How do you find out the INF file that is being used when you plug in a device in windows .

We are plugging in a USB modem and it tries to install the MBB USB Drivers and then throws a error "INF written for Windows 95 or later, driver missing entry file" . Well i am installing the driver on windows XP which is later than windows 95 , so not sure what exactly is wrong .

i want to find out exactly which inf file windows is picking up and then maybe i can change the signature entry to $WindowsNT$ .

any thoughts here ..

while we are at the topic of device drivers . Could anyone please suggest a good book for windows device drivers . Something which is from ground up and covers a lot of basics .


1 Answer 1


Just because you change the signature to Windows NT doesn't magically transform the driver into an NT driver. The driver model that is used by Windows NT is significantly different from Windows 9x, different enough to require that many devices use completely different drivers for the two operating systems.

Granted, the error message is slightly confusing because XP is indeed "later" that Windows 95, but it is not a newer version of Windows 95. That would be either Windows 98 or Me. You need to find a driver that is written for Windows 2000 or XP, both based on the Windows NT code-base.

But if the driver's INF file that you have now has the signature $Windows 95$, then you can be sure that it is not an NT driver, and it will not magically become one by changing that to $Windows NT$.

As for general instruction on understanding and writing device drivers, check out the answers to these questions:

But fair warning: the driver model changed again in Windows Vista. If you want to write drivers for devices that run on Windows Vista and 7, you'll need to make sure that you're learning about the updated model. If you still need the drivers to support legacy operating systems like Windows 2000/XP, then you'll need to stick with an older resource that talks about those operating systems.

  • Raymon Chen is lucky not to have said what you said, because he would then have been wrong. It is, after all, not DOS+Windows 95 issuing the error message about the INF file, but the newer operating system in question itself, which was known to come after DOS+Windows 95 from the get-go.
    – JdeBP
    Jun 27, 2011 at 9:12
  • WDM drivers work on both Win 9x and Windows XP. Also some classes of drivers had incompatible changes in Vista, but not all of them.
    – John
    Jun 27, 2011 at 21:24

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