you. Can DDK be used for WDF model too? Or do we need something else? Thanks for taking your time.

  • Hi Sai,

    I'm glad that you find my blog helpful. In order to use the WDF, you need to download the WDK (Windows Driver Kit), which is the "successor" of the DDK. You can download the WDK for free by following the instructions at

    Just keep in mind that it's around 3gb (so you need a broadband internet connection).

    Also, you can look at in order to find the location of the WDF files in the WDK.

  • Thanks a lot Ilias. Thanks for taking time for answering my question.

  • Hi Ilias,

    Our product has several kernel mode drivers - file system drivers, process monitors, network redirectors, etc., because of which installing our product requires a reboot. For Longhorn certification, we need to eliminate reboots. Is there a way to do that? Will porting our drivers to KMDF or any other model help eliminate reboots?


  • Hi,

    I am trying to execute the Device Path Exerciser v 3.2 with the Active Control Test option and I get the message

    Invalid Active File Name <fileName>

    where <fileName> is the name of the input file supplied by be

    Thanks & regards

    Amit Hegde

  • Hi Amit,

    According to (you need to register for free), the <filename> is actually the NT device name, e.g. \Device\null. Alternatively you can try using the "/dr <drivername>" option. The above link provides good information and I suggest that you read it first. If you have more questions/problems, then I'll be glad to help.

  • Hi Viktor,

    I think that your question was answered by Doron Holan at

  • Hello Ilias,

    Do you have any IDE recommendations for driver development?  I'm moving from VC6 and DriverWorks to VS2005, WDF and OSR's DDKBUILD and I'm finding that I really miss VC6 help and browse integration.

    Is it possible to integrate WDK help in VS2005?

    Is there a trick to getting VS2005 to work with Build-generated browse info.  The method recommended by Hollis (add .bsc to project) works... but not very well.  VS2005 keeps the .bsc file open so Build can't update it.  The .bsc must be manually removed from the project before each build and re-added after.

    Thanks for your help and advice.



  • Hi Stephen,

    Unfortunately, right now the DDKBUILD ( is your best shot, if you want to use Visual Studio. Just keep in mind the addition that is discussed at I don't know of any tricks that might help with the browse integration or the WDK integration. These are 2 valid needs, though, and hopefully the Visual Studio developers will take them into consideration, while planning their next releases.

    I still haven't finalized my opinion about my preffered IDE. I've tried a few editors, however my 2 final choices were Visual Studio (too heavy) and Source Insight (much lighter, but some VS features might not be there). Right now I'm leaning towards Source Insight, so I also open a seperate console to do the compilation and a seperate window with the WDK. I'm still open for change, though :)

  • Thanks Ilias, I'll check out Source Insight.  

    I'm using OSR's version of DDKBUILD (  It's got the fix you mention and other helpful features as well.

    I'm trying out Visual Assist X ( and quite like it so far.  If I come across a way to integrate WDK help in VS2005 I'll pass it along.



  • Sure, that would be great. I think that the topic might be interesting in finding out, what IDEs are being used for driver development, so I created a poll at

  • luogo interessante, soddisfare interessante, buon!

  • E evidente che il luogo e stato fatto dalla persona che realmente conosce il mestiere!

  • nice site!

  • I'm very interested in learning Windows driver development, are you going to write a book on this topic? I trust you'll do a fantastic job!

Page 1 of 3 (34 items) 123