Robert’s Ramblings

Robert Alonso’s Thoughts on Technology and More…

In a previous blog entry, I described how Microsoft Windows 7 recognized all my devices. This included the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader. In the past, I have used the reader to log into my accounting software and into a few web sites. This facilitated not having to type long passwords and helped me avoid typing passwords in front of other people. All I had to do is press one of my fat fingers into the device and I was in. I considered this a great productivity booster for under $30. I own two of these devices—one for home and one for the office. The office one also is a wireless mouse dock and came with a wireless Microsoft IntelliMouse. Well, Microsoft has decided that starting with Windows 7 it will not support these two devices. I am not sure what the reason is, but the Digital Persona software that is needed for the devices is supposedly not compatible with Windows 7. If you try to install the software, Microsoft Windows 7 blocks the install and says that the software will not work with Windows 7.

Not wanting to be left with two inoperable devices, I searched the Internet for possible solutions. There are some who claim that you can install the software and then set the application and associated DLLs (program functions in a separate loadable file) to run in Windows Vista or lower compatibility mode for all users on your computer. I have not tested this yet, because I first have to figure out a way to get Windows 7 to install the software in the first place.

If you are not into these convoluted workarounds, that may not work, there is an alternative. I found a mysteriously vague Microsoft web page that says that you can call a phone number if you are having trouble with the Fingerprint Reader. I called the number, worked my way through the various menu prompts to speak with a Microsoft representative and was told that Microsoft was discontinuing the product. The gentleman on the line then asked for my serial number and said that Microsoft would be mailing me a check for $39 in four to eight weeks. (I think this was the amount. I was in shock so I do not remember exactly.) That is not bad. It is more than I paid for the device. I am no longer angry at Microsoft, but I am also not sure why strange things like this occur during an upgrade—especially since the device is Microsoft branded. If anyone has additional information please email me or contact me through the link on the About page. You can visit the Microsoft page with the phone number here or you can call Microsoft at: 1-800-360-7561.

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  1. blogfeld Said,

    Hi Robert, I’ve found a way to install the DigitalPersona software on Windows 7 (32-bit). After installation, the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader works fine. You can find my instructions here:

    http://www.blogfeld.com/2009/10/microsoft-fingerprint-reader-windows-7.html

    Hope this helps.

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