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Monitor INF File Sections

Last Updated: 2/14/2017

Monitors must be installed in NT-based operating systems using an INF file. The Windows Driver Kit (WDK) provides a sample monitor INF file, monsamp.inf, that you should use as a template to generate an INF file for your monitor. You cannot use the geninf.exe tool described in Creating Graphics INF Files to generate a monitor INF.

The rest of this topic comments on some of the sections in monsamp.inf that are of specific interest to monitor INF writers. For more general information about INF files, see INF File Sections and Directives.

You can also use an INF file to override the monitor Extended Display Identification Data (EDID). See Overriding Monitor EDIDs with an INF.

SourceDisksFiles Section

Files that must be copied during monitor installation should be placed in the [SourceDisksFiles] section. The following example identifies an .icm file that is on distribution disk 1.


For more general information, see INF SourceDisksFiles Section. See Monitor Profiles for more information about color management and profiles.

Models Section

Information about each model that is supported by a given manufacturer should be placed in the Models section. The following example identifies two models manufactured by ACME:

%ACME-1234%=ACME-1234.Install, Monitor\MON12AB
%ACME-5678%=ACME-5678.Install, Monitor\MON34CD

Each model is represented by a single line. Each line contains three elements:

  • Model name -- for example, %ACME-1234% is a token that represents the actual model name (which would appear in the Strings section).

  • Link to a subsequent DDInstall section -- for example, ACME-1234.Install is a link to the subsequent [ACME-1234.Install] section.

  • Hardware identification -- for example, the expression Monitor\MON12AB combines the device class (Monitor) and the device identification (MON12AB) as it appears in the device's EDID.

For more general information, see INF Models Section.

DDInstall Section

The DDInstall section provides information to the driver about the operations to be performed when it installs the specified device. Each line in this section provides a link or links to different INF writer-defined sections that appear later in the INF file. The following example shows the DDInstall section for the ACME-1234 model:

AddReg=ACME-1234.AddReg, 1280, DPMS
  • DelReg directive--provides a link to the DEL_CURRENT_REG section, which details the registry keys to be deleted.

  • AddReg directive--provides links to three sections in which registry keys to be added are detailed. These sections are ACME-1234.AddReg, 1280, and DPMS.

  • CopyFiles directive--provides a link to the ACME-1234.CopyFiles section, which specifies the files to be copied from the distribution disk or disks.

For more general information, see INF DDInstall Section.

INF Writer-Defined Sections

An INF writer-defined section can have any name, provided it is unique within the INF file. These sections are pointed to by directives in other sections. The following bullet items discuss some of the INF writer-defined sections from monsamp.inf:

  • DEL_CURRENT_REG section -- identifies four registry keys whose values will be deleted: MODES, MaxResolution, DPMS, and ICMProfile. These keys will be updated appropriately with new values in subsequent sections.

  • 1280 section -- updates the MaxResolution registry key to the string value shown.

    HKR,,MaxResolution,,"1280, 1024"
  • DPMS section -- updates the DPMS registry key to 1 (TRUE). For a monitor that does not support power management, the following line should instead set the DPMS key value to 0 (FALSE).

  • AddReg section -- You can specify entries under a MODES key in an add-registry section of a monitor INF to identify the monitor's supported resolutions and timings. If the INF specifies modes in this way, the modes' entries will override the values that are specified in the monitor's Extended Display Information Data (EDID). Therefore, MODES key INF values should be used only if a problem exists with the EDID or in the interpretation of the EDID.

    Each subkey to the MODES key specifies a resolution and can contain up to nine values that are used to specify specific timings or timing ranges. The resolution for each subkey name must be a combination of two integer values--width and height--separated by a comma. The specific timings are named from Mode1 to Mode9. The naming must be contiguous. The string values allow frequencies for horizontal and vertical sync pulses to be specified, either as single values or as ranges, where a range is given as a minimum value, followed by a dash (-), followed by a maximum value. The frequency values are currently interpreted only as integers with any digits that follow the decimal place ignored. The string allows the polarity of the horizontal and vertical sync pulses to be specified. However, these polarity values are currently ignored. Only the maximum horizontal sync pulse value is required in each string. For example, the following shows that for each subkey string, the information in square brackets is optional:


    Therefore, each subkey string can be specified without a vertical sync range. However, it is not recommended to specify a subkey string without a vertical sync range.

    The first line of the following sets the "MODES\1280,1024" subkey to the string value that is shown. The same line also identifies a value name for this subkey, Mode1. The first pair of numbers in the string following the Mode1 subkey specifies the range of horizontal synchronization frequencies, in KHz. The next pair of numbers in this string specifies the range of vertical synchronization frequencies, in Hz. In the second line, the PreferredMode registry key is set to the values shown in the accompanying string. The values in the string are used to set both the horizontal and the vertical resolution, in pixels, and the screen refresh rate, in hertz (Hz), for the preferred screen mode. Only the horizontal and the vertical resolution values are required in the PreferredMode string. For example, the following shows that for the PreferredMode string, the information in square brackets is optional:


    Therefore, a preferred mode can be specified without a frequency. However, it is not recommended to specify a preferred mode without a frequency.

    The third line sets the ICMProfile key to the string value "profile1.icm".


    For a monitor that meets the sRGB specification, which is preferred, no monitor profile is needed.

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