How To Fix A Broken Installation File

This is another public service announcement of interest only to a few people, but if you experience a problem under Win2K/WinXP installing a driver, with the folllowing error message:

The required section was not found in the INF

this might save you hours of fiddling around. In this case it happened with my vodafone/Globe Trotter 3G PCM card but I’ve seen people with scanners, printers etc experience the same problem. Basically the drivers won’t install, and that’s that.

I couldn’t find any solution on its own that fixed the problem, and I don’t know whether this works in all cases, but this is what I did, and it worked for me:

Open your C:WindowsSetupapi.log file, and look around for the “INF” reference. You should see something like

#E067 Could not locate section [ClassInstall32].
#E142 Class: {4D36E971-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. Install failed. Error 0xe0000101: The required section was not found in the INF.

This tells you the section that is missing in the installation file. So now you need to find that file.

Go back up the log and see what INF file (a file with the last three letters, after the period, as inf, like c:windowsinfoem126.inf.

That’s the file that’s causing the problems. Open the file in notepad (in some cases you can do this simply by pasting the full path and file name into Start/Run. Sometimes this won’t work.

Save a backup of the file in question.

Then in the original, add a section with the name of the missing section. In my case, [ClassInstall32].

Save the INF file. Close it, remove the hardware and connect it again. Keep your fingers crossed. Now the installation should proceed normally.

At least it did for me. How dumb can installation software be that this basic problem cannot self-heal?

(Here’s where I got some information for this from.)

How To Run Programs From a USB Drive

Great comment from Fausto Di-Trapani on my posting An Updated Directory Of Programs Designed For USB Drives. Fausto points to a great little program that removes the need to browse through sub-folders when running applications from a USB drive:

Being an extensive traveller, a portable computing environment is a MUST. A great little program I came across is RUNit. It is a little program launcher with all its settings stored in an ini file (portable). I wrote a little batch file to edit the ini file to refer to new locations of programs when the drive letter changes, so far this little program has been the most useful of the lot for me as it allows me to easily access all my portable apps without having to browse through folders.

Thanks, Fausto. Actually RUNit looks like an interesting program in its own right.