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No Windows 7 drivers yet? Try using Vista’s

with 45 comments

If you’re holding back from testing your copy of Windows 7 because you’re not sure what to do as far as device drivers are concerned, there is something you ought to know (if for some reason you didn’t until this point). Under the hood, Windows 7 is essentially the same as Windows Vista and as such Vista drivers will work just fine a majority of the time.

So, head to your hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers available for Windows Vista – we also keep a healthy catalog of the latest drivers for graphics cards and other devices in our own drivers section.

After downloading the drivers, run the installation setup and follow the prompts as if you would any other time. If you are presented with any errors due to compatibility, cancel the installation, right click the on the install package’s .exe and choose “Troubleshoot Compatibility”.


This will present you with a “Program Compatibility” wizard of sorts, which is a bit more friendly than on previous version of Windows.



The wizard will show a few common issues to select from and ask which apply to your situation. It won’t allow you to proceed without selecting something, so if it’s not already, just check the box next to “The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now” and click next.


Obviously we’ll want to choose Windows Vista as the last known OS to support the drivers.


Upon completion you ought to be met with a window displaying the new settings enabled for your software and the option to test your new configuration by clicking next.



Interesting fact: According to Google Analytics, over the past few weeks the number of visitors coming to TechSpot using Windows 7 has exploded. Currently it accounts for roughly 2% of our traffic. Doesn’t sound like much but this is only 15 days after its beta release. It also makes for the fourth most popular OS among our readers after XP (65%), Vista (23%) and Mac OS X (3%).

Written by Matthew DeCarlo

February 4th, 2009 at 4:49 am

45 Comments so far

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  1. Psssst! Windows 7 is Vista! Who doesn’t know this?

    I am reminded of that old saying about putting lipstick on a…. Nah! Never mind!


    4 Feb 09 at 5:30 pm

  2. While I have to say that I thought the same… it a lot more than “just Vista”. The new interface a big improvement over Vista (which I also liked very much), it’s speedier, compatibility is very good (terrific for the RC1 x64 which I currently use) and the sharing/security is even better than on Vista.

    If you do however run into compatibility issues, I recommend Right-Clicking on the installer and setting it to Windows Vista SP1 mode.


    30 Apr 09 at 5:05 pm

  3. hi all !
    i have instaled windows 7 ultimate RC build 7100 and only my display driver [ATI RADEON X1650 AGP]don’t work properly.
    what is the problem because i instaled the driver for this display .
    thamks !


    2 Jun 09 at 3:15 am

  4. I have a laptop. I integrated the sata drivers with my xp kit; it’s this possible for win7 ? or win7 has sata drivers?


    25 Jun 09 at 3:23 am

  5. @mihaics23: Have you tried to install the latest Windows Vista drivers from AMD’s site? There aren’t official Windows 7 drivers listed, but there are drivers for Vista 32 and 64-bit – which *should* work.

    @Poze: If you’re concerned about Windows 7 recognizing your SATA HDD during installation – it should be absolutely fine. After which, you’ll probably want to install your manufacturer’s drivers (though, Windows Update may take care of it). Take a look at the device manager after the installation to get a better scope as to what drivers you need (Windows key + R > type “devmgmt.msc” > OK/Enter).

    Matthew DeCarlo

    25 Jun 09 at 3:03 pm

  6. I have problems ati xpress 1100, max reso is 1024.768, picture is bad. windows 7 dosent know my graphic


    27 Jun 09 at 2:45 pm

  7. hello

    I’m having some compatibility issues with my Logitech G-series G15 keyboard. While the keyboard is working normally I’ve ran into some problems trying to install the software. Any ideas?


    3 Jul 09 at 4:40 am

  8. G15 user here… no issues what-so-ever with the latest x64 Vista drivers from Logitech.


    3 Jul 09 at 12:11 pm

  9. hi
    I have a problem after installing windows 7!
    I cannot find my cd drivesm, I have a acer aspire 6935 G
    could anyone help me??


