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Driver Package Installer (DPInst)

Driver Package Installer (DPInst) version 2.1 is a component of Driver Install Frameworks (DIFx) version 2.1. DIFx simplifies and customizes the installation of driver packages for devices that have not yet been installed in a computer. This type of installation is commonly known as a software-first installation. DPInst also automatically updates the drivers for any installed devices that are supported by the newly installed driver packages.

You should use DPInst version 2.1 for new installation applications instead of DPInst version 2.0, which did not fully support Windows Vista and later versions of Windows.

Starting with Windows 7, the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) includes version 2.1 of DPInst. For information about how to obtain the latest WDK, see How to Get the WDK.

Note  Although version 2.1 of DPInst was available in earlier versions of the WDK, use the version of DPInst in the Windows 7 WDK and later versions of the WDK.

DPInst supports installing signed Plug and Play (PnP) function drivers and signed class filter drivers starting with Microsoft Windows 2000. DPInst can also be configured in legacy mode to install unsigned PnP function drivers and unsigned class filter drivers. In legacy mode, DPInst will also install driver packages that have missing files.

By using DPInst, you can do the following:

  • Enhance the user experience of a driver package by eliminating most of the manual steps that would otherwise be required to install driver packages. When a user runs DPInst, a wizard notifies the user of the installation progress and provides an optional end-user license agreement (EULA) page that gives the user the option to cancel installation. For more information about the wizard pages, see DPInst User Experience and Installing and Uninstalling Driver Packages.

  • Avoid writing a custom installation program to install driver packages and update the installed drivers for supported devices. You do not have to change your driver packages to use DPInst. You only have to create an installation package that includes DPInst and one or more driver packages.

    For more information about how to create this type of installation package, see Creating a DPInst Installation Package.

DPInst supports the following:

  • Localization.

    DPInst supports localization through the Windows Multilingual User Interface (MUI). There are two versions of DPInst:

    • A locale-specific version. By default, this version of DPInst.exe is localized to English but can be localized to one or more other languages by using separate MUI resource files (.mui).
    • A multi-language version that supports many of the commonly used languages that the Windows operating system supports. This version of DPInst.exe includes all the MUI resources and does not require additional MUI resource files.

    For more information about localization support, see DPInst Localization Support.

  • Driver installation customization.

    You can localize and customize the text, icons, and bitmaps that are displayed on wizard pages. You can include an optional EULA and can control whether wizard pages are displayed. For more information about how to customize installation, see Customizing Driver Installation.

  • Automatic driver package removal.

    For each driver package that is installed by DPInst, DPInst adds an entry to Programs and Features in Control Panel. Users can select this entry within Programs and Features to remove the driver package from their computers. If a user removes a driver package, the package is removed from the DIFx driver store, the corresponding INF file is removed from the system INF file directory, and all the devices that were previously supported by the package are updated with the next best available driver.

    Note  In versions of Windows earlier than Windows Vista, DPInst added the entry for the driver package to Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.

  • Installation error logs.

    DPInst records high-level messages in the DPInst log file (%SystemRoot%\DPINST.LOG). The log file is a plain-text file that contains information and error messages and identifies the driver package that was being installed when an error occurred. For more information about the DPInst log file, see Testing and Debugging a DPInst Installation Package.

For more information about known problems with DPInst, see Known DPInst Bugs and Limitations.

The DPInst tool is located in the redist\DIFx subdirectory of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK).

 

 

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