How To Fix A Broken Installation File

By | July 20, 2006

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.)

51 thoughts on “How To Fix A Broken Installation File

  1. bb

    Thanks so much for this common sense approach to fixing installation problems in the INF! I’ve been stressing out about getting hardware preloaded on a Vista PC to work on XP (my employer won’t let us use Vista). I’ve searched high and low. I’ve downloaded countless driver packages that didn’t do squat. I’ve wasted so much time browsing message threads with much more complex– and potentially dangerous to the operations of the computer– solutions… only to come across your advice which was simple, quick, and effective. Thanks again for helping us deal with the inequities of Microsoft!

  2. Rob

    I appreciate your research. Could you please tell this newbie where to put the file and what the new section would look like?
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Vin

    Thanks a lot – this really saved the day after couple of hours installing and re-installing the drivers!

    In response to Rob above, just add a line [ClassInstall32] at the end of the file – that did the trick for me

  4. Courtney

    Just wanted to send a HUGE thanks to you for that info! Been trying to sort out the problem with my mp3 player for ages and now its fixed! THANK YOU! really not that difficult, but something I wouldn’t have known to do, so thanks! 🙂

  5. Leon

    Thank you so much!!!
    I came really close to formatting my machine because of this… 🙂

  6. epsoft

    Same here for an update from Windows Update: Uninstall/reinstall Matrox G550 driver shows same error.
    Adding [ClassInstall32] in G550.inf file and now seems to work well.
    THX ALOT!!

  7. Sarah

    ok, i did all of this for my mp3 player and it won’t let me save it on the disk that came with it. i tried saving it some where else and then using it, but it says that the file doesn’t contain information about my device. could you please help me?
    thanks if you can!

  8. chr

    the content of my SETUPAPI.LOG is this:

    “The location of the SetupAPI log file has been changed.
    The new location is: D:WindowsINF”

    funny thing is, i DO NOT have a drive D. without this SETUPAPI.LOG, i would not be able to know the MISSING SECTION FILE…

    PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!! 🙁


  9. Mike C

    Hi Jeremy, just sent you an email with regard to this blog posting..Hope you have a moment to take a look, thanks, Mike

  10. Anonymous

    The location of the SetupAPI log file has been changed.
    The new location is: D:WindowsINF

    pops up when i access the file i do have a drive D but Its Empty Anyway I Could Reverse this

  11. ...

    I did everything you said but it didn’t work. Instead of “The required section was not found in the INF” I got “The system cannot find the file specified.” What should I do?

  12. Peter

    Thanks so much for this helpful info! This just ended two excruciating hours trying to get a printer to work. I am now printing out this article as my test page and it’s lookin fine!

  13. Ken

    I am trying to connect my old HP Laser Jet 1100 printer to my new HP a6400f PC with Vista Premium operating system. Each time I try, I receive the message: error 0xe0000101.

    It seems that most all equipment or programs from my old XP PC are rejected by the new Vista OS. Any suggestions?


  14. Hassan

    Hi all,
    Thanks for this great post.
    Peoples who are having same problem, but with vista, can do the following:
    1- Open C:Windowsinf.
    2- locate the file ( and open it.
    3- Search for the problem (use search option and search for THE REQUIRED SECTION…), and from that line take the name of the driver that is having the problem, also take the name of the missing section (like [ClassInstall32])
    4- Then you have to go to the folder C:Windowssystem32driverstorefilerepository, and there locate the folder tht have the same name of the driver which have problem (also mentioned in the inf file), and open the folder.
    5- In the inf file inside the folder you have to paste the missing section (ex: [ClassInstall32]), you can paste it at the end of the file then save it and exit, restart and install 🙂

    N.B: you have to obtain permission in order to edit the inf file located in C:Windowssystem32driverstorefilerepository. Search net for how to obtain that permission.

    Hope that this info can help someones.

    Hassan El-Husseini

  15. Paul

    thanks! IT really helped me, it took 4 hours searching for fix, but only your one helped me:)

  16. Bob

    Here’s another big thanks. Three days wasted with a surgeons knife trying to excise and uninstall every reference to a bloated HP driver package to get a clean install that still wouldn’t work, fixed in a couple of minutes with your advice.

    Thanks Jeremy!

  17. juri

    Hassan, you are a life saver! Thank you very much. With your advice I was able to get my HP web-cam working with Vista again. Thanks again.

  18. Adam

    hi mate,

    i am having trouble with the texas instruments pcixx21 integrated flashmedia controller i have got the driver’s of the acer web site and install them. But after the install has done new hardware found box comes up so i go threw the process of adding the new hardware and at the end it say can not find the the INF file. I tryed your fix but there is so many INF entres in my Setupapi.log i dont now were to start, can you help please.


  19. brian

    THANK YOU! I would of thrown this receipt printer against the wall before I figured this out myself. Your a printer saver.

  20. Shahril

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks a lot for the very usefull tips :), awesome! it really works..really appreciated it.

  21. Gary

    Worked like a charm. Pity I didn’t find this BEFORE tearing all my hair out! Thanks.

