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Windows Device Driver Programming in C: How to Create, Deploy, and Debug Your Own Drivers


Windows Device Driver Programming in C PDF Download Learn Background T




If you are interested in learning how to write device drivers for Windows using C, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn what a device driver is and why you need it, how to write a device driver for Windows using C, how to download a PDF file of Windows device driver programming in C, and how to learn more about this topic. By the end of this article, you will have a solid foundation for developing your own device drivers for Windows using C.




Windows Device Driver Programming In C Pdf Downloa lehrnen hitergrund t



What is a device driver and why do you need it?




A device driver is a software component that allows the operating system (OS) to communicate with a hardware device. A device driver provides an interface between the OS and the device, hiding the details of how the device works from the OS. For example, when you plug in a USB mouse to your computer, the OS does not need to know how the mouse sends signals or what protocol it uses. The OS only needs to know how to use the mouse driver that translates the signals from the mouse into commands that the OS can understand.


Device drivers are essential for enabling the OS to interact with various hardware devices, such as keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, cameras, sound cards, network cards, storage devices, etc. Without device drivers, these devices would not function properly or at all. Device drivers also improve the performance and stability of the system by handling errors and exceptions that may occur during the communication between the OS and the device.


There are different types of device drivers depending on their functionality and complexity. Some common types of device drivers are:


  • Kernel-mode drivers: These drivers run in kernel mode (the highest privilege level) and have direct access to the system memory and hardware. Kernel-mode drivers are responsible for managing critical devices that affect the entire system, such as disk drives or display adapters.



  • User-mode drivers: These drivers run in user mode (the lowest privilege level) and have limited access to the system resources. User-mode drivers are responsible for managing less critical devices that affect only specific applications or users, such as printers or scanners.



  • Hybrid drivers: These drivers combine both kernel-mode and user-mode components to achieve a balance between performance and security. Hybrid drivers are responsible for managing devices that require both high-level and low-level functionality, such as USB devices or audio devices.



Some examples of device drivers are:


  • Mouse driver: This driver allows the OS to use the mouse as an input device. It translates the signals from the mouse into cursor movements and clicks that the OS can process.



  • Printer driver: This driver allows the OS to use the printer as an output device. It converts the data from the OS into a format that the printer can understand and print.



  • Network driver: This driver allows the OS to use the network card as a communication device. It enables the OS to send and receive data over the network using various protocols and standards.



How to write a device driver for Windows using C?




To write a device driver for Windows using C, you need to follow these steps:


  • Choose a driver model



  • Set up the development environment



  • Write a Hello World driver using KMDF



  • Write a device-specific driver using KMDF



Choosing a driver model




A driver model is a framework that provides a set of rules and guidelines for writing device drivers. A driver model defines how a driver interacts with the OS, the hardware, and other drivers. A driver model also provides a set of libraries and tools that simplify the development and testing of device drivers.


There are three main driver models for Windows:


  • Kernel-Mode Driver Framework (KMDF): This is a driver model for writing kernel-mode drivers using C. KMDF provides an object-oriented programming model that abstracts away the complexities of kernel-mode programming. KMDF also provides automatic management of common driver tasks, such as memory allocation, synchronization, power management, plug and play, etc.



  • User-Mode Driver Framework (UMDF): This is a driver model for writing user-mode drivers using C++. UMDF provides a similar programming model to KMDF, but runs in user mode instead of kernel mode. UMDF also provides isolation and protection for user-mode drivers, reducing the risk of system crashes or security breaches.



  • Windows Driver Model (WDM): This is an older driver model for writing both kernel-mode and user-mode drivers using C. WDM provides a low-level programming model that requires more manual coding and testing than KMDF or UMDF. WDM also exposes more details of the OS and the hardware to the driver, increasing the complexity and difficulty of driver development.



The choice of a driver model depends on several factors, such as:


  • The type and functionality of the device



  • The performance and security requirements of the driver



  • The compatibility and portability of the driver



  • The availability and preference of the developer



In general, KMDF is recommended for most kernel-mode drivers, UMDF is recommended for most user-mode drivers, and WDM is recommended only for legacy or special-purpose drivers.


Setting up the development environment




To set up the development environment for writing device drivers for Windows using C, you need to install these components:


  • Microsoft Visual Studio: This is an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to create, edit, build, debug, and test your device drivers. You can use any edition of Visual Studio, such as Community, Professional, or Enterprise.



  • Windows Software Development Kit (SDK): This is a collection of headers, libraries, samples, and tools that enable you to develop applications and drivers for Windows. You need to install the Windows SDK that matches your target version of Windows.



  • Windows Driver Kit (WDK): This is a collection of headers, libraries, samples, tools, and documentation that enable you to develop device drivers for Windows. You need to install the WDK that matches your target version of Windows.



  • Debugging Tools for Windows (WinDbg): This is a powerful debugger that allows you to troubleshoot and analyze your device drivers. WinDbg is included when you install the WDK.



To install these components, follow these steps:



  • Download and run the Visual Studio installer from https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/downloads/.



  • Select your desired edition of Visual Studio and click Install.



  • In the Workloads tab, select Desktop development with C++.



