Huawei E220 – how to get it to work on Windows 7

I upgraded my Laptop to Windows 7  and after installing ALL my applications I was just about to hit the road when I remembered that I didn’t install my trusted E220 modem that I have used for the past 4 years.

So I connected the E220 card to my USB and it was recognised by Windows 7 – so far so good.

It then added the USB Mass Storage and a CD Rom.

But then it stopped !

hugh ???

luckily I had the MTN E220 software copied onto my computer so i tried to install it manually but it failed.

I spent the next 2 days searching the web for a solution – I downloaded a gazillion apps which are suppose to fix it but none did.

The problem is that Windows 7 doesn’t recognise the device as a modem – therefore the MTN software doesn’t work.

I spent the next day searching the web again for Modem drivers – but again no luck.

Eventually =- EUREKA !

With the help of various websites/ forums and trial-and-error, I have put the following steps to get Windows 7 to recognise the E220 as a modem :

  • Connect the E220 – Windows 7 will only recognize a new USB Mass Storage Device and a CD drive  (which btw you cannot access).
    Open the Device Manager
  • You will see the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” Section and under that USB Mass Storage Device
  • Find the one that is related to the E220 (I kept the device manager open, disconnected the E220 and saw the Mass Storage disappear. I connected it again and saw it reappear – so I knew which one to play with)
  • Right click on the Mass Storage Device and select “Update Driver Software”
  • Select “Browse my Computer”
  • Select the “Let me pick” section at the bottom
  • Untick the  “Show compatible devices” option
  • Select “(Generic USB Host Controller)” in the Manufacturer Tab (near the top of the list)
  • Select “USB Composite Device” in the Model Tab (on the right side)
  • Click on NEXT to finish installation
  • Windows 7 will add another USB Mass Storage Device
  • Disconnect and reconnect your E220 to reinitialise the E220 software
  • It will then pick up the E220 as a modem !
  • At this stage install the software which you can download from the MTN or Vodacom website.

hopefully this can save you lots of time and frustration !


  1. I would like to add my vote of thanks as I was also struggling with the same issue after a fresh installation of Windows 7.

  2. You!!!!! You wonderful creature!!
    Ty from the bottom of my heart.

    Why arent you the ceo of huawei corp??
    Ohh then you would have made a modem that would have worked from the first place!
    Many thnx again.

  3. I tried the same technique for my huawei modem. 3 days of searching all over the internet and doing all sorts of recommended things. This is the only thing that worked.

  4. Best and most useful article ever – have been battling with this for ages. I am now going to go and show our IT support how it’s done now 🙂

  5. You are an absolute genius. I have been struggling with this for 2 weeks now. Huawei themselves didnt know what to do and Telkom…well lets not go there!

    Thanks for this post, my problem is solved!

  6. If my laptop stands for a few minutes it disconnects from the network and I have to restart the laptop to reconnect. Is there a setting that I can change to stay connected when idle. model E220

Add your comment