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Windows Hardware Certification

The Windows Hardware Certification process (formerly known as WHQL) signs the driver with a Microsoft certificate which signifies that the device is compatible and safe to use with Microsoft Windows operating systems. Before the driver can be signed a series of automated tests formulated by Microsoft have to be passed.

What Are the Advantages of a Certification?

  • A certified driver can be added to Windows Update which allows end-users to automatically download the appropriate driver for your hardware.
  • Certified drivers will not bother the end-user with any warning messages during driver installation.
  • The automated stress-test are run on a variety of systems and Windows versions and can uncover compatibility issues with the hardware or the driver before the device goes to market.

Windows Driver Signing

An alternative to the certification is the driving signing. A signed driver does not provide all the advantages a certified driver offers.

  • A signed driver can not be made available through Windows Update.
  • Tests are not run on a signed driver.
  • When signing a driver you must attest that you have tested the driver and will fix any issues that are reported by Microsoft.

Why Do I Have to Do Either?

A driver which has not undergone certification and is not signed will not function with Windows Vista x64 and newer versions of Windows. On the other hand a device which uses classes for which the drivers are already provided by Windows does not have to be signed or certified. In general it can be said that if you do not have to provide an .inf file for your device - this is not necessary.

SEGGER Certification / Driver Signing Offer

SEGGER has completed multiple certification processes, among other things for our own J-Link and Flasher hardware. We have a complete certification test setup in-house and are able to certify your driver in a short amount of time.