Windows 10: Getting 'old' drivers to work in W10

  1.    28 Jan 2017 #1

    Getting 'old' drivers to work in W10

    I am a volunteer at an all volunteer non profit (Phoenix Computers - Reclaim, Refurbish, Reuse) that refurbishes computers to provide to low income families. We have been doing this since 2009 and are part of the MRR program with Microsoft.

    We take donated computers, wipe the drives and install the OS. We started out with XP and moved to W7 when XP was no longer supported and use the sysprep method for installing Windows.As you can imagine, the computers that we get are not the 'latest and greatest', although we do get a fair share of nice ones. In the past, installing drivers for older hardware has been the challenge, although we have managed to get virtually all hardware working on Windows 7, using drivers as old as those from Win2000. For those drivers that are not set up for W7, we would simply unzip the driver file and point the device that is missing the driver to the .inf file contained within the driver file. 99% of the time it works just fine for any device.

    We have now moved to W10 and for a few drivers, that technique is not now working. It begins to install but then throws an error near the end of the installation that states the driver is not for the current operating system - similar to the error one would get when running the setup.exe file for a driver from Win XP in W7.

    Is it possible that W10 must have signed drivers to install or is W10 more closely examining the driver file?If this problem can't be resolved we will end up with a lot of computers unusable on W10.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 3,299
    10.5 Home 1803 x64
       28 Jan 2017 #2

    Short, there are those 2 commands to disable signed drivers, one works for x86, other for x64.

    bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON
    bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS

    How to Disable Driver Signature Verification on 64-Bit Windows 8 or 10 (So That You Can Install Unsigned Drivers)

    Note: You need to disable secure boot in BIOS, if supported, most likely not on older machines.
    Not to mention, there is some message every boot about unsigned drivers, if I remember correctly.

    Maybe you could consider installing Linux on those machines, it has way better support for old hardware.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 Jan 2017 #3

    Thanks for the quick reply. I'll give your recommendation a try on Monday. I suspected something like that when I did a quick search.

    Yeah, Linux would offer more support and may be a last resort, but for what it's worth, our clients overwhelmingly prefer Windows!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    30 Jan 2017 #4

    I have similar issue with win 10 and an IBM led mouse. Win10 detects is as an HID device.
    It will work until after the pc sleeps, then nothing, see the red light refuses to turn on.
    And in restarts it fails to work.

    Mouse works just fine win7 and linux.

    I bought a $3 small green mouse on Amazon, works perfectly.

    It was a Leegoal (TM) Green Wired 3 Buttons USB Mini Optical Scroll Wheel Mouse Notebook PC Computer
    which amazon no longer sells.

    My saying this is even if you got the old mouse to install and work, it might not work all the time in win10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    30 Jan 2017 #5

    Hi there

    Often a way to get Old drivers working is to do an UPGRADE from the old OS rather than a fresh install.
    Windows will leave those alone - I've had some hardware with old W7 drivers which still work fine after upgrading to W10 -- there's no later drivers than W7 for some of this legacy stuff.

    If coming from XP then update to W7 first and then to W10 -- for W7 you can use for a reasonable while without a Key and strangely enough you can still upgrade an unactivated W7 to W10 - although I'd imagine you have proper licences for W10 so that shouldn't be a problem.

    It depends of course on the hardware -- if it's cheap and easy to replace that might be a time to do it of course - although I do recognize that for some organisations and individuals every cent / penny / rouble etc counts.

    (I assume that old and new systems / OS'es are X-64 or both X-86 - upgrade method won't work if changing from X-86 to X-64 (32-->64 bit) though).

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    30 Jan 2017 #6

    There are instances where old driver cannot be made to work in Win 10. Sound drivers are an example because Windows, in some OS change the way some sound functions are handled. Thus a sound driver not designed for that OS either will not work or not work correctly. This happened between XP and Vista and also between Win 7 and Win 8.1. However, Win 8.1 drivers should work OK in Win 10, but Win 7 specific drivers will not.

    I had a specific example of coding drivers for an OS. Roland (music equipment) coded the drivers for many of their devices for a specific OS and had different driver for each OS they supported. Roland did not opt to support Win 10 with many of their older devices. Thus the only options were to not use Win 10 or replace the equipment (Linux was not an option). I had to replace my Roland/Edirol MIDI keyboard that is used in my recording studio.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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