    11 Jul 09 at 5:47 pm

  10. @sevis: Download them from Acer’s website:

    Navigate to your system (Notebook > Aspire > 6935G), choose the Vista build that corresponds to your 7 build (there’s a drop box) and download the drivers you need.

    If you’re not sure what you need, take a look at the device manager (tap the Windows key + R > enter “devmgmt.msc” minus the quotes).

    Matthew DeCarlo

    12 Jul 09 at 8:42 am

  11. Hi! Matthew DeCarlo

    Thanks a lot this realy solved my problem :D


    12 Jul 09 at 5:57 pm

  12. I am downloading the 64 bit version now, and am interested in checking it out. My company decided to hold off on vista, and lean towards an upgrade to Windows 7. So figured I would get a bit of an early start. Well not all that early. heh

    Great article. I am going to keep it handy. I hope the dual boot goes without a hitch.


    1 Aug 09 at 12:48 am

  13. Quick question…where is this “Install Legacy Hardware” option many places speak of? I can’t find it anywhere! Currently running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 with NO issues…well, one. Driver for DuoLabs CAS3+ interface does NOT work at all! So where, i ask, is this legacy option people speak of? It isn’t in control panel, an option in device manager on any menus…so where is it or how is it done? Whilst Vista and 7 are significally different than most people seem to realise, the kernel and driver structure seem pretty damn similar. It complains that the driver INF has an invalid section…or rather, no section for Windows 7.

    Thanks in advance,

    Lee Ball

    31 Aug 09 at 6:51 pm

  14. I really HATE the *&*^%%$ driver detectives. I am trying to dowload some Vista drivers for a new Windows 7 computer I’m building and don’t need anything checking out my current XP computer which doesnt use Vista drivers!!!


    18 Oct 09 at 6:40 pm

  15. From what I can tell after spending time using both pieces of software, Windows 7 and Vista are very very similar. I have been reading many other blogs and it seems that people are finding tons of flaws with 7 that also relate to flaws with Vista. Maybe Microsoft should have looked into that before they released 7.

  16. Just checking: If/When my laptop manufacturer releases drivers for Windows 7 will I be able to update drivers??


    3 Nov 09 at 12:23 pm

  17. Of course you will.

    Julio Franco

    5 Nov 09 at 4:00 pm

  18. Hey a little help here guys. I just installed the 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate and everything went smoothly. Drivers were automatically installed but i got NO SOUND even though Device Manager says its ok. Now I installed the manufacturer’s driver and I got very bad sound, like everything is distorted. By the way my motherboard is Intel D946GZAB with integrated soundcard.

    Any ideas? That would be a great help. Thanks guys!


    6 Nov 09 at 5:52 am

  19. i have instaled windows 7 ultimate RC build 7100 and only my display driver [Intel 82845]don’t work properly.
    what is the problem because i instaled the driver for this display .


    10 Nov 09 at 2:13 pm

  20. I am wishing to install Windows 7 on my desktop with and Intel D101GGC motherboard. Windows Vista works absolutely fine. I just wanna know whether Vista VGA drivers will work on Windows 7 ! Sad to know that AMD has stopped support for ATI Radeon Xpress200 graphics chipset which is onboard my motherboard for Winodows 7.


    21 Nov 09 at 2:30 pm

  21. i have installed windows 7 and i am able to find divers for web cam, i have dell inspiron 1545.i already tried installing windows vista drivers for the same but its not working


    26 Nov 09 at 10:13 am

  22. Matthew, Your advice above was brilliant! Thanks so much. This resolved an issue with “invisibility” of my on-board audio device with an ECS motherboard. The odd thing was, it worked fine with Win 7 initially, and then one day out of the blue the system said “no audio devices are installed.” ECS had a Vista driver update but it would not install until I tried your Program Compatibility trick. You have restored my sanity!

    Ken P

    29 Dec 09 at 6:47 pm

  23. Windows 7 is a complete rewrite – it is nothing to do with vista – it just happens to look like it and anoyne that has used both will tell you Win 7 is superb, better than Vista and even better than XP. Just because it looks same doesnt mean anything…


    5 Jan 10 at 8:41 am

  24. windows 7 and vista are the same crap with this no brainer generic driver problems. its not improving at all. got a crappy display as i cant update my display as its not a big name company.


