I installed my old Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 on our new laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium with no trouble at all. All I had to do was connect it to the laptop & turn the laptop on. It first identified the new USB device, then indicated it was installing appropriate drivers (from the harddrive or from the Web, I don't know which). A small window announcing that the drivers had been successfully installed then popped up. (The "In Process" window failed to close by itself - I had to hit the "Close" button myself.) I then went to the Control Panel & looked at (I think!) "USB Devices", & Lo & Behold, there it was! "Sidewinder Force Feedback 2". I was even able to get into a calibration window that allowed me to verify the buttons, Z-Axis control, Paddle control, etc., all courtesy of Windows 7. I then started Jane's World War II Fighters (an 11-year old video game which I had installed the day before) & used the Sidewinder to play the game. Shoot, it even provided force feedback during the game!
Upshot: You shouldn't need to install any drivers for the joystick - Windows 7 knows!
I'm AMAZED... I was certain that neither the joystick nor the game would be usable, given that they both came into my life in my Windows 98 salad days. So far, Windows 7 has astounded me with its tolerance for ancient software & devices, of which I have much & many.