Canon Powershot A20

Author: Andre Adrian
Version 1.May.2014


The Canon Powershot A20 was build in the days of MS-Windows 95/98/ME/NT 4.0/2000 and XP. Canon still supports the Powershot A20, but does not provide 64-bit drivers. If you have Windows 7 Professional 64-bit like me, you have a problem with trusty old Powershot A20. But you can install Windows XP mode on Windows 7 to get a Windows XP 32-bit.

Install Windows XP Mode

See Install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7. The step "To download and install Windows Virtual PC" does not work with Windows 7 Professional, as explained in the note "Virtual application feature not supported on Windows Vista Business Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 7 Professional edition".

Windows XP Mode knows Powershot A20

If you plug in the Powershot A20 camera, switch the camera on and "enable" the USB device Powershot A20 to the Windows XP mode, MS-Windows XP tries to install a driver from the internet. But there is no (longer a) driver. Just cancel this futile attempt and do it yourself.

Install Powershot A20 drivers

At Canon U.S.A. you find a Powershot A20 section. If you click on the button "Drivers & Software" the clever Canon web page software determines your operating system. For my computer it finds Windows 7 64-bit and does not offer any driver software. You have to set the operating system entry to "Windows XP" to get the driver "WIA Driver v3.9.0 for Windows Me/XP ". Please install this driver within Windows XP mode. The installation is a two step process. First extract the files and second install them by executing SETUP.EXE. See the two screen shots:

Load pictures from Powershot A20

To load pictures you have to do three steps: connect camera, switch camera on, enable Powershot A20 through the "USB" menue. Now the "Scanner and camera assistant" starts. This little program is all you need to get your pictures. If you like you can install the "Canon Digital Camera Solutions Disk v4.0".

DLL Hell or what?

Up to now the installation business is standard procedure. After I have used the Canon A20 Powershot, I installed the Microsoft patches for MS-Windows XP (yes, the patches are still available in 2015, even after Microsoft has abandoned XP in 2014). Then I installed the driver for my EMU Tracker Pre (best affordable laptop sound card in the world). Later I used the Canon camera again. There it was my nasty bug: The XP emulation did no longer start the Microsoft program to load pictures from the camera. The Canon program from the Canon CD did not work either. I assume DLL hell, the nice MS-Windows feature that forces you to make a decision: You can have all software you like on your computer, but some software is not working, or you have one computer for this software and another computer for that software. Because I need the camera more than the sound card, I re-installed XP without patches and without Tracker Pre driver. Now the picture load from the camera works again. Nice job well done, Mr. Bill Gates!

Why I wrote this page

I have some PCs. And I need seldom the Powershot A20. Normally I have to install the Powershot driver at the PC at hand, again and again. It takes me time to remember all little details of that #%&! installation. Therefore I wrote it down.