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Microsoft could move third-party drivers to a new folder in Windows 10 soon
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[Image: oemdrivers.jpg]

Microsoft is testing a fundamental change in the company's Windows 10 operating system that moves third-party drivers to a dedicated location outside the system32 folder. First spotted by Albacore and revealed via Twitter, the feature moves all third-party drivers that get installed on the device to the C:\Windows\OEMDRIVERS folder instead of C\Windows\System32.
 
Quote:Looks like Microsoft wants to isolate 3rd party drivers on Desktop similarly to how they isolate them on 10X. No dedicated partition, but a folder will do.

Can confirm that by enabling it ASAP all driver installations are redirected. Here's a fresh 21343 VM with the feature enabled before 1st boot: both inbox printing extras and VMware tools drivers are now in OEMDRIVERS

In current versions of Windows, all drivers get installed into the System32 folder on the system, and that may be problematic from a security point of view.

The feature has been detected in Windows 10 version 21H2 build 21343, and is not enabled by default. It is not clear yet if the option will land in the second feature update of 2021, but it is possible.

Third-party drivers that get installed on the device are put into the OEMDRIVERS folder on devices with the feature enabled.

Windows 10 insiders who want to try out the new feature need to unlock it using a tool such as ViVeTool.

Here are the instructions on how to do that:
  1. Download the latest version of ViVeTool from the project's GitHub releases page.
  2. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt in the folder that ViveTool has been extracted to.
  3. Type cmd.
  4. Type the command Vivetool.exe addconfig 26920259 2 and execute it.
  5. Run an Inplace Upgrade
A quick test on a test system confirmed that the folder is created and that third-party drivers are installed in the C:\Windows\OEMDRIVERS folder and not in the C\Windows\System32 folder anymore.

Now You: do you install third-party drivers on your Windows devices?
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