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Installing drivers - Microsoft® Windows® XP INF files
Published Date : 13 Apr 2002   Last Updated : 24 Apr 2009   Content Ref: TEC14642  


This document assumes that the hardware has already been physically attached to the computer.

It also assumes that you are logged into the Microsoft® Windows® XP computer as a user with administrator rights and have access to the device driver (ie you have previously downloaded your driver from the RM Support Drivers Download Library, or have a copy on CD, floppy disk, etc).

Important: When downloading drivers from the RM Web site, unzip them to a folder and make a careful note of the download path so that you can find them later.


Method using Device Manager
  1.  Open Device Manager from the Windows XP Computer Management utility - the quickest method is to hold down the Windows key (usually the key located between the <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys on the left of the spacebar) and then press and release the <Pause/Break> key. Then click on Hardware, Device Manager.
    Note: There are also several other ways of opening Device Manager including from Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager.
  2. With Device Manager open, locate the hardware device that you want to update the drivers for.
    Note: Navigate through the categories of hardware devices by clicking the [+] icon. Specific hardware devices are listed under the major hardware categories. Devices which have no drivers will be indicated with a red icon.
  3. After finding the hardware you're updating drivers for, right-click on the hardware's name or icon and choose Properties. In this Properties window, click the Driver tab.
    Note: Chipset drivers may have more than one INF file for more than one part of the chipset and some chipset drivers also include graphics drivers (eg Nvidia chipsets). The chipset devices are usually any other device apart from display adapters, keyboards, mice, network adapters, sound, video and game controllers, etc. Typically chipset drivers are available for IDE/ATAPI/SATA/SCSI controllers, USB controllers, system devices, etc. See also the section below on the 'right-click - install method' which may be useful if it is difficult to find the correct entry in Device Manager. Another method to find the correct device in Device Manager is to use Notepad to read the INF file. Headings and the [Description] entires in the INF file often indicate the name of the device.
  4. Click the Update Driver... button. The Hardware Update Wizard will begin.
  5. To the 'Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?' question, choose the 'No, not this time' radio button and then click Next.
  6. To the 'What do you want the wizard to do?' question, choose the 'Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)' radio button and then click the Next button.
  7. The next window that appears will be the 'Please choose your search and installation options' window containing several radio buttons and check boxes.
  8. Choose the 'Don't search. I will choose the driver to install radio' button and then click the Next button.
  9. Click the Have Disk... button on the 'Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware' window.
  10. Click the Browse... button on the Install From Disk dialog box that appeared.
  11. In the Locate File dialog box that appears next, navigate to the folder that you extracted as part of the driver download in step 1 above. There may be multiple folders within the extracted folder so be sure to work your way to the one for Windows XP if it exists.
  12. Click the INF file that displays in the file list and click the Open button.
    Note: INF files are the only files that Device Manager accepts for driver setup information. See the tips at the bottom of the page for some INF file troubleshooting.
  13. Click OK back on the Install From Disk dialog box.
  14. Choose the newly added hardware back on the 'Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware' window and then click Next.
    If you're prompted with a message warning you about the software for the hardware device not passing the Windows Logo testing, click the Continue Anyway button. Nearly all drivers released by RM are Windows certified.
  15. The Hardware Update Wizard will now use the instructions provided in the INF file to install the updated drivers for your hardware. Follow any additional instructions on screen to complete the driver update.
  16. After the driver update is complete, click Yes to the 'Do you want to restart your computer now?' question on System Settings Change dialog box.
  17. Your computer will now restart and the driver update process will be complete.

Note: Not all driver updates require a restart of your computer. Even if you're not prompted, we always recommend restarting anyway. The driver update process involves changes to the Windows registry and other important areas of your computer and restarting is a good way to confirm that updating drivers hasn't negatively impacted some other area of Windows.


  • Couldn't find an INF file in a folder from your driver download? Try another folder.
  • Couldn't find an INF file in any folder from the extracted driver files? The driver download may have been corrupted. Try downloading and extracting the drivers again.
  • Find multiple INF files in a folder from your driver download? Try each one until the drivers for your hardware are installed properly.

Method using the Add Hardware Wizard
  1. Click on Start, then click on Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on Add Hardware. The Add Hardware Wizard will begin.
  3. Click on Next. The Wizard will look for any new Plug and Play devices on your system. 
  4. The next screen will ask if you have already connected hardware to your computer. Select Yes.
  5. A list of all devices currently installed on your computer will be listed, if the device you are trying to install isn't listed go to step 8.
  6. If your device is listed, click on the device to highlight it then click on Next.
  7. A screen will display a message advising that 'This device is working properly'. Click Finish to complete wizard, your hardware is configured OK and you do not need to continue with this procedure. 
  8. From the list of devices select the option for 'Add a new device' then click Next.
  9. At the next screen select the option for 'Install the hardware that I manually select from list (Advanced)' and then click Next.
  10. Select the type of device that you are installing, from the list eg if you are installing a graphics card select Display Adapters and then click Next.
  11. The next screen will present you with a list of manufacturers and models. Click on Have Disk.
  12. You now have to point the Wizard to the location of the driver. Click on the Browse button.
  13. On the next screen, under Look In, choose the drive that holds your drivers (eg Floppy Drive A, Hard Disk C, CD drive).
  14. Below the Look In section, a list of folders may appear. Choose the correct path to your driver. (Most RM drivers from the Web site will download and unzip to a subfolder under C:\rm\drivers.)
  15. Click Open.
  16. A confirmation of the path to your driver will now be displayed. If it is correct, click OK.
  17. If the driver for the hardware has not been tested for Windows XP then you will get a message 'The driver is not digitally signed' - advising that the software has not passed Windows logo testing for Windows XP. If you wish to continue with the install, click on Next.
  18. You should now have the exact device you want to install displayed on the screen (or a small selection of similar devices. If so, choose the appropriate device). Click Next.
  19. Click Next. The driver will now be installed. You may again get the Windows logo testing for Windows XP message, click Continue Anyway.
  20. The Wizard will prompt you after it has finished installing the driver. Click on Finish.
  21. You may be prompted to re-start your computer. 

Method using right-click - install directly on the INF file
  1. Right-click on the desired INF file (extension must end in .INF).
  2. Choose the Install option.
  3. Restart Windows.

Note: This method sometimes does not install the hardware drivers, however it does add the hardware descriptions to the New Hardware list, which can make it easier to install when using Device Manager after rebooting. After doing this, you can then use the 'Scan For Hardware Changes' option in the Device Manager, Action tab after using this technique; this may then auto-detect new drivers.

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