Writing Device Drivers

Error Handling

A driver may perform correctly in an ideal environment, but fail to handle cases where a device encounters an error or an application specifies erroneous operations or sends bad data to the driver. Therefore, an important part of driver testing is the testing of its error handling.

All of a driver's possible error conditions should be exercised, including error conditions for actual hardware malfunctions. Some hardware error conditions might be difficult to induce, but an effort should be made to cause them or to simulate them if possible. It should always be assumed that all of these conditions will be encountered in the field. Cables should be removed or loosened, boards should be removed, and erroneous user application code should be written to test those error paths.