LaunchINFSectionEx function

Launches a section of an information (INF) file.


   HWND      hwnd,
   PSTR      pszParams,
   INT       nShow


  • hwnd
    HWND that specifies the owner window on which to display error messages. This parameter is typically NULL, which causes the Desktop to be the owner window.

  • hInst
    Handle to the instance of the program. This parameter is typically NULL.

  • pszParams
    Comma-delimited string that specifies (1) the INF file, (2) the section of the INF file to launch, (3) the fully qualified path of the cabinet file (CAB) that contains the INF file, and (4) a flag value that specifies the installation mode, in that order.

    If you do not specify the fully qualified path of the INF file, the INF file is extracted from the specified CAB file. If you do not specify a section, that is, if the section portion of the pszParams string is an empty string or is set to NULL, then the DefaultInstall section of the INF file is launched.

    The following values define the installation mode. Add the values together to specify multiple flags.

    4 Quiet mode, no UI
    8 Don't run GrpConv
    16 Force self-updating on user's system
    32 Backup data before install
    64 Rollback to previous state
    128 Validate the backup data
    256 Complete rollback to previous state
    512 Force delay of OCX registration


    An optional fifth field specifies whether to reboot upon completion. If not present, the installer will reboot only if necessary (smart reboot).

    A Always reboot.
    I Default. Reboot if needed.
    N Never reboot.


  • nShow
    Unused. Set to zero.

Return value

Returns one of the following values.

Return code Description

The section launched successfully.


The section failed to launch.



You can call this function using Rundll32.exe from the command line.

Note  Using an entry point function with Rundll32.exe does not resemble a normal function call. The function name and the name of the .dll file where it is stored are used only as command line parameters. The function definition shown in the Syntax section of this topic is only a standard prototype for all functions that you can call using Rundll32. The specific values for hwnd and hInst are not provided by the user, but are handled behind the scenes by Rundll32.



The following examples demonstrate how to call the LaunchINFSectionEx function using Rundll32.

This example demonstrates how to extract the myinf.infINF file from the c:\temp\ CAB file in Quiet|Backup mode, and reboot if needed.

rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx myinf.inf,,c:\temp\,36

This example demonstrates how to roll back to the state before the myinf.infINF file was installed.

rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx c:\windows\inf\myinf.inf,,,256


Minimum supported client

Windows 2000 Professional

Minimum supported server

Windows 2000 Server





See also


About INF File Architecture

Using INF Files