  22. Mik

    First time I’ve had the horror to encounter this in my 12 years of computer use, had this error on a clients laptop today while trying to install a texas instruments media controller

    thanks for this fix, tried everything before i found your page……good man !!!! Bookmarked and appreciated

  23. Keebs

    I still ran into problems after I added the [ClassInstall32] line to the end of my OEM42.INF so I renamed it, copied that file from another computer (both are Windows XP SP3) and pasted it into the same location and it worked great. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  24. MikeMax420

    explicit language aside You f’n Rock! dude even a Nutter brain like me could get this with your instructions Now i got my cam software installed ty a million times

  25. Eddy Santa Cruz

    I’m with XP lited and I don’t have the oem126.inf file I can only find from oem1.inf to oem15.inf
    I modified several files with the intructions above.
    But the solution isn’t working for me.

    The error is the same, trying to install Huawei modem device

  26. Jon

    This worked perfectly on an older Compaq laptop. The Texas Instruments PCIxx21 install was failing for this exact reason. i added “[ClassInstall32]” to an empty spot in the called inf file (oem4) and saved. It allowed the device to install and now it works.

  27. mwhipple

    I just wrestled with the same issue and found what may be a friendlier fix: old-school explicitly loading the specific inf rather than letting Windows attempt any type of magic: rather than even specifying the location for automatic loading choose the option to select from a list of drivers, click on the ‘Have Disk’ button or equivalent, and load the appropriate .inf file in that dialog. I’d guess that it’s a problem caused by Windows attempting to attach functions to devices that don’t offer them (such as registering classes). I’m waiting on downloads to fully test the install, but so far so good.

  28. Sushi2011

    ;(, I could not find out the inf file as you mentioned. What should I do? Thanks in advance

  29. Sushi2011

    I could not find out the inf file as you mentioned. What should I do?

  30. Andy Vas

    Trying to get my (very) old UMAX scanner to use with an XP 32bit laptop. Tried for ages to get it to install, then found this and it worked first time. Thanks alot, saved me buying a new scanner!!

  31. lety

    hi plesase help me i have this problem

    The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)

    The required section was not found in the INF.

  32. rado

    Thank you very much! 🙂 After 3 days of finding solution, this is what solved it…
    After connecting a NAS through iSCSI connector, I was able to see the disk in device manager, but unable to create a volume on it, on windows 2008 server. It just created “unknown device”, trying to install generic volume, with the error message that I found in your article… and fixing the inf file solved it… thank you 🙂

  33. Tom

    I blew most of a day researching this on the web. Your answer was the only one that provided a cure. My device was a Sierra/AT&T AirCard. Since your problem component was also a 3G PCM card, it looks like poorly written INF files are endemic in this product group.

  34. Josh

    This is awesome! Solved my issues instantly. I was about to break things with all the anger this thing caused me.

  35. Marcel

    After almost 6 years after this post, still manage to resolve our problems. A big thanks for this article. I manage to resolve my issue in 1 minute after reading this.

  36. Andrea

    Thank you for sharing this information! Your post was a great help to me! 🙂
    My first problem was a missing section (“[STRING.0409]”, which I copied from the “[STRING.0411]”), and then also the absence of “[ClassInstall32].” Key was the indication to read the file “Setupapi.log.” Now the webcam works perfectly!

  37. Kees

    Wow, thanx, it worked! Took a while before i was able to ‘have the rights’ to change the files and folders, but after all it worked. I did both suggestions, above and in the middle, from Hassan.
    All u have to add really is a line with [ClassInstall32]

  38. Heejin

    I have a galaxy s3 (and as a side note, i’m really really bad with computers, i don’t know any computer language)
    anyways, i’m trying to get music on it but everytime i try to plug my s3 in to my computer as a media device, the “Found new hardware” window shows up saying that “the required section was not found in the inf” and i tried doing everything you said, but it still doesn’t work. on another note, my computer is really old, an xp from circa 2007, i don’t know if that’s a problem. but i’m reaching the end of my patience here so some help would be really appreciated, thank you.

    1. jeremy Post author

      Heejin, hi, I’m afraid I can’t really help on this. I’d suggest that you contact Samsung directly. They do have software called KIES that is supposed to make this easier but it doesn’t always work very well. If you are near one of their service centers they can help, I’m sure.

    2. Ahmad Ali

      install windows media format 11 and your problem will be solved.
      and also better install user mode driver from microsoft.

      i assure for samsung this section not found problem will be solved.


  39. Ahmad Ali

    this problem on windows xp for mobile devices MTP application is solved by installing
    windows media 11 formats.
    or/and user mode driver from microsoft

    search and download these terms in google.
    i tried all above methods and then found information on google that i shared with you and it solved problem..

  40. Giacomo

    Wow, kind of a fail for the INF processor here. I was trying to install the drivers for the Arduino Mega 2560 for my Ultimaker… just had to add [ClassInstall32] to the end of c:\windows\inf\oem10.inf. Thank you so much for posting this.


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