Windows Legacy OS forum


W98 fails to detect / set-up hardware

by BobGeee / December 9, 2012 12:33 PM PST

Wonder if someone would be kind enough to help me with this please - W98 won't recognise and set-up hardware.

From the begining:
ISA Sound card stopped functioning (no sound) - device manager suggested a problem - reinstall driver.
System then asked me about reconfiguring LPTs which I didn't want to do, so terminated.
System then lost all access to exp-cards (display, scsi, ethernet) - display was left functioning at VGA.
Managed to get display to function by swapping the display adaptor (AGP card) and re-installing drivers.
Unable to get W98 to recognise PCI Ethernet or SCSI cards - also USB connection gone. (LPT1 and printer still working).
Tried different Ethernet cards - no luck.
SCSI adaptor recognised at DOS level but not by Windows.
Have tried all the usual manual add hardware functions and have tweeked the registry setup flags (as per MS support instructions) to cause W98 to re-run hardware detection. It starts, gets to about 3-4% on the progress ribbon, that panel disappears and then the system just loads W98 still without hardware. (Tried lots of times).
If I try to manually install, it goes through the motions, but gets to 'Finished installing...' too quickly (and doesn't ask to re-start the PC). Nothing is achieved.

Has anyone got any suggestions as to how I can get W98 to find and install my missing hardware again? (Hopefully without having to run 'setup'.)

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All Answers

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That's true.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 9, 2012 12:48 PM PST

You need to find the setup instructions for this machine. I can't do this for you but the basics are the same as they were in 1995.

You install the OS, then you install the drivers the machine's maker tells you to in the order they document. Sorry about me not knowing exactly the process but I've done this far too many times over the years.

I'm encountering more and more folk that install Windows and are shocked to discover it does not find and install drivers for them. Again, it's not automatic.

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But... trying to avoid running W98 setup...
by BobGeee / December 10, 2012 2:59 AM PST
In reply to: That's true.

Reinstalling W98 is not the issue itself, although it would be a pain as it would be difficult to get the upgrades etc. and re-install other progs. I'm (sure?) / worried that if I run W98 setup over the top of the existing it will make a big mess to be sorted out.

What I'm asking for is suggestions how I might try to fix without running W98 setup please. How I can 'unlock' the hardware detection function that presently just isn't working (automatically or manually). Could you consider that for me please?
Thanks! (another Bob.)

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Never found it to work.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 10, 2012 3:03 AM PST

This is one of those areas that is still broken in current Windows (7 and 8). To add devices I continue to do this the old fashioned way where I find the driver and install that. Sometimes I have to reboot to have it take.

Sorry but even Microsoft couldn't get this to work with all their resources so I'm going with the old fashioned way. Manually adding the drivers.

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I have tried to manually add hardware/drivers
by BobGeee / December 11, 2012 11:14 AM PST

Hi again,
I have tried to manually add hardware/drivers via the 'add new hardware' / 'select from list' / 'have disk' process, but without luck. It does though the motions but finishes too quickly, claims its done but doesn't ask for re-start. Restarted numerously (cold boot/warm boot/safe/normal) and repeated the 'add new hardware' process repeatedly - but without any success (so far), not even 'installed with a problem' - just nothing showing most of the time. If anything shows as installed with a problem (the Ethernet adaptor could be pushed to that previously, but not now, as I recall) the problem could not be fixed. After that I think I removed it in safe mode and it never has come back at all.

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I don't use that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2012 12:58 AM PST

I follow the maker's instructions on how to install drivers. Many drivers came with a setup.exe or with some text file that tells how.

Your posts sound as if this is your first encounter with driver hell. There are others as well such as dll hell but all of them are not solved by using the control panel as you are trying.

I don't want to upset you but here we are many posts later and we are discussing the old issue about Windows, drivers and areas that never worked well.

If you want to get a device to work, that's another discussion where we name names, part makers, model numbers and go find if there is any document or tip to get it working.

-> Today it's getting very hard to find Windows 98 support. I remember a lot and will share but as we don't have any 98 PCs left I have to share memories from thousands of machines we worked on.

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by BobGeee / January 12, 2013 11:31 AM PST
In reply to: I don't use that.

Safe mode - delete everything in device manager, everything that will delete. Modify registry to force hardware detection. Re-boot in normal mode. What it doesn't pick up first time, try re-booting again. Check for duplicate or multiple entries in safe mode / device manager. Delete all entries where duplicates / multiples exist where there should be no duplicates. Modify registry to force hardware detection again. Re-boot in normal mode. Continue ad-infinitum until everything fixed.

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