Plug and Play Registry Routines

The Plug and Play manager associates certain registry keys with a driver, its devices, and its device interface instances. Drivers can use these keys to store persistent properties associated with the driver, or with particular devices or device interface instances.

Drivers must never access these keys directly. Future versions of Windows may store the information at a different location in the registry, or outside the registry entirely. Drivers must not directly access any keys in the following trees:

  • HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class

  • HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceClasses

  • HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum

  • HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles

Instead, drivers use the IoOpenDeviceRegistryKey and IoOpenDeviceInterfaceRegistryKey routines to access its PnP keys.

The PnP manager assigns one key for the driver, known as the driver's software key, and a key for each device, known as the device's hardware key. The IoOpenDeviceRegistryKey routine can be used to open either key. The value of the DevInstKeyType parameter determines which key to open. Specify PLUGPLAY_REGKEY_DRIVER to open a software key, or PLUGPLAY_REGKEY_DEVICE to a hardware key. The DeviceObject parameter specifies the device or driver. (The driver can also access its hardware and software keys relative to the current hardware profile, by ANDing PLUGPLAY_REGKEY_CURRENT_HWPROFILE to DevInstKeyType.)

IoOpenDeviceInterfaceRegistryKey opens the key associated with a particular device interface instance. The instance is identified by its name, which is a UNICODE_STRING returned by IoGetDeviceInterfaces, IoGetDeviceInterfaceAlias, or IoRegisterDeviceInterface. The string is passed as the SymbolicLinkValue parameter to IoOpenDeviceInterfaceRegistryKey.

These keys can also be set in an INF file, or by using the SetupDiXxx routines. For more information, see Registry Keys for Drivers.

Both IoOpenDeviceRegistryKey and IoOpenDeviceInterfaceRegistryKey provide an open key handle, with access rights as specified by the DesiredAccess parameter. The driver subsequently uses the ZwXxx registry routines, such as ZwQueryValueKey and ZwSetValueKey, to access and manipulate the key. After the driver is no longer using the handle, the driver closes the handle by calling ZwClose. For more information, see Using a Handle to a Registry-Key Object.

The following code sample demonstrates using IoOpenDeviceRegistryKey and ZwSetValueKey to set the data associated with the value named "Value" under the device's hardware key.

PDEVICE_OBJECT pDeviceObject; // A pointer to the PDO for the device.
HANDLE handle;
ULONG Value = 109; // This is the value we're setting the key to.
NTSTATUS status;

RtlInitUnicodeString(&ValueName, L"Value");

status = IoOpenDeviceRegistryKey(pDeviceObject, PLUGPLAY_REGKEY_DEVICE, KEY_READ, &handle);

if (NTSUCCESS(status)) {
  status = ZwSetValueKey(handle, ValueName, 0, REG_DWORD, &Value, sizeof(ULONG));
  if (NTSUCCESS(status) {
  } else {
    // Handle error.
  // Handle error.

Note that access to a registry key can be restricted, so a call to IoOpenDeviceRegistryKey and IoOpenDeviceInterfaceRegistryKey should specify the minimum rights necessary for DesiredAccess. If the driver requests an access right that is not allowed, either routine returns STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED. In particular, drivers should not specify KEY_ALL_ACCESS.