Canon EOS digital cameras are the most used among
astrophotographers thanks to low noise and avaiability of many
additions, such as third party softwares, modifications, advices, ...
Unfortunately Canon decided not to support older EOS models on newer operating systems. The problem arises with Windows7 64-bit
, where the WIA drivers
of cameras such as 350D
not available. So if you change your PC, do you need also to throw away
your old Canon DSLR, even if it works perfectly? No, the solution exist
and is named Windows XP Mode. This is an additional software that can
be freely installed on Windows7 (32 or 64 bit)
, but only if your version is Professional
. You cannot install if your version is Starter
or Home Premium
, you must update you operating system before.
Step 1: determine your Windows version
To determine your version, click "Start", go to "Control Panel", click "System and Security" and then "System".
Or simply click "Start" and type "System" (or the translation in your language, i.e. in Italian "Sistema"). Then press "Enter".
You'll get a windows like this one with the needed information: here you
can read (in Italian) that the system is Windows 7 Professional, and
below you can read it is a 64-bit system. Moreover you can read if your
system is updated to a Service Pack (here you find it updated to SP1).
Step 2: download the needed software (Windows XP Mode
Go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/
and click on "Get Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC now".
Select your system and language, in the example below "Windows7
Professional 64 bit" and "Italian". When both are selected, the 4 steps
below will appear.
You simply have to:
Step 3: install "Windows XP Mode"
- download Windows XP Mode (about 500 MB)
- download Windows Virtual PC (a few MB)
- if your system is not updated to Service Pack 1, you need to update before installing the two downloaded files.
Execute the two downloaded files, first the bigger one and the the
other. Wait a few minutes for the operation to complete. At the end
restart your PC.
Step 4: running "Windows XP Mode"
|Installing Windows XP Mode
|Installing Windows Virtual PC
After rebooting, click "Start" and then type "Windows XP Mode" and click on the corresponding icon.
Then a very familiar window will appear with Windows XP running inside!
Step 5: install WIA driver for your Canon DSLR
hard drive of the Windows XP Mode is not containing the data on your true C:\ drive! Inside Windows XP Mode
you have to open "Windows Explorer" (in Italian: "Esplora Risorse") and
browse to the true drive with the driver. For me the PC name is
"Principale" and the drivers are in the drive "D:\", so I'll browse to
"D on Principale" and I'll search for the "WIA drivers" I've saved in
the "Software" directory.
If you don't have any WIA driver, you can find them on the original CD or online on the Canon website. Simply google "WIA driver 350D
" for your 350D, or any other old camera model.
The you need NOT to install the software, as you may have problems with
the "InstallShield" software. What you need to do is simply to copy the
WIA driver executables on your local drive "C:\". I've copied the
drivers for my Canon EOS 350D and 5D on the "C:\TEMP" folder.
Finally install the drivers following the standard procedure.
Step 6: now connect the camera!
Now you can connect your camera to the pc. Windows 7 will find the new
hardware, but will not find drivers. Don't worry. Wait a few seconds for
finishing the automatic procedure.
Finally look on the top part of Windows XP Mode, anc click "USB" and then on "Canon Digital Camera"
Then a window will appear, and click "Cancel" (in Italian "Annulla").
Don't open the canon interface, you'll usually use a third party
Step 7: install any other software you need
Now you need to install any software you need to control your camera, such as "Maxim DL" or "DSLR Remote Pro". Even if you've yet installed on the main operating system (Win7), you'll need to reinstall again in WinXP.
You'll need to install also any other driver or software needed to
control additional features, such as telescopes (via ascom drivers) or
guider CCDs, filter wheels, and so on. Exactly like on a native WinXP
Step 8: enjoy
Now you can test and "admire" your older model camera working on Windows 7 64-bit !!! :-)