Installing the RNDIS driver on Windows 11 to use USB Raspberry Pi as network attached

I do a lot of my development and configuration via ssh into my Raspberry Pi Zero over the RNDIS connection. Some models of the Raspberry PIs can be configured with gadget drivers that let the Raspberry pi emulate different devices when plugged into computers via USB. My favorite gadget is the network profile that makes a Raspberry Pi look like an RNDIS-attached network device.  All types of network services travel over an RNDIS device without knowing it is a USB hardware connection.

A Raspberry Pi shows up as a Remote NDIS (RNDIS) device when you plug the Pi into a PC or Mac via a USB cable. The gadget in the Windows Device Manager picture shows this RNDIS Gadget connectivity between a Windows machine and a Raspberry Pi.

The Problem

Windows 11 and Windows 10 no longer auto-installs the RNDIS driver that makes magic happen. Windows recognizes that the Raspberry Pi is some type of generic USB COM device. Manually running Windows Update or Update Driver does not install the RNDIS driver.  


The Solution

We need to update the Windows device driver, replacing the USB serial one with an RNDIS driver.

Install a workable windows driver into Windows 10 or Windows 1].
  1. Open Windows Device Manager to verify the Raspberry Pi appears as a com port.
  2. Open Windows Settings:
  3. Navigate to Windows Update --> Advanced Options  --> Optional via screen.  
  4. Move to Windows- > Advanced options > Optional updates.
    1. Choose  Download & Install   
    2. One of the optional updates should be an RNDIS driver
    3. Acer Incorporated - RNDIS Gadget driver was offered. 
  5. Install the driver.
Choose Download & Install.

I'm guessing there are two drivers for that device.  A Raspberry Pi can also appear as a USB serial devic so maybe that is why it is the default.

The Result

Now you should have a USB Ethernet/RNDIS Gadget in theWindows 11, Device Manager



Revision History

2022 11 Created


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