Windows Server 2019 gaming

Hey folks, long time no see. How are you doing?

In Episode 80 of Kneedeepintech I briefly mentioned Windows Server and gaming in the same sentence. Now that I have had time to actually test it again I’d thought I would post my findings here.

I have the Xbox 360 wired controllers that I’ve used plenty with Windows 7/8/10 but wanted to try and play on Windows Server 2012R2 previously. No luck back then. The controller would not light up at all complaining about driver issues.

So now I tried this again with Windows Server 2019. Same issue. No light, unknown controller and no drivers to be found online.

I check my Windows 10 1903 box in device manager what the driver files are for the controller and found that there was only one called “xusb22.sys” located under “\Windows\system32\drivers”

I copied that file to an empty folder knowing that I would also need the .inf file which I found under “\Windows\inf” with the name “xusb22.inf”. There was also a “xusb22.PNF”, so I copied that too.

Next I went back to my Windows Server box, device manager and just clicked on “Update driver” on the unknown controller device. This time Windows said that it found a matching driver but it was not signed properly. Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

Now, I rebooted the server and pressed F8 for start-up options, since there is a workaround there for signed drivers. Select the option to disable driver signing check. Once back in Windows I went for device manager again, selected Update driver and this time I got a warning with the option to install anyway. Boom, the controller lit up. Hey hey!

Then I needed to test it out. I installed Steam and downloaded the games Braid and Limbo since I don’t have a hefty graphics card in said Server. Launched the games and both worked fine with the controller. Victory!

You can download the files here: xusb22

4 replies
  1. Avatar
    ServerGamer says:

    The problem with this solution (IMO) is it doesn’t seem to be possible to disable driver signature enforcement permanently anymore (it used to be in the Win7 days, and IIRC also in Win8), so you have to keep on pressing F8 every time you boot (which might not be often enough to become annoying for everybody, but still) if you want your gamepad to work.

    However, test mode, where self-signed drivers (not the same thing as completely unsigned) are accepted is fortunately still possible to activate permanently using bcdedit (-set TESTSIGNING ON). Searching the web for “signer64” or “signer64.exe” should yield a pretty easy to use tool which can generate and install a code signing certificate (this can also be done with official MS dev tools, but signer64 seems much simpler to use) and sign the xusb22.sys file with it. A security catalog file must also be generated to make Windows accept the driver. This can be done with the inf2cat tool from MS, but it seems the only currently working way to get that is to download the whole of Windows driver development kit from MS… thankfully it can at least be done without installing Visual Studio and also without creating any kind of an account: just select the 12GB “Enterprise” ISO download.

    Before inf2cat can generate a .cat file for the driver, one line must also be added to the .inf under [Version]: CatalogFile=xusb22.cat

    Just wanted to post this comment here in case someone who’s searching the web about getting their Xbox pad (or DualShock via DS4Windows) in Windows Server stumbles upon this page like I did. No step-by-step guide since I can’t be bothered to boot into Windows right now (to make sure all the little details are 100% correct).

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chibraltar says:

      Thank you for this useful article, and thank you so much @ServerGamer for this informations!

      I have managed to get a x360 controller working on a Win 2019 Server, I am now to trying to make my DS4 controller working too but got some problems.

      With the x360 controller it was pretty easy since it is listed as a x360 controller in the windows device manager, so finding the associated driver was not a problem.
      I can’t find any idea of where to look for the ds4 controller, since it is not listed as a controller (at least, I was not able to find it).
      If anybody have any idea it would be great, I will continue to search by myself by the way, and if I found any solution, I will share it here

      Reply

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