Windows 7 Drivers seem to work with Windows 8

As far as I can tell, Windows 7 drivers work with Windows 8. When I configured dual boot on my ASUS EP121 touchscreen tablet, any drivers that weren’t immediately detected by the Windows 8 developer preview could be installed by pointing Device Manager at the C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore volume on the Windows 7 partition.

Learn more from "Prepare for Your Migration to Windows 7 (and then Windows 8!)" and "Windows XP to Windows 8."

For those that don’t know about it, Windows 7 stores all the driver files in this particular directory. If you ever need to install Windows 7 again and don’t want to track down obscure drivers, just make sure that you have a backup of this directory. That way you can point the new installation at the backup if there are any drivers you can’t track down.

This seems to work as well with the Windows 8 developer preview. If you’re concerned that you might have a device that does not have a supported driver in Windows 8, just point Device Manager at the Windows 7 driver. So far it has worked well with all the devices I’ve thrown at it.

You can access Device Manager on Windows 8 by opening the Control Panel item on the Start Menu, clicking on More Settings, and then opening the Device Manager item (if you can’t see it, change your view to Small or Large Icons). Right click on the item that doesn’t have a driver installed, click on Update Driver Software and then click on “Browse My Computer For Driver Software”. Enter the path to the DriverStore directory (usually c:\windows\system32\driverstore – but that might be a different volume if you have a dual boot configuration) and off you go!

win8-device-manager

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