Fix: Windows 10 driver blocked by core isolation

[German]Microsoft has published a support article on how to fix an issue, that drivers are blocked from getting loaded by the security feature ‘core isolation’ introduced in Windows 10.


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The Windows 10 Core Isolation

Core Isolation is a security feature introduced in Defender starting with Windows 10 version 1803. It is available on systems with Intel VT-X or AMD-v virtualization supported CPUs.

Core Isolation isolates critical parts of the operating system core from drivers and software running in user mode. Core isolation provides additional protection against malware and other attacks by isolating computer processes from the operating system and device. It is designed to prevent malware or exploits from gaining access to the secure kernel to bypass security controls and inject malicious functions into memory. One subsystem is memory integrity.

Microsoft has published this support article with information about this security feature. In 2018 I had published the article Windows 10 V1803: HCVI causes driver error code 39 about an already fixed bug.

Drivers are not loaded due to core isolation

Due to the core isolation, Windows may not be able to load a driver into memory. This results in an error message of the type ‘A driver cannot be loaded on this device’. Microsoft has published the support article KB4526424 and the article KB4526428 about this issue. 

You are receiving this message because the Memory integrity setting in Windows Security is preventing a driver from loading on your device. The reason for blocking the driver is that it does not comply with Microsoft’s specifications and tries to access the isolated kernel directly. However, this is prevented by the protection mechanism. As a result, the driver is not loaded and the missing driver causes Windows to malfunction.


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Microsoft suggests in the KB article some options that can be tried out to use this driver after all:

  • Check,  if an updated and compatible driver is available through Windows Update or from the driver manufacturer. This is the preferred solution.
  • If that doesn’t work, you can try disabling the memory integrity setting in Windows Security.

For the latter option, go to the Core isolation page of Windows Security (Windows Defender Security Center) settings page. Under Device Security you can then disable the Memory Integrity option. If necessary, restart Windows 10 again so that the driver can be loaded. The collegues at Bleeping Computer has also published an article about that topic.

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