Installing Old Hardware Drivers On Windows 7

Dealing with the compatibility issue

Recently, I was stuck with installing drivers on my computer loaded with a newly purchased copy of Windows 7 Ultimate OS. I’m referring to a Pentium 4 processor, Intel 845G 64MB integrated graphics and 512MB DDR desktop. Windows 7 seemed to run well, with the luxurious features of Windows 7 like Aero and Media center turned off. The only bad thing is that Windows 7 is not very friendly with the older stuff. “Many” of the older applications (including drivers) were failing to install on the new OS. After some troubleshooting efforts, I found a simple way to deal with the compatibility issue.

windows 7 beta boots creen
Windows 7 boot screen

Steps to install old hardware drivers on Windows 7:

  • Install a freeware file compression software 7 Zip,
  • Jump to the location where you have the setup/zipped driver file you are willing to install,
  • Right click on the setup file, unzip and extract it to any convenient location,
  • Now you can try updating your drivers by pointing the ‘hardware update wizard’ to the unzipped folder location,
  • Select “Reinstall with recommend settings” and this should do the job,
  • If it still doesn’t work out, all you can do is wait till a new fix is introduced via windows update or an update through the driver manufacture’s website or just by upgrading your hardware.

The compatibility issue is just for the time being and all the applications that you used on XP will soon work with 7.

  • TechCritic

    Wrong! It does not work. It may work on some hardware but only very limited.

    • sabergeek

      Well, I did clarify that in the 6th step. This idea need not be the ultimate fix. The article was written more than 3 years ago. Since then, a lot many fixes have come up to support backwards compatibility with hardware on Windows 7. What hardware drivers are you trying with?