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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


  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

    This is great


    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


    Been trying like crazy to do other stuff. Damn.


  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.

  19. Blake Blake

    thanks heaps!!!

  20. nawaskhan nawaskhan

    Thanks Lot

  21. daf daf

    also works on Windows 2019

  22. Jag Jag

    This was awesome… saved me from so much headache.

  23. Nick Nick

    Random internet article, saving the day since 2019!

    It’s almost like Microsoft didn’t expect servers to run wirelessly 😉

  24. Nathan Nathan

    Thank you so much! Verified this solution still works in 2021.

  25. Joe Joe

    THANK YOU!!!!!

  26. Gaspar Gaspar

    F**K!!! Lost 6 hours, thanks man!!!

  27. Phap Hanh Phap Hanh

    Thank You Very Much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Cables Cables

    Lost hours, Thank You

  29. Mike Mike

    Can someone please explain how to run this command step by step? Seems like this is the solution I’ve been looking for! Much appreciated!

  30. Robbo Robbo

    thanks a lot!

  31. Hamilton Wang Hamilton Wang

    This article has saved my sorry ass at least three times at this point. God bless you

  32. davide davide

    thank you very much, im using server to skip the bloaware installed in win 10 / 11

  33. Karel Moen Karel Moen

    What a MAN!!! -Fixed, thanks!

  34. Marozum Marozum

    Genius! Amzing!

  35. Alex Alex

    Thanks ! You are the best

  36. DK DK

    Dude thanks. i been trying every method but not working. This is simple yet save my life & time

  37. I3 I3

    Thanks! Saved me a lot of time

  38. SG SG

    Second to none!

  39. Aman Ullah Khan Aman Ullah Khan

    Thank you, it worked for me on windows server machine!

    I did not make it use the PowerShell but rather enabled Wireless LAN Services Role to the server by adding roles and features wizard.

    Thanks again!

  40. Dmitriy Dmitriy

    YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO i love you!!! spent 2 hours straight to make my homelab work with wifi and finally found your solution!

  41. chuck chuck

    Man you are a life saver , loads of thx .

  42. Jay Jay

    Spent 5 hours working on it and this was the fix. Thank you so much!!!

  43. Denys Denys

    Ruben Mamo you are a life saver!!! This command worked like a charm and helped me to save tons of my time and get rid of a huge headache.


  44. Kashif Nawaz Kashif Nawaz

    Thank you so much. I installed Server 2016 on 11th Gen i3 Laptop but unable to install the WiFi. No follow your guide and it’s working now.

  45. Timothy Timothy

    THANK YOU. Four years later and this article is still helping people!

  46. By XKS By XKS


  47. O O

    Bless you. Worked on Window Server 2022 Datacenter Edition.

  48. EH EH

    I spent HOURS trying to figure out this exact issue when I was setting up a home server. I could not for the life of me figure out why the driver would not install. I figured it had something to do with the INF file so I spent a long time trying to mess with that and find a version that was specifically compatible with Windows Server. I was quite literally pulling my hair out after troubleshooting for four hours when I find your guide here as a hail mary. Thank you!

  49. uc satın al uc satın al

    Thank you so much!

  50. Rotnam Rotnam

    Thanks, this was the issue all along, it’s hard to find this info with all the crap google return

  51. Nick Nick

    Nope, didn’t work for me for now> tried to enable this feature> error code message 0x80070002

  52. MGumbs MGumbs

    Worked Like a Charm

    Thanks a lot…!!!

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