Overview of INF Files

Windows uses setup information (INF) files to install the following components for a device:

  • One or more drivers that support the device.

  • Device-specific configuration or settings to bring the device online.

An INF file is a text file that contains all the information that device installation components used to install a driver. Windows installs drivers using INF files. This information includes the following:

  • Driver name and location
  • Driver version information
  • Registry information

You can use an INX file to automatically create an INF file. An INX file is an INF file that contains string variables that represent version information. The Build utility and the Stampinf tool replace the string variables in INX files with text strings that represent a specific hardware architecture or framework version. For more information about INX files, see Using INX Files to Create INF Files.

See INF File Sections and INF File Directives for a complete description of INF file format.