    6 Jan 10 at 4:55 am

  25. i have installed windows vista on one petition and 7 on other, vista provided sound drivers for me but 7 didnt and when i tried to install the drivers i was told “unknown OS” what can i do to make my sound work on 7.


    7 Jan 10 at 1:14 am

  26. I have a Dell Latitude D505 with Intel 852GM/852GME/855GM/855GME Graphics Controller. I updated it to max 2GB RAM and everything worked except the display driver.

    No everything i 800×600 and hardly any programs fit the screen.

    Any ideas anyone?



    8 Jan 10 at 5:21 am

  27. hello can any one help me i try to install windows 7 to my hp pavillion dv2000 laptop …but it showing the device driver is missing….i don know what to do can any one help me thank you


    17 Jan 10 at 12:01 pm

  28. Thanks so much. I have been trying to figure out how to get my webcam to work with Windows 7 and this helped so much.


    24 Jan 10 at 3:35 am

  29. I have windows 7 install on my hp dv5000 laptop but there is no sound, does anyone know were to get the drivers that will work?

    Thank to anyone that can help


    28 Jan 10 at 11:34 pm

  30. I have installed win7 32bit on an asus g2s, everything works fine, no problems AT ALL.


    3 Feb 10 at 11:48 am

  31. i have just installed win 7 home on my acer t180 all went well but im haveing difficulties in conecting to the net i use wireless normally. this wont work until i conect to web to download drivers so i tried to use an eithernet conection with no sucsess so how do i get drivers without conecting pc to net . ps this was easy on xp you just let xp manage the wire less configuration


    15 Feb 10 at 4:20 am

  32. Win 7 for me is a PITA. Have a Dell962 and a D660U scanner that are junk unless I can get drivers. Like a fool, I called….they want to sell me the Win7 upgrade to a Pro version that HAS all the drivers/patches to run ANY XP product!
    It just isn’t fair.


    26 Feb 10 at 11:58 pm

  33. The compatibility level between Windows upgrade has never been acceptable, but I believe that with the new Windows 7 their new tool has really introduced significant changes.

    Andrea Moro

    15 Mar 10 at 10:51 am

  34. thank so much!!!


    7 May 10 at 12:54 am

  35. help for vista driver camera VGN-FZ25G

    thx before


    7 Jun 10 at 6:22 am

  36. I’m using ATI Radeon x1600 graphic card, and I know that there’s still not drivers for Windows 7.
    So, I was wondering if I can use Vista drivers instead?
    Will there be any difference in graphic/color?


    22 Jul 10 at 9:39 am

  37. I am using Vista home basic in Compaq Presario CQ40. I want to install windows 7. Is there any kind and helpful person to help me? Because It is telling Driver is missing, But I have the Vista recovery Manager. Can any one Help Me? please…………

    Edwin Banerjee

    27 Jul 10 at 10:27 pm

  38. Does anyone know where to find 64-Bit versions of 32-bit drivers for a Sony VAIO VGN-FZ25G, missing the WLAN/Bluetooth, Camera, Keyboard, Function Buttons, the SD/MMC port and the MS ports.


    17 Aug 10 at 8:09 am

  39. I have a Acer Inspire 1200 Windows 7 and my icons on the desktop freeze after being click four to five times. I have to restart the computer to get them to work again and then the same problem occurs. I do not have a virus. I have tried to find answers…nothing. Can anyone help. Thanks


    21 Aug 10 at 8:12 pm

  40. Too many drivers for stuff are broken. Scanner doesn’t work, Webcam doesn’t work, Printer doesn’t work, Laptop function keys doesn’t work, Wi-Fi doesn’t work, Mp3 player software and driver doesn’t work, Video Driver halfway works. Can’t connect to network at work. Sorry I took Win 7 software back to the store as defective.


    18 Sep 10 at 12:17 am


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