Manually Install Device Drivers In Windows Using INF Files

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on May 28, 2010

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Device drivers can be a big pain to install after reinstall of Windows. Most of the device drivers these days come with executable installers to install them quick and easy, but there are some devices for which drivers are hard to find. We highly recommend that you preserve your device driver disks when you purchase a device or take a device driver backup before re-installing an OS on your computer.

device manager

If for a device driver installation you don’t find the self extracting installer and rather find a zip file somewhere on Internet or on a disk, I will explain here how to use these driver files to Install the device driver for it.

Related - Identify Unknown Devices In Device Manager Using Vendor ID & Device ID

To Install a device driver manually using the driver files, follow these steps below :

1. Extract the Zipped Files if any. Many times the drivers available on the internet are zipped into a file for convenience, extract them and place them into a convenient location like a folder on c drive named driver or whatever you like to call it.

2. Press “Windows Key + R” together or go to Start > Run, on the Run Prompt, type “devmgmt.msc” and press enter to launch device manager.

run-device-manager

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3. On the Device Manager screen, locate the device for which you have downloaded the drivers and right click that device. On right click menu, select “Update Driver Software…

update-driver-software

4. This will show you a window which will ask you whether you want to install the drivers automatically or from a specific location. Select the Specific location option if you have downloaded the drivers already in step 1.

browse-drivers-location-on-computer

5. Click Browse my computer for driver software and select the driver’s location where you saved and extracted it in step 1. After you locate the folder, click OK and click Next.

loacte-drivers-folder

6. Let the Device manger scan the folder and install the driver. If the driver files are correct for the device, it will be successfully installed and a success message will show up. After this the device manager window will refresh and show up the installed device properly categorized and without any yellow exclamation marks.

driver-updated

Hope you find this tutorial easy to follow. Please leave your suggestions and comments below.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex September 12, 2010 at 2:34 am

Thanks man. I wasn’t used to .inf not autoinstalling. XP -> seven recent move. :P

Very useful and easy to follow.

zee March 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

my onboard sound card on a fujitsu siemans mainboard pml900 does not pick up in device manager and i cant manually install the driver because of that on vista it works hundreds, i tried running the realtek exe. file but it doesnt want to launch for some reasone (using win7 ultimate 32bit)

sirjefferson June 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

This does not werk if Win7 does not recognize the driver file as newer than the installed driver, which is probably the case the most times someone wants to install a driver manually (as it is in mine). Thre has to be a way to actually manually select the .inf file for installation.

Blessed September 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hie

thank you i manage to install my drivers

God bless you

3T December 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

thanks. you just saved me from hours of frustration.
Thanks

Evelyn Askew November 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

I had to copy it all down. So now I’ll try it and pray it works. I think it will, it sounds better than any I’ve found so far. But, whether it works or not, thanks for the info.
Tried everything else.

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