InstallHinfSection function

[This function is available for use in the operating systems indicated in the Requirements section. It may be altered or unavailable in subsequent versions. SetupAPI should no longer be used for installing applications. Instead, use the Windows Installer for developing application installers. SetupAPI continues to be used for installing device drivers.]

InstallHinfSection is an entry-point function exported by Setupapi.dll that you can use to execute a section of an .inf file. InstallHinfSection can be invoked by calling the Rundll32.exe utility as described in the Remarks section.

The prototype for the InstallHinfSection function follows the form of all entry-point functions used with Rundll32.exe.

If a file is copied or modified, the caller of this function is required have privileges to write into the target directory. If there are any services being installed, the caller of this function is required have access to the Service Control Manager.


VOID CALLBACK InstallHinfSection(
  _In_ HWND      hwnd,
  _In_ HINSTANCE ModuleHandle,
  _In_ PCTSTR    CmdLineBuffer,
  _In_ INT       nCmdShow


hwnd [in]

The parent window handle. Typically hwnd is Null.

ModuleHandle [in]

Reserved and should be Null.

CmdLineBuffer [in]

Pointer to buffer containing the command line. You should use a null-terminated string.

nCmdShow [in]

Reserved and should be zero.

Return value

This function does not return a value.


Note that three exports exist: InstallHinfSection (for RunDll32), InstallHinfSectionA, and InstallHinfSectionW.

To run an Install section of a specified .inf file, you can invoke InstallHinfSection with the Rundll32.exe by using the following syntax.

RUNDLL32.EXE SETUPAPI.DLL,InstallHinfSection <section><mode><path>

This passes "<section><mode><path>" to CmdLineBuffer.

Alternatively, your program may call InstallHinfSection, InstallHinfSectionA, or InstallHinfSectionW directly, setting the CmdLineBuffer parameter to the following.

"<section> <mode> <path>"

Where path is the full path to the .inf file, mode is the reboot mode parameter, and section is any Install section in the .inf file. The comma separator between SETUPAPI.DLL and InstallHinfSection on the command line is required. Note that there cannot be any white space on the command line between the comma and SETUPAPI.DLL or InstallHinfSection.

It is recommended that you specify the full path to the .inf file as path.

You may specify any Install section in the .inf file as section. No spaces are allowed.

You should use a combination of the following values for mode. You must include 128 to set the default path of the installation to the location of the INF, otherwise a system-provided INF is assumed. Add values to specify rebooting. Note that only the values 128 or 132 are recommended, other values may cause the computer to reboot unnecessarily or not reboot when it required.

0System provided INF.
128Set the default path of the installation to the location of the INF. This is the typical setting.
+0Never reboot the computer.
+1Reboot the computer in all cases.
+2Always ask the users if they want to reboot.
+3Reboot the computer if necessary without asking user for permission.
+4If a reboot of the computer is necessary, ask the user for permission before rebooting.



For example, the following command line runs the DefaultInstall section of the Shell.inf file. If Setup determines a reboot is required, the user is will be prompted with a "Reboot the computer, Yes/No" dialog box.

RUNDLL32.EXE SETUPAPI.DLL,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\WINDOWS\INF\SHELL.INF


Minimum supported client

Windows XP [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]







Unicode and ANSI names

InstallHinfSectionW (Unicode) and InstallHinfSectionA (ANSI)