Writing a Hello World driver using KMDF




Now that you have chosen KMDF as your driver model and set up your development environment, you are ready to write your first device driver for Windows using C. In this section, you will learn how to write a simple KMDF driver that prints "Hello World" to the kernel log. This driver does not interact with any hardware device, but it demonstrates the basic structure and functionality of a KMDF driver.


To write a Hello World driver using KMDF, follow these steps:


  • Open Microsoft Visual Studio.



  • On the File menu, choose New > Project.



  • In the Create a new project dialog box, select C++ in the left dropdown, choose Windows in the middle dropdown, and choose Driver in the right dropdown.



  • Select Kernel Mode Driver, Empty (KMDF) from the list of project types.



  • Select Next.



  • In the Configure your new project dialog box, enter "KmdfHelloWorld" in the Project name field.



  • In the Location field, enter the directory where you want to create the new project.



  • Check Place solution and project in the same directory and select Create.



  • Visual Studio creates one project and a solution. You can see them in the Solution Explorer window. (If the Solution Explorer window isn't visible, choose Solution Explorer from the View menu.) The solution has a driver project named KmdfHelloWorld.



  • In the Solution Explorer window, select and hold (or right-click) the KmdfHelloWorld project and choose Configuration Manager.



  • Choose a configuration and platform for the driver project. For example, choose Debug and x64.



  • In the Solution Explorer window, again select and hold (or right-click) the KmdfHelloWorld project, choose Add, and then select New Item.



  • In the Add New Item dialog box, select C++ File. For Name, enter "Driver.c".



  • Select Add. The Driver.c file is added under Source Files.



  • In Driver.c, start by including these headers:



```c #include


#include


``` Ntddk.h contains core Windows kernel definitions for all drivers, while Wdf.h contains definitions for drivers based on the Windows Driver Framework (WDF).



  • Next, define a global variable to store a handle to your driver object:



```c WDFDRIVER gDriver; ``` A WDFDRIVER object represents your driver in WDF. You will use this handle to access various driver properties and methods.



  • Next, declare two event callback functions that will be called by WDF when your driver is loaded and unloaded:



```c DRIVER_INITIALIZE DriverEntry; EVT_WDF_DRIVER_UNLOAD KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload; ``` DriverEntry is the entry point of your driver. It is called by the OS when your driver is loaded. It is responsible for creating and initializing your WDFDRIVER object and registering any other event callbacks that your driver needs.


KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload is an event callback function that is called by WDF when your driver is unloaded. It is responsible for performing any cleanup tasks that your driver needs before it exits.



  • Next, implement the DriverEntry function as follows:



```c NTSTATUS DriverEntry(_In_ PDRIVER_OBJECT DriverObject, _In_ PUNICODE_STRING RegistryPath) // Variable to store WDFDRIVER initialization attributes WDF_DRIVER_CONFIG config; // Variable to store NTSTATUS values returned by WDF functions NTSTATUS status; // Initialize WPP tracing WPP_INIT_TRACING(DriverObject, RegistryPath); // Print "Hello World" to kernel log KdPrintEx((DPFLTR_IHVDRIVER_ID, DPFLTR_INFO_LEVEL, "KmdfHelloWorld: DriverEntry\n")); // Initialize config structure WDF_DRIVER_CONFIG_INIT(&config, WDF_NO_EVENT_CALLBACK); // Set EvtDriverUnload callback function config.EvtDriverUnload = KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload; // Create a WDFDRIVER object status = WdfDriverCreate(DriverObject, RegistryPath, WDF_NO_OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES, &config, &gDriver); // Check if WdfDriverCreate succeeded if (!NT_SUCCESS(status)) // Print error message to kernel log KdPrintEx((DPFLTR_IHVDRIVER_ID, DPFLTR_ERROR_LEVEL, "KmdfHelloWorld: WdfDriverCreate failed with status 0x%x\n", status)); // Cleanup WPP tracing WPP_CLEANUP(DriverObject); // Return status return status; // Return status return status; ``` This function does the following:


  • Initializes WPP tracing, which is a mechanism for logging messages from your driver.



  • Prints "Hello World" to the kernel log using the KdPrintEx function. You can view the kernel log using WinDbg or other tools.



  • Initializes a WDF_DRIVER_CONFIG structure, which specifies the attributes and callbacks of your driver.



  • Sets the EvtDriverUnload callback function to KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload.



  • Calls the WdfDriverCreate function, which creates and initializes a WDFDRIVER object and returns a handle to it in gDriver.



  • Checks if WdfDriverCreate succeeded and prints an error message if it failed.



  • Cleans up WPP tracing and returns the status of the function.




  • Next, implement the KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload function as follows:



```c VOID KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload(_In_ WDFDRIVER Driver) // Print "Goodbye World" to kernel log KdPrintEx((DPFLTR_IHVDRIVER_ID, DPFLTR_INFO_LEVEL, "KmdfHelloWorld: KmdfHelloWorldEvtDriverUnload\n")); // Cleanup WPP tracing WPP_CLEANUP(WdfDriverWdmGetDriverObject(Driver)); ``` This function does the following:


  • Prints "Goodbye World" to the kernel log using the KdPrintEx function.



