Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Enabling Bluetooth on Windows Server 2008

It really bugs me sometimes that Microsoft imposes artificial limitations on Windows versions because they think features are out of scope. Case in point is Windows Server 2008. Now, there is no earthly reason why WS2008 can’t support Bluetooth right out of the box. An yet, because someone on the Server team decided that servers don’t use Bluetooth, if you’re one of the thousands of people who use WS2008 as a workstation, you’re SOL. Think just installing your Bluetooth drivers, or enabling the “Wireless LAN Services” feature will do it? Think again.

Gil Kirkpatrick posted a solution a couple of weeks ago, and it works like a charm. It involves modifying the INF files from the default WS2008 installation to install the Microsoft Bluetooth Stack on WS2008.

Since it’s kind of a time consuming process, I’ve taken the liberty of completing the required steps, and dumping them in a Zip file, albeit only for WS2008 x64. All you need to do is:

  • install your BT drivers as normal,
  • unzip the folder to C:\BT
  • open up Device Manager
  • right click any items that still say “Unknown Device” and select “Update Drivers”
  • Select the bottom menu option and browse to the C:\BT folder
  • “Lather, rinse, repeat” for any other Unknown Devices

You can find the zip file here. Hopefully that will keep you from beating your head against the wall, as I did, over my #$%^&* Bluetooth mouse.



  • Kieran said:

    Excellent stuff Robert. That has been a major headache.


    July 10, 2008 9:10 AM
  • Nick SL said:

    Great! That really made this easy. I was hitting my head against the wall trying to figure out how to get this $4 bluetooth adapter working and was fixated on the idea that my problem was an unrecognized Vendor ID and Product ID, and just couldn't figure out why the various bth.inf files from the internet edited with the device's IDs wouldn't install. As soon as it occured to me that Server 2008 probably didn't have bluetooth installed by default your site popped up as one of the first google results and I'm up and running.

    I had to edit the bth.inf and change the Generic Bluetooth Adapter= to Vid_1131&Pid_1004 for this super cheap adapter to work -- you might want to add lines for that and also Pid_1000-1003 as generic adapters to help all the server 2008 users who are trying to get to work for their "ISSCEDRBTA" (that's the USB product name) bluetooth dongles.

    Also, I had to follow Gil's instructions and add rfcomm.sys, bthenum.sys, and tdibth.inf from the tdibth.inf filerepository since you seemed to have forgotten that one (MS_RFCOMM was one of my Unknown Devices and I couldn't install the drivers until I added the edited tdibth.inf). I had to get the drivers for the MS_RFCOMM before my bluetooth GPS would work (or anything serial port-related, I suppose). I notice you didn't include a couple of the other files he mentioned, but I haven't run into any other Unknown Devices yet.

    But aside from those two little niggles, your packaging just worked great and I'm up and running.

    P.S. Your comment form doesn't work properly (leads to a 404) when I browse your site with Javascript off.

    July 14, 2008 4:35 PM
  • Ben Thompson said:

    Thankyou Robert, your comments are so correct.  Microsoft really needs to start looking after the needs of developers. We are really tired of the endless list of issues with things that should work out-of-the-box.


    July 26, 2008 10:46 PM
  • David said:

    Hey guys. Great information. The Blue tooth driver debacle has been driving me insane of the last month or so looking for an answer. Like Nick SL I am having issues with the RFCOMM driver. Could anyone direct me to where I might find the 64 bit files? I found Gils post I believe that Nick made reference too but even after editing the tdibth.inf file as Gil suggests at: I get an error during the install.

    I am guessing the copies of these files pulled down from the internet were 32 bit or wrong versions. Any ideas?


    July 27, 2008 8:10 PM
  • I have recently converted several desktops and laptops to Windows Server 2008 x64 to essentially leverage

    August 5, 2008 4:03 PM
  • Lounge said:

    @Robert & @Ben:  The reason parts get disabled / left out is so that the effort required to ensure they work correctly can be spent on ensuring other parts of the product are super solid.  

    Bluetooth on a server IS NOT required. You are using a server product as a workstation and therefore should expect some things not to be there.

    You cant have everything ... would you prefer some other feature to be less solid ... or have bluetooth?  Most server admins would say a more solid smaller set of features.

    August 6, 2008 4:21 PM
  • Jon said:


    Extract  rfcomm.sys  and  tdibth.inf  from the following ZIP file to your C:\BT folder


    Edit tdibth.inf and change the 1 to 3 like below

    %MfgName% = Msft,NTamd64...3


    RFCOMM should now install just fine, it worked for me anyway just like Nick said.


    A) Thank you!

    B) Any chance of including those two files in your zip file for other people??

    August 16, 2008 8:42 PM
  • Ben said:


    Thanks, this solved my problem as well


    Thanks also for packaging the other files, now I can play with my WiiMote!

    September 26, 2008 3:52 PM
  • abhoy bagchi said:

    i tried ur trick but in vain. i have a chineese bluetooh dongle. company - gemini, class 1, v2.6, usb 2.0 frquency @ 2.4 ghz dongle. im using windows server 2008 standard eval version os. lrt me more if u have it

    September 28, 2008 10:10 PM
  • The Nihl said:

    3 Weeks with Windows Server 2008 on My Laptop

    November 7, 2008 2:58 PM
  • While loading a new Dell Precision M6400 with Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V, you wll probably run into

    December 24, 2008 9:50 AM