How to Install Legacy Hardware devices on Windows OS

Windows Operating System comes with preloaded drivers for legacy devices, which are useful for connecting the older legacy devices like mouses, printers, Infrared ports, etc. to the computer. These drivers are mostly used for the legacy devices, that do not have plug and play options. Few legacy devices may have executable drivers. In such case install them by using the windows installer. If the driver for your legacy device is not on the list, you can install them manually. Here are the steps to install legacy drivers from the *.inf file, to configure legacy devices attached to a Windows machine. If the drivers are unsigned you may need my tutorial on Installing Unsigned Drivers in Windows 8.

Steps in Installing Legacy Hardware devices

  1. ┬áKeep the driver software ready on a drive where you can easily access them. For easy access, I’m keeping the drivers on my Desktop. Check whether all the files of that driver are in that folder. The installation will end in failure if do you do any modification to the folder structure. I’m choosing the Android Mobile Driver for the demonstration.
  2. Make sure that the computer peripheral for which you are installing the driver is attached to the computer.
  3. Access your device manager. If you are don’t know, access it with any of the following steps.
    • Just search in Start by typing ‘Device Manager
    • Open Run by pressing ‘Windows key + R‘ and type ‘mmc devmgmt.msc
    • Right-click My Computer icon, from the drop-down select Manage. From that window select Device Manager which is located on the left side.
    • Open Control panel – Administrative tools – Computer management – Device Manager.
  4. In Device Manager Click your Computer name which is in the top of the Device tree. Go to Menu – Action – Add Legacy hardware. A window opens and continues the installation of the driver. Check the images for details.
Click Manage
Click the Computer name
Click Add Legacy Hardware
Click next in the Add hardware wizard
  1. When you click next it will give you two options, ‘Search for and install the hardware automatically‘ and ‘Install manually from the list‘. Select ‘Install Manually‘ and proceed further.
  2. Click ‘Show all devices‘ and click next. Select ‘Have disk in the window that opens further.
  3. Click browse and locate the drivers. That is the .inf file. In my case it is ‘android_winusb.inf‘. Select the file and click open.
Check Advanced
Click Show all Devices
Click Have Disk
Select the .inf file
  1. It will show the list of drivers included in that driver package. Select the required driver and proceed with the installation.
  2. Windows may ask for your confirmation, give yes only if you trust the publisher.
Select the driver
Click install
Software installed successfully
Device manager showing the new drivers

It will take some time for the installation to finish. The device will be configured once the installation is over. A restart may be required for some devices to work properly. In such case restart the PC and check everything is working fine.

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