Twice now while setting up my Windows XP computer to use equipment I already own, I have received the following error message: "Software has not passed Windows LOGO TEST to verify its compatibility with Windows XP, continuing your installation may impair or destabilize the correct operation of your system."
First it was while trying to set up my scanner, a Visioneer 8100. The solution was to have Visioneer send me a new CD. Now the real problem: After trying to set up my Largan Chameleon digital camera, I received the same message as above. In calling Largan, I was told they have been using that download for the past year and have not have had any trouble, I was to ignore the message and continue with the installation.
I have tried to get through to Microsoft regarding the message but I keep going in circles when using their Microsoft.com site. I guess I am gun-shy in taking Largan's instructions when I don't have any idea what that error message means. I have visions of a month from now something going wrong and being told by Microsoft "We told you," and Largan telling me, "Sorry."
Welcome to a very large and needlessly worried club. That heavy-handed and frightening warning is part of Microsoft's strategy to pressure deep-pocketed companies that create software and hardware to pay various fees to Microsoft in order to have drivers for their products included in future versions of Windows.
It's a scare tactic because Windows XP is so closely related to the earlier Windows 2000 software that just about any product that would work in Windows 2000 will work in XP.
Ignore the fear-mongering and just go ahead and load the drivers. If they worked in an earlier edition of the software, they almost certainly will work with Windows XP.
Besides, if there is a problem, Windows XP comes with a built-in antidote in the form of the System Restore feature that can restore the computer to the exact state it was in at any point before something went wrong.
Click on Start and then All Programs and Accessories and System Tools to reach the System Restore tool. When there, create a point for the current moment and then go ahead with the installation and just ignore your operating system's built-in scare tactics.
James Coates is a reporter for The Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspapers. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.