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Mystery Solved: Why Windows Generic Drivers Are Dated June 21, 2006

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[系统(windows) 所属分类 系统(windows) | 发布者 店小二05 | 时间 2017 | 作者 红领巾 ] 0人收藏点击收藏

Tech-savvy windows users probably noticed that the generic drivers implemented by Microsoft in the operating system are all dated June 21, 2006, even though in some cases it doesn’t make any sense.

Just think about this: June 2006 drivers are being used for hardware released many years after that, so how is it possible for Microsoft to use these super-old drivers and still make hardware work correctly?

In reality, the June 21, 2006 date has a completely different role, as reddit user and Microsoft developer zac_l explains . That date, which actually represents the day when Windows Vista reached RTM (Release to Manufacturing), is supposed to enable the operating system always pick newer drivers developed by OEMs.

Windows Vista RTM date

Windows chooses the drivers to install for your hardware using their dates, thus trying to make sure that you always run the newest drivers. By keeping generic drivers listed as June 21, 2006, they are never picked over third-party drivers if they exist, and in case they’re missing, the operating system automatically installs them. The Microsoft developer explains:

“When PNP ranks drivers, it first looks at the hardware ID that the driver matches. If any two drivers match identical hardware, the first tiebreaker is the date of the driver. So if you had a device that could use a built-in driver, but you had installed some custom/OEM driver on your device, every time MS updates our driver, it would overwrite your custom driver because the date is newer than the one you wanted,” he said.

“How do we avoid this? Every driver we ship has the Vista RTM date, regardless of when it was last updated (we update the version number, which is the next tiebreaker if the date is the same). Since only drivers as far back as Vista are compatible with new versions of Windows, every driver should have a date newer than Vista RTM, preserving the driver you installed as the best ranked driver.”

Why the Vista RTM date? It’s because Microsoft is only supporting modern operating systems now and all drivers released these days should be for hardware that launched after Windows Vista reached RTM.

So there you go, the simple fact that generic drivers are dated June 2006 doesn’t necessarily mean they were developed more than 10 years ago. They could very well be newer, but because Windows favors third-party drivers developed by OEMs, the older date is being used for our own good.

本文系统(windows)相关术语:三级网络技术 计算机三级网络技术 网络技术基础 计算机网络技术

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