The OCR software (ABBYY Fine Reader) included on the CD-ROM was a special edition. It wasn't meant to be upgraded to a new computer with a new OS. It might work on a Win7 32-bit OS with the compatibility mode (not a given). You could try installing it in the compatibility mode - right click on the installer and choose Properties then the Compatibility tab and set for XP. Then right click on the installer again and choose Run As Administrator.
Workarounds are available. If you have Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate, you can install a virtual computer running XP for free. Download and install 2 programs/packages - Microsoft's Virtual PC and the XP mode. Install the ABBYY Fine Reader inside this "computer" and run the OCR on that machine. You may need to transfer files to external media (Optical disc or external drive) to share them between the "machines". Other methods include: keeping your old computer with XP or other compatible OS with the software and transferring files across the network (wired, wireless or sneaker-net), running a dual boot computer (with a paid licensed version of XP on the second boot partition) or running any virtual PC program (Parallels, Virtual PC, etc) with a licensed copy of XP.
The only free OCR program that I know of is SimpleOCR, http://www.simpleocr.com/
. As of this morning, the site does not list that the software is Win7 compatible. This software is limited and does not handle pages with columns of text well. (It eliminates the columns and runs straight across.)
There are several paid OCR packages that run under Windows 7. OmniPage 17 by Nuance works well, http://www.nuance.com/for-individuals/by-product/omnipage/index.htm
. It costs $150. ABBYY Fine Reader also works but that is more expensive. There is the cheaper ABBY Fine Reader 9.0 Express Edition but it is currently listed as working with Windows Vista, not Win7. It's $50. You could try it.
If your documents aren't items you wish to protect, try one of the online OCR programs. An example is: www.onlineocr.net/
. There are a number of others listed by Google. I haven't tried any of these. I have a computer with OmniPage in my network.
I hope this helps.
(you can check if you can upgrade the ABBY product for a discount. However, those discounts are offered less often in the current economy.)