The automatic downloading of smartcard drivers on Windows 10 no longer works.

Paul_ANS 6 Reputation points

For several months now my various versions of Windows 10 will not automatically download a smartcard driver (MiniDriver) from Windows Update. This is a problem that has been reported from various customers.

The driver has been certified, signed and uploaded to Windows Update via our customer's Microsoft Partner Center dashboard back in 2017.

Automatic download of the driver, the first time a smartcard is inserted into a reader, functioned perfectly (on Windows 8.1 and 10) for several years up until sometime this year or late 2021.

In our customer's MPC dashboard the driver compatibility has been configured for 'All Versions' of Windows and the recent (February 2020?) new 'Automatic' Delivery option has been selected (note that this last option was configured long after the drivers were originally uploaded to WU).

When inserting the smartcard in question for the first time, a Windows notification appears saying that the 'New hardware is being configured' followed by another saying 'The hardware has been configured and is ready for use'. However the Device Manager continues to show the card as 'Smartcard unknown' and the required MiniDriver dll is not installed on the system, the required Registry entries are not created either.

The driver for the smartcard can be installed correctly from Windows Update via manually selecting 'Optional Updates'->'Driver Updates' and then selecting the driver in question, but not automatically via Plug and Play when the card is inserted for the fisrt time.

We have performed some tests and can see the same behaviour on other smartcards, Gemalto's IDprime for example, whos drivers have been recently certified but won't download automatically from Windows Update when an IDprime card is inserted into a card reader.

Has there been a policy change at Microsoft? Has there been a change in Windows 10? Has there been a change in the requirements in the .inf file? I'm at a loss as to resolve this issue so help and suggestions would be appreciated.

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