Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Windows 7 upgraders involves hardware incompatibility. Many devices will be rendered temporarily unusable by the new OS or exhibit compatibility problems that will make them not worth using.
Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to increase your chances of getting that mouse, graphics card, monitor, hard drive or printer to play nicely with Windows 7. And here… we… go:
Temporarily turn off antivirus software The presence of antivirus software scanning can block proper installation of drivers that are necessary for device function. Try turning off any antivirus or anti-malware/spyware software temporarily while you install or update device drivers, then turn it back on. Remember to use one and only one solid antivirus package. The presence of multiple, overlapping packages can create system conflicts and actually leave your system more vulnerable.
Run Windows Update Click the Start button then type Windows Update and press enter. Run the automatic update mechanism and check updated drivers for any connected devices.
Check manufacturers’ websites Check the websites of manufacturers of devices connected to your system. Final or pre-release Windows 7 drivers may be available.
Try Vista drivers Many Windows Vista-compatible drivers offered on device manufacturer websites work well with Windows 7. Check for any Vista drivers and install them on your Windows 7 system. This procedure is especially useful for users who were running Windows XP or another version of Windows other than Vista before installing Windows 7.
Install drivers in compatibility mode Try installing your device drivers in compatibility mode. To do this, right-click the driver installation .exe file (e.g. setup.exe) and click on Properties, then click on the Compatibility tab. Next, enable Compatibility Mode and select “Windows Vista RTM” from the drop-down then click OK. Double-click the .exe file and proceed with installation.
Install drivers in admin mode Try installing your device drivers in admin mode. To do this, right-click the driver installation .exe file (e.g. setup.exe) then select “Run as Admin.” Proceed with installation.
Check the Microsoft hardware support page If you are using a Microsoft-made hardware device, check the company’s Windows 7 hardware support page for drivers, workarounds and other helpful information for getting the devices up and running.