Trouble with Drivers or Software in Windows 7?

With the release of windows 7 today, I knew that my work would be piling up with friends and family who wanted the new OS installed on their PC’s. Besides my own, I had two desktops that needed clean installs of Home Premium and one Laptop which needed an upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. I’m here to report that, so far, there is nothing negative to report. Both clean installs went flawlessly and the upgrade, while a bit more lengthy, moved right along without any major bumps. Not one major issue with a driver or piece of software. I realize that there will be users with these problems, so I wanted to give just a few basic tips on troubleshooting these issues.


Driver Issues:

The first thing I do when I am lacking a working driver for Windows 7 is to check Windows Update by clicking on Start->Programs->Windows Updateand refreshing the driver list. Nine times out of ten, Windows Update will find your driver and it should be installed with no trouble. If it cannot find your driver, the next step I would try would be to check the Manufacturer’s website for updated drivers. If there are no drivers officially compatible with Windows 7, you may want to give your Vista drivers a try, I have heard successful stories from users substituting Windows 7  drivers for working Vista drivers. Last, but not least, try running an internet search for the device drivers. You’d be surprised how many times you can find drivers on some forum or blog that wasn’t listed on the manufacturer’s website.


Software Issues:

If your software is not playing nice with Windows 7, you may want to try and use the Compatibility Mode feature to resolve any installation issues. To change the compatibility settings:

  • Right click the setup file and click Properties.
  • Click on the Compatibility tab.
  • Now mark the check box for option ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’ and select Windows 7.
  • Click Ok.
  • Now double-click the application and Run to install it.

You can set the programs compatibility to run with settings from Vista or XP. (In many cases, I have received a known compatibility error when installing a piece of software, but once installed, everything ran just fine)

Another option only available to Windows 7 Ultimate users, will be to run the software in XP Mode. Directions & download for Setting this up can be found here. (Update: User Sarus Walker thankfully pointed out that I omitted that Windows 7 Professional users also have XP Mode)

Hopefully these tips help with installing your copy of Windows 7. Remember, if you need any assistance or have general questions, don’t hesitate to try the Windows7News forums.

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5 Responses to Trouble with Drivers or Software in Windows 7?

  1. Sarus Walker October 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    Windows 7 Proffesional users can use xp mode as well. I’m sure you knew this and simply forgot to mention it.

    • Jason October 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

      You are absolutely right. I left it out. You have to have Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate to have XP mode. I’ll update the post. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous October 25, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    when attempting to overwrite a driver in the Windows 7 windowssystem32drivers with a vista driver, the system refuses the overwrite.

  3. littlejohn October 26, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    or just go to to find your drivers — they’ve had all the ones I’ve needed and apparently add them as soon as the mfg release them (unlike MS, which seems to take its time)

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