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Automatic installation of a user space application when plugging in a custom USB device RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a question concerning automatic installation of a user space application when plugging in a custom USB device.

    We are developing a multi-functional USB device, which uses only protocols/endpoints understood by the different USB Microsoft device drivers present in the Windows operating system. As such there is no need to install any third-party (none MS) drivers to be fully functional.

    However, there is a need to install a software package (pure user space application) to use this device.

    We can do this by presenting the USB multi-function device by implementing a USB mass storage (read-only)  function where the installation package is located on.

    In the good old times, this could easily be done by an autorun.inf. However, this opened a nice door for virus spreading, reason why these old times were not so good ;-) and this possibility has been closed.

    As it is currently the case: autorun.inf will only work on CD-ROM based systems (however also this can administratively be disabled).

    So how can we tackle this:

    • Could we present our device as a CD-ROM one, so that it the autorun.inf would be handled automatically?
    • Would a digitally signed (by MS) autorun package (like for drivers) be allowed to be installed from a plugin?
    • Alternatively, could we develop a “fake driver doing nothing” (as we do not really need a home brew driver) so we could install the software via a driver install (and thus being signed / WHQL qualified) like is put in the “Device Installation Application Started through AutoRun” section?
    • Any other suggestions?

    So in short: we want a solution to auto install user space software on first plugin of an USB device and this without any user intervention... (and if possible, even if there is no internet connection available).

    Monday, June 5, 2017 1:03 PM

Answers

  • Note that if you want to run on 10 S your only option is a UWP. You can author device metadata and have your uwp automatically install on windows 8 and later

    d -- This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Monday, June 5, 2017 1:49 PM

All replies

  • Note that if you want to run on 10 S your only option is a UWP. You can author device metadata and have your uwp automatically install on windows 8 and later

    d -- This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Monday, June 5, 2017 1:49 PM
  • So in short: we want a solution to auto install user space software on first plugin of an USB device and this without any user intervention...

    IMHO automatic install of 3rd party app from internet on USB device plug in should not occur in any case. As you understand, this would be a security issue.

    If you cannot convince users to pre-install the software (or "metadata"), or provision it using some administration tool, what you want should not be possible. 

    If the software is normal "desktop" kind (not UWP), there are ways to achieve user experience as if it installs automatically - though actually some "service" will be running, to watch for arrival of the device. Such a service needs to be activated when the software is preinstalled or pushed with an administration tool. It can be implemented as a scheduled task, watcher for WMI event and so on.

    Regards

    -- pa



    • Edited by Pavel A Monday, June 5, 2017 4:55 PM
    Monday, June 5, 2017 4:53 PM