Some modified drivers lack a valid driver signature and this prevents them from being installed on a 64-bit Windows OS. To bypass this restriction and be able to install those drivers you need to run Windows in Test Mode or boot Windows with “Disable driver signature enforcement” option. These methods are only needed for x64 versions of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016.
1. Test Mode method
How to enable Test Mode
Download this package. Unpack and run “1. enable testmode.bat” file as administrator (right click on it and click Run as administrator). Restart PC.
Press Start->Search and type cmd . Right-click on the result and click Run as administrator. In the CMD window type or copy this bcdedit /set testsigning on and press enter. Restart PC.
Remove the Test Mode watermark from desktop.
For Windows 7 check this guide on how to remove the TestMode watermark from the desktop.
For Windows 8/8.1/10 download this tool.
How to disable Test Mode
Note: If you disable test mode while you have drivers installed that need test mode(unsigned drivers) those drivers will stop functioning.
Download this package. Unpack and run “disable testmode.bat” file as administrator (right click on it and click Run as administrator). Restart PC.
Press Start->Search->cmd then right-click on it and click Run as administrator. In the CMD window type or copy this bcdedit /set testsigning off and press enter. Restart PC.
2. Disable Driver Signature Enforcement method
You could try this method if you don’t want Windows to always run in Test Mode. Compared to always running Windows in Test Mode, “Disable driver signature enforcement” method needs to be applied each time you install a new driver that is unsigned and might be problematic on Windows 7.
How to disable driver signature enforcement
Simple way (in some cases it might not work or require some additional steps in Windows 8/8.1/10):
- Restart PC
- Press F8 repeatedly just after UEFI/BIOS initialization and just before Windows would load
- Select “Disable driver signature enforcement” option.
- Install drivers. After you restart your system again you won’t be able to install unsigned drivers until you repeat the steps 1-3.
Alternative way for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10:
- In Windows go to PC settings (you can search for it in Start).
- Click on “Update & recovery” on the left side.
- Click on “Recovery” on the left side.
- Click “Restart Now” button under Advanced startup.
- Select Troubleshoot ->Advanced setup -> Startup Settings and press Restart
- Press 7 number key corresponding to “Disable driver signature enforcement” entry.
- Install drivers. After you restart your system again you won’t be able to install unsigned drivers until you repeat the steps 1-6.
Notes about “Disable driver signature enforcement”
A downside to this method is that the possibility that an unsigned driver that’s been previously allowed to load to randomly not be allowed to run anymore. In this case you need to reinstall the drivers again after you’ve booted the system with “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Causes for this are unknown.
You can reinstall without uninstalling the same unsigned driver without booting the system with “Disable driver signature enforcement” option.
On Windows 7 this method might not allow drivers to load after you’ve booted Windows normally. Unfortunately I can’t check this, so your feedback is welcomed.
3. Comparison between “Test Mode” and “Disable driver signature enforcement” methods
|Test mode||Disable driver signature enforcement|
|installation||+ set it and forget it||– redo it each time|
|security||– always allows installation of other unsigned drivers, this allowance could be used to install malicious drivers that would be unsigned, this is a very rare possibility and should not be a problem for a system running a antivirus or a cautious user.||+ does not permanently allow the installation of unsigned drivers|
|additional setup||– watermark on desktop that requires additional steps in order to hide it.||+ no watermark on desktop|
– drivers may stop functioning requiring that you reinstall them