Mysterious WPD driver is installing on Windows PCs, triggering errors

Nobody seems to know what the new driver does, so it's best to avoid the update for now

Mysterious WPD driver is installing on Windows 10 PCs, triggering errors
Credit: Thinkstock

Remember the problem users were experiencing in December with weird Windows 10 drivers appearing out of nowhere? Well, it seems to be happening again.

In December there were complaints about a spate of drivers with names like these:

INTEL – System – 1/4/2013 12:00:00 AM – 0.0.0.1

Intel – System – 3/13/2016 12:00:00 AM – 11.0.0.1010

INTEL – System – 8/19/2016 12:00:00 AM – 10.1.2.80

INTEL – System – 10/3/2016 12:00:00 AM – 10.1.1.38

Realtek Semiconduct Corp. – USB – 5/17/2016 12:00:00 AM – 10.0.10586.31225

Once installed, the drivers wreaked all sorts of havoc. Last month, Raymond Chen at Microsoft explained the sudden appearance of very old drivers, but that may or may not be what’s causing this latest problem.

Now lots of people are reporting that their Windows systems are suddenly installing this driver: 

Microsoft - WPD - 2/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - 5.2.5326.4762

Amiel Spencer on the Microsoft Answers forum says the installation triggers an Error 0x800f0217.

In case you missed the memo, the MSDN blog has a description of WPD drivers:

Microsoft Windows Portable Devices (WPD) enables a computer to communicate with attached media and storage devices. This system supersedes both Windows Media Device Manager (WMDM) and Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) by providing a flexible, robust way for a computer to communicate with music players, storage devices, mobile phones, and many other types of connected devices.

Microsoft provides several drivers for standard protocols and devices, including Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) devices, and Mass Storage Class (MSC) devices.

It’s looking like déjà vu all over again. For reasons unknown, Microsoft has suddenly released a new driver that may or may not be beneficial for your computer.

Until we get additional information or a report about beneficial side effects from installing this driver, I strongly suggest you avoid it. If you’ve already installed the driver, follow the instructions on AskWoody.com to roll back a bad driver update. If you haven’t installed it and are using Windows 10, consider hauling out wushowhide to make sure you don’t get stuck.

This would be a great use for the “Include driver updates when I update Windows” option in the Win10 Settings app and in Group Policy, but I’m not convinced that either setting will prevent this particular driver from being installed.

Thanks to AElMassry for the heads-up.

Discussion continues on the AskWoody Lounge

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