Installing Windows 7 Ultimate on a Panasonic CF-29 Toughbook

Installing Windows 7 Ultimate on a Panasonic CF-29 Toughbook  

First off is it possible… YES, I have done this, second is very difficult to achieve, but well worth it. All of our test CF-29s are touchscreen models. They came with Windows XP Professional, and I purchased them a few years ago from an oil company on auction for 100 bucks each. Last week I wanted to upgrade my personal one to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

Here is what I experienced.

1) The CF-29 has a 32 bit chip set thus 64bit of Windows 7 will not install, BUT the 32bit will!
2) All the drivers install perfectly except the Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics controller. (Intel will NOT make a Windows 7 Driver), and the touchscreen driver (XP Only) had problems too.
3) Windows 7 will only allow the default Generic VGA graphics driver. (Which does not support the touch screen driver)

So after talking with Panasonic and Intel they told me to forget about upgrading the CF-29 to Windows 7 it is impossible…and not supported…I have heard that before…lol 🙂

Solution: Force the Windows 7 to accept the Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics controller for Windows Vista, and force the Mouse driver to accept the XP Driver for touchscreen to work. All this works fine, and the Panasonic CF-29 has a few more years of life with Windows 7, and every driver works, and all the cool touch screen features with Windows 7 are very cool, and what is even more cool is I don't have to go out and purchase a new Toughbook and save myself thousands of dollars that can be spent elsewhere, like a badly needed spa vacation!!

Here are the instructions that worked for me: I found MANY helpful instructions I listed below from:  

STEP 1 Go to the Intel website and Download the latest Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics controller for Windows Vista, and save the driver where you can find it later!

Make sure you uninstall all the video drivers that do not work. If you see exclamation marks on your previous drivers in Device Manager, uninstall them. Your Device Manager should say that you have Standard VGA Driver installed under Display category and exclamation mark on "video controller". Make sure you restart PC when asked.


We will need to edit "c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys" file, but there is a problem. Windows Vista and Windows 7 will NOT allow you to edit system files even when you are the admin. Changing security attributes of that file did not work either. The file is owned by "TrustedInstaller" service. We will need to own the file and give ourselves the full control to edit it.
Click 'Start' and in 'Search' type 'cmd'. The result will show on top. Right-click on 'cmd' and choose "Run as Administrator". If your account does not have admin rights you might be prompted to enter username and password. I used account that already has administrator privileges. You should have a command prompt with administrator privileges.


Lets say my logged in username is nick

First command you do is:

takeown /f c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys

This will give ownership to the your user account. You should see a message saying SUCCESS etc…..

Second command you do is:

cacls c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys /G nick:F

There will be a confirmation message so type 'Y'. This will change the security attributes to give you ONLY all the permissions for the file.


Open c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys in any text editor. Make a copy vgapnp.sys file. In the original vgapnp.sys file add any character to the beginning of the text. Let's say we add character "z". So the text should start with zMZ and the rest of stuff. Save the file. This edit will render that file unusable. This will not destroy the file. Windows 7 will bypass it, your video card will still work.


In Device Manager uninstall Standard VGA Adapter. It will prompt you to restart so do it. After install you will see a message saying that certain devices did NOT installed successfully, which is GOOD!!. Go to Device Manager and you should see the exclamation point next to "video controller" and "video controller (vga compatible)". Right-click on "video controller (vga compatible)" and do update driver. Choose "Browse for the Driver" (or something like it ). Point to the Vista Intel 82842/82855 driver directory that you downloaded and extracted from the Intel web site. Click "OK". Wait for the driver to be installed.. After restart it will finish installing the driver.

Congratulations!!! You should have a working video driver!!!


Open c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys in any text editor. Remove the first character you put there which was "z". Save the file. Your file will be useable again. If it is damaged, mine didn't you can delete the file and use your backup, rename it.


Right-click on any other file in the c:\windows \system32\drivers. Choose "Properties". Go to "Security" tab. Now compare that security tab with the security tab of c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys. Just make sure the security tabs of those two files look the same (all tabs and advanced options). In order to add "Trusted Installer" it is not the same as regular usernames because it is a service.
You will need to type "NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller" (without quotes) when adding it to own the file and to have all permissions. Once you done editing you can delete your account from c:\windows\system32\drivers\vgapnp.sys, because it was not there from the beginning. We took control over and the previous commands added it by default.

STEP 8 Install the Touch screen drivers for windows XP you downloaded from the Panasonic Website, or the ones you have that came with your CF-29. Install it using the Capability mode for windows XP SP2, and with admin rights. Go to Device Manager and under the default mouse controller that Windows 7 installed by default change it to the touch screen driver.

 Congratulations!!! You should have a working touch screen driver!!!

The fact is the CF-29 runs Windows 7 Better than XP! Yes the screen resolution is still 1024 x 768, but that is not bad when using the touch screen. Every Drivers works! I am very happy with the new life of the CF-29!!  


Comments are closed.