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I know it's not possible to install a 32-bit driver in the traditional way, but I really cannot find a 64-bit driver for my memory card reader. Is there anyway I can somehow use this device with a 32-bit driver on a 64-bit Windows 7 installation?

I was thinking there might be a way to run a device in compatibility mode? Possibly even have a 32-bit device layer emulator or something?

I'm interested in any method to get this device up and running.

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Most memory card readers run without any driver? Why does yours require one? Does it have special features? – Snark Dec 24 '09 at 15:52
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Microsoft's answer to your question:

If I'm running a 64-bit version of Windows, do I need 64-bit drivers for my devices?

Yes. All hardware devices need 64-bit drivers to work on a 64-bit version of Windows. Drivers designed for 32-bit versions of Windows don't work on computers running 64-bit versions of Windows.

To learn how to check for drivers, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't working properly or go to the device manufacturer's website. You can also get information about drivers by going to the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor webpage.

Article ID: MSW700010

Source: Windows 7 / 32-bit and 64-bit: Frequently Asked Questions

So you should install a 32-bit OS (virtual or real) to your machine.

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We know what Microsoft says. The point is that we don’t care. Purely technically, a generic driver translation wrapper is no problem. Even if it has to run a thin VM inside. :) – Evi1M4chine May 2 at 17:26

You can try this as the other person has mentioned using Windows XP mode in Windows 7. This is just an example where the device is an old TV tuner, but same will apply for other devices. If you don't know what is XP mode or not sure how to install it here are more guide you might want to look into it.

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Can you use Virtual Windows XP mode in Win 7? I believe that's 32-bit Windows.

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and then what? that card reader will not show up in the virtual machine anyway. and USB throughput is only possible if the hardware is correctly installed on the host OS (which is x64). – Molly7244 Dec 24 '09 at 16:07

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