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Non Administrator Permissions to Load and Unload Device Drivers

This article was previously published under Q219435
This article describes how to configure Windows 2000 to permit users who do not have administrator or power user permissions to install and uninstall device drivers in Windows 2000.
Non-administrative level users require no additional permissions to install or uninstall device drivers if the device is supported hardware with a Plug and Play device ID to driver match. If you provide a properly-signed OEM driver package when using the "New Hardware Found" wizard in the case of either no match or a compatible-rank match, that signed .inf file and its related files are now present on your computer. Because of this, any subsequent "new hardware" of the same type (such as hardware-rank match in the same .inf file and using the same files) is automatically installed by Plug and Play manager without further user interaction required.

NOTE: Often devices appear as "new" to Plug and Play when they do not supply serial numbers, and so rely on location to uniquely identify themselves (such as plugging the same mouse into two different ports on a USB hub appear to use as two different mouse devices).

You can also update drivers for a specific computer by using a specific user. At a command prompt, type the following command, where machine is your computer name, and then press ENTER:
runas /u:machine\administrator mmc.exe devmgmt.msc
The "runas" command permits you to run anything as the specified user, provided you have the correct password. Note that this only permits you to upgrade drivers. When a new device is found that is running in a separate process and it does not come with hardware-rank matches, it does not work because that process does not have the correct privileges. Hardware that we support "out of the box" with compatible-rank matches meaning there is more then one hardware device that uses the same device driver in the box always requires (administrative privileges) user confirmation/interaction to install. However the user can supply an OEM driver disk with a hardware-rank match signed driver package and not require administrative privileges.

Article ID: 219435 - Last Review: 02/22/2007 23:35:49 - Revision: 3.2

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • kbhowto KB219435