How To Install An Un-Signed 3rd Party Driver in Windows 8

I have a very old Knoica Minolta laser printer at home. And when I tried to install it on my newly installed Windows 8 machine, I was told that the driver can’t be installed because the INF file is not digitally signed. It doesn’t even give me the choice to go ahead anyway. So how can I bypass this restriction to have my un-signed driver installed?

The Driver is not digitally signed

Here is what I figured and did to get around it.

First, press win + I to launch the charm bar, and click Change PC Settings at the bottom.

Then, go to General, and scroll to the bottom of the page, click Restart Now button under Advanced Startup section. Remember to save all your work first before clicking it.

Note that on Windows 8.1, the Advanced Startup option has moved to Update and recovery section under Recovery.

PC Settings General Advanced Startup

The computer reboots to a startup menu, in which click Troubleshoot.

Advanced Startup Option

And click Advanced Options at next screen.

Advanced Startup Troubleshoot

Choose Startup Settings next,

Advanced Startup Troubleshoot Advanced option

And click Restart button.

Advanced Startup Settings

The computer reboots and prompts another menu to choose. One of the items is to Disable driver signature enforcement. Press number 7 or F7 to continue booting to Windows 8 with digital sign enforcement disabled.

Startup Settings

And then I was able to get the Windows Security warning window offering me to install this driver anyway.

Windows 8 Driver Security Prompt

It was successful! Restart computer once again to re-enable the digital sign enforcement.

I would suggest changing the UAC settings first to see if the Install Anyway window prompts out. The solution showing off in this post should be the last resort to try out. And make sure the driver you are about to install is safe, though not digitally signed.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/28/2014

Posted in: Windows 8
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rseiler
Guest

I’m quite surprised the driver continued to work after re-enabling signature enforcement. It wouldn’t if it was a boot driver (e.g. video), that’s for sure.

Rally
Guest

That does not work for all drivers anyway

trackback

[…] that in the INF file. Windows 8 refuses to install unsigned drivers, you’ll either need to enable installation of unsigned drivers, or sign the […]

Jerimiah Jonson
Guest

What a stupid system. Why not let users opt out. It’s not as if MS is losing money on support calls.

janenrichs
Guest

I still have problems getting the legacy driver running permantly on every windows start. Even with “test mode enabled” windows won’t accept the driver. I always have to go through the start up procedure as described here. Is there any other option to get the driver working on every new startup?

Kent Chen
Guest

I think that’s the only to get the legacy uncertified driver installed on Windows 8. If you are often building a lot of similar systems, you may want to look at building your own imaging system, like this one – http://www.nextofwindows.com/how-to-build-your-own-image-system-with-imagex/. 🙂

Tiago
Guest

My driver also stops to work when I restart my computer, making Windows boot in normal mode again. When I verify the reason why the device is not working properly it says: “driver was not digitally signed”. It works again just if I restart the system in “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Microsoft is just stupid….

Nav
Guest

I agree. “Test mode enabled” doesn’t do squat. Have to restart my goddamned machine and select the above mentioned option to make it work.

frankz00
Guest

My Lord! What a mess!

sagi
Guest

is it the same on 8.1 ??

Kent Chen
Guest

Pretty much the same.

Müller
Guest

I had to press F8 just after restart to open another menu!

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