The blogpost of Jay about running Windows Server 2012 R2 on an Intel NUC 54250WYKH and the problems with the onboard network card do apply to Windows Server 2016 CTP4 too.
Today I installed Windows Server 2016 CTP 4 on my Intel NUC 5i5RYH and encountered the same problem with a non-recognized network card. Intel has decided in all its wisdom to not let you install network card drivers when you are using a Microsoft Server operating system. As described in the blogpost of Jay it is however possible to install the network card drivers. The method described works on most hardware with drivers that do not support a Windows Server operating system. The details will change with different hardware.
To install drivers with an edited INF file you need to trick Windows to install them. With some BCDEDIT commands this can be done. Please make sure the drivers you want to install are legitimate Intel drivers and not downloaded from some rogue site. Because you make some changes to the INF file Windows cannot verify the source of the drivers. There are some checksums for the driver files (included the INF file) and when you edit them the checksum is not valid anymore. When you use the official Intel drivers from the Intel site and you only adjust the INF file as mentioned below you are reasonably safe.
Be very careful not to install drivers from a non-trustworthy source!
Below the steps I took for the Intel NUC 5i5RYH:
- Login to your Intel NUC 5i5RYH after you installed Windows Server 2016 CTP4
Run a CMD command prompt with Administrator privileges (Windows key + R and type CMD and press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER) and run the following BCDEDIT commands.
- bcdedit /set LOADOPTIONS DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
- bcdedit /set TESTSIGNING ON
- bcdedit /set nointegritychecks ON
- These commands switch the Driver Enforcement off so non verified drivers can be installed.
- Restart the Intel NUC 5i5RYH.
- The following part must be done on another computer because you still have no network on your NUC.
- Download the latest driver for the Intel NUC 5i5RYH network card (link). I downloaded to [C:\Install].
- Download WinRAR (link).
- Expand using WinRAR the network card driver package. I unpacked to [C:\Install\LAN_Win10_64_20.4.1].
Look at the properties of the network card in [Computer Management], [Device Manager], [Details] and [Hardware ids]. In case of the Intel NUC 5i5RYH the string of text you need is: [VEN_8086&DEV_15A].
Using PowerShell find the INF files in the directory where you unpacked the drivers files.
- Get-ChildItem -recurse | Select-String -pattern "VEN_8086&DEV_15A" | group path | select name
The result should look like this:
- The INF file you need depends on the operating system you are using. [e1d65x64.inf] is for Windows 10 and Windows 2016, [e1d64x64.inf] is for Windows 8.1 and Windows 2012 R2.
- In my case I needed the driver for Windows 2016 so browse to the directory with the [e1d65x64.inf] file.
- Open the [e1d65x64.inf] file with notepad and change the following lines:
Change the following lines to:
- ExcludeFromSelect = \
To: (put an [;] before the three lines after [ControlFlags])
- ;ExcludeFromSelect = \
- ; PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_153A,\
- ; PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_153B
Next find the following lines below the [ControlFlags] section, the lines are marked blue below and copy those lines.
Next find the [Intel.NTamd64.10.1] section and paste the blue lines below the last line of this section.
The result should look like this:
- Save the file and copy the C:\Install directory to an USB stick.
- Log on to your Intel NUC 5i5RYH.
- Copy all of the files from the USB stick to the C:\Install directory on your Intel NUC 5i5RYH.
Before you move on check if the message [Test Mode] is visible. If not then go back to the first step and run the BCDEDIT commands again and reboot.
Go to [Device Manager], [Properties] of the network card and choose [Update Driver…] from the [General] tab.
Next choose [Browse my computer for driver software].
Browse to the location of the edited driver files, in this case [C:\Install\LAN_Win10_64_20.4.1\PRO1000], and click [Next].
When the drivers are found and installed a warning will be displayed [Windows can't verify the publisher of this driver software] choose [Install this driver software anyway].
After the installation of the driver software is finished the message should look like this:
Click [Close] and go back to [Device Manager] to check if the network adapter is now correctly installed.
Next run the following BDCEDIT commands:
- bcdedit /set LOADOPTIONS ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
- bcdedit /set TESTSIGNING OFF
- bcdedit /set nointegritychecks OFF
- These commands switch the Driver Enforcement back on so non verified drivers cannot be installed anymore.
- After running the BCDEDIT commands the Intel NUC 5i5RYH needs to be rebooted and now you have a functional network card.
To be sure check if the [Test Mode] message is removed from the desktop!
Good luck with installing the drivers on your Intel NUC 5i5RYH! This method will work for other hardware and drivers too. Just be careful not to install drivers from an untrustworthy source.