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The Windows 2000 Device Driver Book A Guide for Programmers

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The Windows 2000 Device Driver Book A Guide for Programmers by Baker, Art; Lozano, Jerry, 9780130204318
Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.
  • ISBN: 9780130204318 | 0130204315
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/20/2000
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This book explains how to write, install, and debug device drivers for Windows 2000. It is intended to be a companion to the Microsoft DDK documentation and software.

Windows 2000 represents a major improvement to previous versions of Windows NT. Device drivers for Windows 2000 may be designed for the new Windows Driver Model (WDM) architecture. If so, the driver will be source compatible with Windows 98. This book covers the new WDM specification.

This book will also prove useful to those studying the internals of Windows 2000, particularly the I/O subsystem and related components.

What You Should Already Know

All instruction assumes a base knowledge level. First, the reader should be familiar with Windows 2000 administration—security and setup, for example. Since experimentation with kernel-mode code can (and will) cause system problems, the reader should be prepared and able to restore a chaotic OS.

Second, the reader should be competent in the C programming language and somewhat familiar with C++. Only a little C++ is used in this book, and then only for the purpose of simplifying tedious code.

Third, experience with Win32 user-mode programming is useful. Knowing how user-mode code drives I/O devices is useful in designing and testing device driver code. The test code for the examples in this book rely on the console subsystem model for Windows. To review this topic, the reader is referred to the Win32 Programmers Reference, particularly the chapters on I/O primitives (CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, and DeviceIoControl). The bibliography lists other references for this topic.

Finally, while no specific prior knowledge of hardware or device driver software design is assumed, it would be useful if the reader had experience with some aspect of low-level device interfacing. For example, knowledge of writing device drivers for a Unix system will prove quite useful when reading this book.

What's Covered

The focus of this book is to first explain the architecture of the hardware, environment, and device driver, and then to explain the details of writing code.

Chapters are grouped within this book as follows:

  • Chapters 1-5: The first five chapters of this book cover the foundation of what's needed to write a device driver. This includes coverage of the Windows 2000 architecture, hardware terminology and bus basics, and an in-depth view of the Windows 2000 I/O Manager and related services.
  • Chapters 6-13: The next eight chapters form the nucleus of this book. The chapters cover everything from the mechanics of building a driver to the specifics of instrumenting a driver to log errors and other events.
  • Chapters 14-15: These two chapters deal with somewhat more advanced topics within device driver construction. This includes the use of system threads, layering, filtering, and utilizing driver classes.
  • Chapters 16-17: The final chapters deal with the practical but necessary details of driver installation and debugging. The use of Windows 2000 INF files for "automatic" installation of a plug and play device driver is covered (as well as manual installation for legacy devices). The use of WinDbg is covered in sufficient detail so that the programmer can actually perform interactive debugging.
  • Appendices: The appendices cover reference information needed for driver development. The mechanics of Windows 2000 symbol file installation, bugcheck codes, and so on are listed.

What's Not

Since the purpose of this book is to cover driver development from "the ground up," some specific topics fall outside its scope. Specifically, the list of topics not covered includes

File system drivers
Currently, the construction of a full Windows 2000 Installable File System requires the acquisition of the Microsoft IFS kit. The bibliography of this book points to one source for more information on this topic. Potential users of the IFS kit will benefit greatly from this book, as the material covered is essential prerequisite knowledge.
Device-specific driver information
The construction of NIC (Network Interface Card), SCSI, video (including capture devices), printers, and multimedia drivers is not specifically covered in this book. Chapter 1 discusses the architectural implications of such drivers, but even individual chapters on each of these driver types would seriously shortchange the requisite knowledge.
Virtual DOS device drivers
The current wave of driver development is toward the WDM 32-bit model. Legacy 16-bit VDDs are no longer of interest.

About the Sample Code

Most chapters in this book include one or more sample drivers. All code is included on the accompanying CD. Samples for each chapter are in separate subdirectories on the CD, so installation of individual projects is straightforward.

The CD also includes a device driver application wizard for Microsoft Visual C++ version 6. This wizard configures the build environment so that code can be written, compiled, and linked within Visual Studio.

Platform dependencies:
The sample code included with this book has been targeted and tested on Intel platforms only. Since it appears that the last non-Intel platform (Alpha) was dropped from the final release of Windows 2000, this should come as no surprise. Be advised, however, that Windows 2000 is intrinsically a platform-independent OS. It is a straightforward process to port the OS to many modern hardware sets. Driver writers should consider designs that take advantage of the Windows 2000 abstractions that permit source compatibility with non-Intel platforms.
To build and run the examples:
Besides the Microsoft DDK (Device Driver Kit) (which is available on an MSDN subscription or, at present, free for download from the Microsoft web site at, the sample code assumes that Microsoft Visual C++ is installed. The device driver application wizard was built for Visual Studio version 6. Obviously, with some effort the sample code can be built using other vendors' compilers.

Of course, an installed version of Windows 2000 (Professional, Server, or Enterprise) is required. For interactive debugging using WinDbg, a second host platform is required.

History of this Book

The first version of this book was written by Art Baker, entitled The Windows NT Device Driver Book. By any account, the book was required reading for any NT driver author. The Microsoft driver model is a continuously moving target. As such, recently introduced books on this subject provided more and up-to-date information. The goal of this revision of the book is to carry forward the goals, style, and clarity of Art's original work while updating the material with the very latest information available from Microsoft.

If you are a previous reader of the original version of this book, I hope you will find this version just as useful. I have attempted to provide accurate, concise, and clear information on the subject of Windows 2000 device drivers. While I have relied heavily on Art's original work, any errors present in this book are entirely mine.

Training and Consulting Services

The material in this book is based on training and consulting performed for various companies within the industry.

The subject matter of this book is presented exclusively by UCI in the format of a five-day instructor-lead lecture/lab course. The course is available as public or on site classes. UCI provides comprehensive training in high-end programming, web development and administration, databases, and system technologies.

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