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I've been trying to install an application for utilizing an Acer touch screen on Windows 10. For whatever reason, the program developers decided to force it to only be installable on Windows 7. Even if you run it in compatibility mode, it sends up an error saying that it's only designed for Windows 7. I feel like it could probably install on Windows 10, but I can't get past the safety. What I need is a way to trick the installer into thinking I'm running Windows 7.

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    Be prepared for an unstable or unusable system after you manage to install it, it gives that message because it is Not Compatible with W10, they don't do this just because, its to preserve system stability.
    – Moab
    Jan 18, 2016 at 17:48
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    "I feel like it could probably install on Windows 10"--what basis do you have for that? Windows 10 isn't just a tweak of Windows 7, there are fundamental differences. If the software can work with Win 10 and the only issue is detecting the OS version, don't you think the author would have made the adjustment?
    – fixer1234
    Jan 18, 2016 at 20:43
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    Most programs that run on an older version of Windows can run on a newer version. What was stopping it from running wasn't a safety from Windows, it was a safety from the installation program. If you had taken a Windows 7 computer and upgraded to Windows 10, it would have effectively been like installing the program on Windows 10. It's probably good you add this warning, and I probably should have done so myself. That said, I still think there are probably occasions when such a safety is unnecessary, and thus this method for getting around the safety will be useful. Jan 19, 2016 at 18:20

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I looked around elsewhere, and was unable to find a good solution, but ended up coming up with a partial solution that I wanted to post for other's benefit.

NOTE: APPLY THIS SOLUTION AT YOUR OWN RISK.

My solution was to edit the name of the operating system in the Windows registry. Before you edit the registry, you need to make sure and copy down the exact details of the registry key before you overwrite it. (It also would probably be a good idea to backup your registry just in case.)

To find out the details of your current Windows registry entry for the operating system name, copy the below details into a text file:

reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /v ProductName
pause

Once you've entered the details into the text file, save it, change the file's extension to .bat, and then run the file.

A black command prompt window should appear with something like:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
    ProductName    REG_SZ    Windows 10 Pro

Make sure to copy these details down exactly. You'll need them to revert your registry back to it's original state.

Now, we need to create the file that will edit the registry key. My example will be for Windows 7, but I believe you could do the same to mimic a different operating system. Copy the following contents into a text file:

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /v "ProductName" /t REG_SZ /d "Windows 10 Pro" /f
reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /v ProductName
pause

The second line is not essential, but will help you determine whether the edit was a success. After copying the above into a text file, save it, change the extension to .bat, and then right-click on the batch file and select "Run as Administrator". If you were successful, you should see it display your current version as "Windows 7 Pro" or whatever you set it to be.

Now you can proceed to try to run your installation program. In my case, doing the above allowed me to get past the first safety in the installation program. Unfortunately, there was a second safety which somehow thought I didn't have a supported monitor, so I ended up giving up on making the program work. That said, I think the above code is still potentially useful for overly cautious programs that check which operating system they are running on.

Once you are done, you'll want to make sure you set your registry back to what it used to be. In my case, I set it back by copying the following code into a text file:

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /v "ProductName" /t REG_SZ /d "Windows 10 Pro" /f
reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /v ProductName
pause

You'll then need to save the text file, change it's extension to .bat, right-click on the batch file, and then click "Run As Administrator".

If you are successful, the black command prompt window should display your original operating system name.

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  • Given your big warning I would not post this answer - especially as it didn't fix your issue.
    – DavidPostill
    Jan 18, 2016 at 18:19
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    Just because something can cause trouble, doesn't mean it couldn't possibly be useful. It didn't fix my issue because I didn't have enough time to further research into it. That said, I wanted to post this because it may help someone else troubleshoot a similar situation. Jan 19, 2016 at 18:22

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