Online Forums

There are a number of forums where you can get help on Windows Device Driver questions.  If you are going to ask questions, consider the following guidelines for best results.  If you know of a news or email group that you think deserves to be on this list please contact the webmaster.
Describe what you are doing – Be sure you mention the type of driver and the targeted OS’s,   Also, if the is a question on the WDK, include the particular WDK you are using.

  • Explain why you are doing it – Many questions on the forums get the response “Tell us what you are really trying to do”.  Many problems are the result of trying to adopt a particular approach to the overall need of your product.  Asking how to communicate to a pipe in the kernel may not get a good response, asking how best to communicate from a driver to a user space application will.
  • Be sure to provide the data – A question without the needed data will go nowhere.  Any crash should have the output of !analyze from the debugger.  Descriptions of most installation problems should include the INF file and the setup API log.
  • Check if it has been asked before – Many questions have already been answered on the group.   Checking the archives can get the answer faster for you.

Microsoft Forums
Windows WDK and Driver Development Forum  The forum to ask questions about Windows device driver development.  Many Microsoft developers and MVP’s contribute to this forum.
Windows Hardware Testing and Certification Forum  The forum to ask questions Windows hardware testing and certification processes.  Questions about the tools, processes and tests will be answered by community members and the WHQL team.
Windows Desktop Winsock Kernel (WSK) Forum  The forum to ask questions on kernel sockets programming.
Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) Forum The forum for asking questions on WFP, which allows applications to tie into the packet processing and filtering pipeline of the network stack.
Windows Desktop Debugging Forum  Don’t get confused by the Desktop in the title, this is the place on the Microsoft forums for asking questions on using WinDBG and the Visual Studio kernel debugging support.
Hardware Development Boards for Windows Forum  This forum is for question around Windows Hardware Development boards, such as Sharks Cove, Dragon Board, Minnow Board Max and other Windows compatible hardware development boards, and focuses on driver development of hardware components commonly incorporated in phones, tablets and embedded systems.
Windows Performance Toolkit Forum  While not for the kernel specifically this forum is the place to ask questions on the performance tools including those that will give you insight into what your driver is doing.
Windows Desktop SDK Forum  The forum for asking questions on the user space API’s.  You should understand these since you should use them instead of a driver where possible, and if you have a driver you still need support and test code from user space.
Visual Studio Code Analysis and Code Metrics Forum  The forum questions on Code Analysis (i.e. PreFast) which you should definitely be using in you development.

OSR Newsgroups
NTDEV – Windows System Software Developers List – This is the group to ask about complex Windows device driver problems.  This forum is somewhat more technical than the Microsoft Windows WDK and Driver Development Forum.  Be considerate and don’t ask the same question on both forums.  Some senior folks will answer questions here, but do not participate in the Microsoft forum.
NTFSD – Windows File System Developers List – This is the group for file system and file system filter driver development questions.  Most of the experts in the field, both from Microsoft and other firms participate in this forum.
NTTALK – Extended Discussions About System Software (particularly Windows) – This is the group for opinionated discussions about Windows.  Not as technical as the other groups on this site.
WINDBG – Windows Debugger Users List – This group is on WinDBG and the integrated debugging