A few days ago, I picked up a Microsoft-branded wireless receiver to use my XBOX 360′s steering wheel on my PC. To my horror, I discovered that the drivers included on the bundled disc were not compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7. Here’s how I managed to get the thing going.
Download the “drivers”
Yes, there are drivers, but they don’t work as well as they should. They basically install a simple GUI that tells you if your controller is connected, and I assume drop some setup .inf in your Windows directories somewhere. To download these drivers, head to Microsoft’s Windows 7 driver support page. From the pulldown menus, select Controller, Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Windows 7 (or vista) 64-bit, and the language of your choice.
Download and install as prompted, then move on to the next step.
Selecting the driver
Plug in your wireless receiver if you have yet to do so. The driver installation is a little deep within several of Windows’ layers, so follow this guide carefully. This is assuming you’re running Windows 7 X64, but Windows Vista should have very similar menu structures.
- Go to your Control Panel
- Click on Hardware and Sound
- Click on Device Manager under Devices and Printers
- Scroll down the list to Other devices
- Double-click the Unknown device
- Click on the Hardware tab
- Click on Update Driver
- Select Browse my computer for driver software
- Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
- Scroll down and select Microsoft Common Controller for Windows Class and click on Next
- Select Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows and click on Next
- When the warning message appears, select Yes
You’re done! The driver will now install. Try and sync up your wireless controllers now. To test them out, hit the Guide button on your controller and the Windows guide should appear on your screen.
Updates and clarifications
I’ve noticed an issue with this method. It seems to be impossible to turn off wireless controllers connected this way. You’ll need to pull our your battery packs if you’re using a controller, or disconnect the steering wheel’s power supply.
I’ve tested this method and was successful in using the wireless control, racing wheel and wireless headset with no major issues. However, force feedback on the steering wheel is still unsupported. Not the fault of the drivers, though. The Microsoft Developers were supposed to work on it, but they dropped the project all together a while back so unfortunately, unless someone from the community decides to pick it up, it’s never going to happen.