Understanding oemNN.inf Drivers for Windows 10 & 11

Petrula 31 Reputation points

Windows 10 & 11 installs third party drivers by renaming them to oemNN.inf.

I am having difficulty finding understandable documentation about the process Windows uses and the reasoning behind it.

Thank you for your feedback.

Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
10,772 questions
Windows 11
Windows 11
A Microsoft operating system designed for productivity, creativity, and ease of use.
8,374 questions
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  1. Docs 15,151 Reputation points

    One or more of these links may be useful: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/install/using-an-extension-inf-file https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/install/driver-packages Prior to Windows 10, Windows selected a single driver package to install for a given device. This resulted in large, complex driver packages that included code for all scenarios and configurations, and each minor update required an update to the entire driver package. Starting in Windows 10, you can split INF functionality into multiple components, each of which can be serviced independently. The core driver package installed on a device is now called the base driver package and is handled by the system in the same way driver packages have been handled prior to Windows 10. To extend a base driver package's functionality, provide an extension INF in a separate driver package. An extension INF: nullnullnullnull

    Every device must have one base driver package installed on it, and can optionally have one or more extension INFs associated with it. An extension INF will not be able to install on a device if there is no base driver package present to also install on the device. --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

    2 people found this answer helpful.

  2. Petrula 31 Reputation points

    I appreciate the links.

    Unfortunately, there is only one brief reference to oem<#>.inf name.

    "Find the oem<#>.inf name of the driver package to uninstall and use pnputil /delete-driver oem<#>.inf /uninstall.

    pnputil /enum-drivers can be used to help identify the appropriate oem<#>.inf name."

    This does not provide any details about the process Windows uses in determining the oem<#>.inf, installation process like how it changes the registry, what number does it use and why like oem47.inf, what other changes does Windows make to files and why.