Information File (Windows CE 5.0)

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The most common operations for installing an application are copying files and setting registry keys. These and other instructions can be placed into an information (.inf) file that describes where files should be placed and which registry keys should be created or modified. This file uses the Microsoft Win32® Setup format with Windows CE–specific modifications. Information files are text-based and can be created with any text editor.

The CAB Wizard uses the .inf file to construct a file called _setup.xml, which gives instructions on how the application should be installed. The .inf file is parsed to determine which finalized application files should be packaged.

The .cab file is then created and formatted for the target device.

An .inf file consists of a number of sections which describe the installation tasks. These tasks include descriptions of the target location of the files, shortcuts, and registry settings that the .cab file will contain. Not all these sections are required to create a valid .inf file.

Since the CAB Wizard can use a single .inf file and multiple application binaries to create multiple .cab files, you can use the cpu_type and hardware_platform_label parameters to help create a separate .cab file for each specific processor or platform type that you specify. For more information about the parameters, see CAB Wizard.

This is also useful if you are using the same set of application binaries to create multiple .cab files targeted at multiple platforms. However, that requires you to use a [Platform] section to specify the targeted platforms and multiple [CEDevice] sections in the .inf file to separate the targeted platforms into their respective .cab files. For more information, see Platform and CEDevice.

To indicate information for a specific processor or platform, append a unique label that indicates the selected platform to the following section names:

  • CEDevice
  • DefaultInstall
  • SourceDisksNames
  • SourceDisksFiles
  • Platform

For example, when installing the .cab file application on a Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC device, use the SourceDisksNames.PPC section name to specify the name and path of the hard disk where the application resides.

The following table shows the sections that can make up an .inf file.

Section Required Description
Version Yes Describes the creator and version of the application.
Platform No Describes the platform version that the application is targeted for.
CEStrings Yes Contains string substitutions for application and directory names.
Strings No Contains string definitions for one or more strings.
CEDevice No Describes the hardware platform that the application is targeted for.
DefaultInstall Yes Describes the default method used to install the application.
CopyFiles Yes Specifies the list of files that the .cab file copies to the target device.

Appears in the DefaultInstall section.

AddReg No Specifies the keys and values that the .cab file adds to the registry on the target device.

Appears in the DefaultInstall section.

CEShortcuts No Specifies the shortcuts that are created on the target device.

Appears in the DefaultInstall section.

SourceDisksNames Yes Contains the name and path of the directories on the hard disk where the application files reside.
SourceDisksFiles Yes Contains the source filenames of the files that comprise the application.
DestinationDirs Yes Contains the names and paths of the destination directories for the application on the target device.

See Also

CAB Wizard | Information File Example

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