  • Cleans up WPP tracing using the WPP_CLEANUP macro and the WdfDriverWdmGetDriverObject function, which returns a pointer to the DRIVER_OBJECT structure associated with your driver.




  • Save and close Driver.c.



You have now written your first device driver for Windows using C. The next step is to build, deploy, install, and debug your driver on a separate computer.


Build the driver




To build your driver, follow these steps:


  • In Visual Studio, on the Build menu, choose Build Solution.



  • If the build succeeds, you will see a message in the Output window that shows the configuration and platform that you selected, for example: ========== Build: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========



  • If the build fails, you will see a message in the Output window that shows the errors and warnings that occurred, for example: ========== Build: 0 succeeded, 1 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========



  • Fix any errors or warnings that occurred and rebuild your driver until it succeeds.



When you build your driver, Visual Studio creates several files in your project directory. The most important file is KmdfHelloWorld.sys, which is your driver binary. This is the file that you will deploy and install on your target computer.


Deploy the driver




To deploy your driver, you need to copy it from your host computer (the computer where you write and build your driver) to your target computer (the computer where you test and debug your driver). You also need to copy some other files that are required for installing and debugging your driver. These files are:


  • KmdfHelloWorld.inf: This is an information file that contains metadata and instructions for installing your driver.



  • KmdfHelloWorld.pdb: This is a symbol file that contains debugging information for your driver.



  • KmdfHelloWorld.cat: This is a catalog file that contains security information for your driver.



Studio to deploy your driver using a deployment script. A deployment script is a PowerShell script that automates the process of copying and installing your driver on your target computer.


To deploy your driver using a deployment script, follow these steps:


  • In Visual Studio, in the Solution Explorer window, select and hold (or right-click) the KmdfHelloWorld project and choose Properties.



  • In the Property Pages dialog box, select Configuration Properties > Driver Install > Deployment.



  • Check Enable deployment.



  • Check Remove previous driver versions before deployment.



  • In the Deployment type drop-down list, select Hardware ID Driver Update.



  • In the Hardware ID box, enter "root\\KmdfHelloWorld". This is a dummy hardware ID that you will use to install your driver without a real device.



  • In the Deployment computer name box, enter the name or IP address of your target computer.



  • Select OK to save your settings and close the dialog box.



  • On the Driver menu, choose Test > Configure Computers.



  • In the Configure Devices for Driver Deployment Testing dialog box, select Provision Device.



  • Enter the credentials for an administrator account on your target computer and select OK.



  • Wait for Visual Studio to provision your target computer for driver deployment and testing. This may take several minutes. You will see a message in the Output window when the process is completed.



  • On the Driver menu, choose Test > Deploy Driver and Test (or press F5).



  • Wait for Visual Studio to deploy your driver to your target computer and install it using the dummy hardware ID. You will see a message in the Output window when the process is completed.



You have now deployed your driver to your target computer. The next step is to install and debug your driver on your target computer.


Install the driver




To install your driver on your target computer, you need to use the Device Manager tool. Device Manager is a graphical tool that allows you to view and manage the devices and drivers on your computer. You can use Device Manager to manually install, update, uninstall, disable, or enable drivers.


To install your driver using Device Manager, follow these steps:


  • On your target computer, open Device Manager. You can do this by typing "device manager" in the search box on the taskbar and selecting Device Manager from the results.



  • In Device Manager, on the Action menu, choose Add legacy hardware.



  • In the Add Hardware Wizard, select Next.



  • Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) and select Next.



  • Select Show All Devices and select Next.



  • Select Have Disk...



  • Select Browse...



  • Navigate to the directory where you deployed your driver files (e.g., C:\\DriverTest\\Drivers) and select KmdfHelloWorld.inf. Select Open.



  • Select OK.



  • Select KmdfHelloWorld Sample Driver from the list of devices and select Next.



  • Select Next to confirm the installation of your driver.



  • If you see a warning message about installing an unsigned driver, select Install this driver software anyway.



  • Wait for the wizard to install your driver and select Finish when it is done.



You have now installed your driver on your target computer. The next step is to debug your driver on your target computer.


Debug the driver




To debug your driver on your target computer, you need to use WinDbg. WinDbg is a powerful debugger that allows you to troubleshoot and analyze your device drivers. You can use WinDbg to set breakpoints, examine variables, view stack traces, execute commands, and more.


To debug your driver using WinDbg, follow these steps:


  • On your host computer, open WinDbg. You can do this by typing "windbg" in the search box on the taskbar and selecting WinDbg Preview from the results.



  • In WinDbg, on the File menu, choose Kernel Debug...



  • In the Kernel Debugging dialog box, select NET as the debugger connection type.



  • In the Port box, enter "50000". This is the port number that Visual Studio uses to communicate with your target computer.



  • In the Key box, enter the security key that Visual Studio generated when you provisioned your target computer. You can find this key in the Output window of Visual Studio or in the C:\\DriverTest\\Run\\computername.txt file on your host computer, where computername is the name of your target computer.



  • Select OK to connect to your target computer.



Wait for WinDbg to establish a debugging session with your target computer. You


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