How to Use Old USB Hardware Devices with No Drivers Support with Windows 7 / Vista

If you have very old USB Hardware devices like scanner, printer, etc., which are working fine, but for which there are no Vista and Windows 7 drivers any more. You don’t need to buy a new one and can easily use your old USB devices, for which there are no latest  drivers for Windows 7 or Vista, using a virtual machine. In this way, Older hardware with no driver support can find new life. We already discussed How to Run Windows XP and Its Compatible Applications in Windows 7

Unfortunately all virtualizers do not work in the same way. Out of the three big applications MS Virtual PC, VMWare and VirtualBox, only the last two deal with USB devices, which require their own driver. If you are not using any of the mentioned tools until now, we recommend you use VirtualBox from Sun.

In contrast to VMWare, the program is completely free and can be easily used. Follow the instructions and install a classic XP in the virtual box. After that you can install and use your scanner as usual. If you already have VirtualPC from Microsoft in use and your virtual XP system is fully installed, you can also run it using VirtualBox or VMWare. Both tools allow to link VHD drives created by VirtualPC.

The procedure is similar in each case:

  • Open the dialog for linking of virtual hard disk and under ‘File Type’ choose ‘VHD files’ or ‘Microsoft Virtual PC files’ as the case may be.
  • Mark your Virtual PC disk (VHD file) and make it the boot drive.
  • As the XP is now in a new virtual environment, first of all, a small driver installation starts, which usually happens without assistance from the user.
  • After that, though, everything should run as desired. You can connect your scanner, printer or any USB device to the redirected USB port of the virtual XP PC and also install all drivers and processing software that are needed.
Filed under: Hardware
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August 16, 2010 by: Prasanth Chandra


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