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Solved: “A service installation section in this inf is invalid” error when installing WiFi driver on Windows Server

I’ve been working on setting up a service fabric cluster (read more on service fabric if you’re interested in the technology) using some old laptops I had lying around. I installed Windows Server 2016 without issues. Then I tried to install the WiFi drivers in order to have network and internet access on the laptops. However, I kept getting “A service installation section in this inf is invalid” when trying to install the WiFi driver.

It turns out that Windows Server doesn’t ship with the Wireless LAN Service installed. In order to use WiFi on a Windows Server you need to have this service installed. Luckily this can be easily done using a PowerShell command. First you need to open a PowerShell prompt, make sure you run it as administrator. Then run the following command:

Add-WindowsFeature -Name Wireless-Networking

Restart your machine after the command executes and then install the WiFi driver. You might need to restart your machine again after installing the driver before you can connect to a WiFi network. At least I had to restart my machine again.

You should now be able to connect to a WiFi network.

Published inTroubleshooting

19 Comments

  1. Josh H Josh H

    You sir are awesome! This worked!

  2. Roman Roman

    Thank you a lot!
    This helped me to solve similar problem.

  3. Charlie Caldwell Charlie Caldwell

    Hey thanks for this. I was having this issue on Server 2019 and couldn’t figure out why the driver wasn’t installing.

    • Axel Seikola Axel Seikola

      Me Too! Was driving me nuts. Thank you for the article!

  4. tnt tnt

    ooh man. you saved my day… wow.

    this wasted my lot of time.

    thank man.

    Add-WindowsFeature -Name Wireless-Networking

  5. Renal Sukendar Renal Sukendar

    Thanks
    This is great

  6. THX A LOT THX A LOT

    This helped me so much with my new PC build and my four SSDs with Server 2019.

  7. John S John S

    thank you ! Now I can remove this Ethernet cable going through the living room

  8. James James

    Thank you for providing this information!

  9. Facu Facu

    THANK YOU!

    Been trying like crazy to do other stuff. Damn.

    Great!

  10. Alex Alex

    Thank you for the post. Your solution worked perfectly! Had to start the WLAN AutoConfig service after restart but once I did that, it found and installed my Realtec 8188 WLAN adapter. Much appreciated!

  11. Andre Duarte Andre Duarte

    It worked just fine for me!
    Thank you!

  12. Jensen Jensen

    Found this after many driver install uninstall upgrades.. worked like a charm after did the steps mentioned.. Thanks a lot..

  13. Lionel Lionel

    Thanks! The solution worked for me as well.

    Thanks again!

  14. Hassan Hassan

    You sir are awesome

  15. Little Little

    Thank you very much for your advice!

  16. Bear Bear

    Thank you. I chased round the registry for ages for some inexplicable and fruitless reason. That was until I searched “Windows Server” as an addendum to the problem. Up came you and your precise solution. I am impressed and grateful. I have added you to my favourites from now on.

  17. Wills Wills

    Fantastic. Solve my issue on Windows Server 2019 running on a Dell Power Edge R710 Server

  18. Maz Maz

    You Rock!!! It Worked.

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