You can download the drivers from Brother here: http://welcome.solutions.brother.com/bsc/public/us/us/en/dlf/download_top.html?reg=us&c=us&lang=en&prod=mfc290c_all
. Pick your version of Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) and then the language in the two drop down menus. Next click the Search button. You need the full software and driver package at the top of the page to check the ink level.
Note: if the printer was connected to the computer by a USB cable, you probably got the generic Windows driver for the printer. Uninstall the printer before installing the Brother Software. (Click Start and select Devices and Printers in the right hand column. Right click on the printer and select Remove Device or left click on the printer and use the Remove Device link at the top of the page. Then remove the USB cable.)
This link will not include any third-party software that was on the CD. I can't tell if your disc was damaged or if the install problem is due to differences in the install routines in Windows XP and Windows 7. Most likely you have the 64-bit version of Win7 and the drivers on the CD are unsigned. In that case, the compatibility mode probably won't solve the issue; the downloaded version will have signed drivers.
I hope this helps.