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This has always been a bothersome matter for me. Some devices (printers, scanners, etc.) have drivers for older versions of Windows (Vista, XP, 2000, NT) but no driver for Windows 7. What are my chances to install such devices on Windows 7?

Example case:

I have a Sharp printer & scanner (Sharp AR-122E N) which I have used for my old Windows XP x86 based PC. Now I want to install it on a Windows 7 x64 based PC. Windows 7 cannot load its driver. I used the original driver CD but when I run the setup.exe (which is included in AR122EN111.exe, 6713KB), it says

Cannot install driver on this operating system. Supported operating systems are: Windows 2000, XP, Vista.

I tried to install the driver using compatibility settings. I tried Windows Vista and Windows XP SP3, but to no avail. The setup gave the same error.

I also googled for Windows 7 driver for "Sharp AR-122E N" but it only listed the original driver that I tried. The official site of Sharp does not even list the driver for this product.

In the past, the compatibility setting workaround did work for some devices, but this time it failed.

What else can I do to overcome this problem?

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Have you tried to find Online driver form windows? – avirk Jun 15 '12 at 15:14
I think the problem is 64 bit OS you should download the driver of Vista 64-Bit and then try to install it. – avirk Jun 15 '12 at 15:27
I tried the online driver option but Windows 7 could not find an online driver. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 15 '12 at 15:44
There is no Vista x64 driver for that product. Only x86 with older Windows versions. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 15 '12 at 15:45
Here is a list of Sharp AR. However not the specific model of yours but I think you can try to download any printer that nearly can match your device too. – avirk Jun 15 '12 at 15:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are good chances that a Windows Vista driver will work on Windows 7, and if it doesn't automatically work, you can usually install them by finding a .inf file and right clicking install, or going to device manager and manually installing the driver.

Windows Vista had very drastic rewrites to many areas which made nearly every driver that worked on XP to be rewritten to work with Windows Vista.

In addition if you had a 32-bit system and are now using 64 bit, it certainly wouldn't work.

I have a client who bought a very expensive OCR machine that was no longer compatible with Windows Vista - a good solution is to use virtualisation (VMWare Workstation, VMWare Player, Oracle Virtualbox or Microsoft Virtual PC) and use the USB pass through feature.

Using this, you can really pass through the USB device from the host to the virtual machine and install the original driver.

I would recommend Windows XP Mode if using A supported version of Windows 7 as this will be the quickest solution to get you up and running.

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I don't think it's going to happen. The driver disk is 32 bit and you're trying to use it on a 64 bit system. You might find a generic 64 bit driver that will work, but there is no guarantee.

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You should provide more substance to your answer. – Ramhound Jun 15 '12 at 16:48

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