Install device drivers for previous Windows version on Windows Vista

I have reinstalled Vista on my primary computer some time ago. I was still missing one device installed – Mustek BearPaw 2400TA Plus – because there are no official drivers for Windows Vista. I’m running a 32-bit Enterprise flavour of Vista, so previously I had the Windows 2000/XP drivers installed with some registry hack and it quite worked. However, when I tried to find that information now, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Finally, after more than hour of googling, I found a way to do it. I’ll just make a note here for myself or anyone else who would like to do the same trick and find that information faster.

Here we go:

  1. Download 2000 / XP drivers for your scanner
  2. Change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProductName registry key to say “Microsoft Windows 2000”
  3. Reboot Vista and start it in Safe Mode
  4. Install the drivers, they should now install fine
  5. Reboot Vista, start normally. After logging in, it will ask you if you want to use an unsigned driver – agree

That’s it – everything should be working more or less normally. I just tried that and it works for me – this trick should work for all XP / 2000 drivers.

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2 comments

  1. Adrea says:

    You ARE a godsend. My scanner works!!!

    Thank you so much for this information.

  2. Adrea says:

    It worked great on my Vista computer, doesn’t work at all on Windows 7 Home Premium. I’m so depressed. But thanks for the info. I used it and it had worked great.

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