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What drivers?

I'm getting ready to have someone reinstall my Windows 98SE. A CD containing various drivers came with my computer some years ago but I lost it. I understand that I'll need to install drivers that aren't automtically installed as part of Windows 98. I thought that Device Manager provided a list of drivers on my computer but I guess not, and I'm wondering how's a body to know what drivers there are? The drivers headquarters website indicates it provides a list of my drivers; the list contains thirteen drivers. Are those all I have on my computer and need to worry about restoring?

Also, drivers headquarters' list claims that six of the drivers should be updated. Does it make sense for me to click on the update button in that website? (It lists the Display Driver as bad even though I just downloaded its update but I guess no one's perfect.)

Am I right in thinking that the Windows reinstall will innclude the necessary drivers to run Windows 98?

Thanks for any input. I'm not sure I even know enough to know what questions to ask.


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Re: What drivers?

In reply to: What drivers?

Device Manager shows you a list of devices recognized by the OS. If the drivers are installed, it will list them accordingly by vendor/model...
If the drivers are not installed, the device will usually be noted by a big yellow question mark.

Windows will install some generic drivers in order to work such as for your video card, it will install a standard VGA driver for it, unless the card is so old that it is included with windows, but don't bet on it.

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In reply to: What drivers?

If I was you I would create another folder outside the "Windows" and the "Program File" folder. Let's call it Save_INF. I then save everything from C:\Windows\INF into the new created folder prior to reinstall Win98.

The Save_INF folder should contain all drivers you'll need after reinstall Win98.


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Questions, Frank

In reply to: Grandpaw,

I see that Windows/inf has four folders in it, Catalog, Infback, Other, and Qfe. There aren't any files in Catalog. There are 429 in Infback, and several in Other and Qfe.

I have no idea what all those files are about and which ones are drivers. It does look like the files in Other pertain to peripherals, such as display, modem, sound.

But can you help me understand how I would implement your suggestion? After the reinstall, I open up this inf folder and do what?

Won't this save_inf folder be wiped out in the reinstall?

Thanks, grandpaw

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Frank, about the drivers

In reply to: Questions, Frank

It turns out the people who will do the reinstall of 98 will take care of all the driver problems. Even so, if you have the time, I would still appreciate your comment on my questions. Thanks for your help, grandpaw

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Answer, Grandpaw

In reply to: Questions, Frank

When I mentioned create the Save_INF folder I meant create it in a different partition (D: drive for example) then when Windows asking for drivers, just poiny to that Save_INF folder.

I haven't use Windows 98 for almost 3 years so I cannot remember about the sub-folder under the INF folder. But if I was you I should save them all.


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Thanks, Frank, for the clarification needed by this neophyte

In reply to: Answer, Grandpaw


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Re: What drivers?

In reply to: What drivers?

Note: Maintaining drivers for the computer system (your CD), drivers for peripherals added during its tenure and that have been changed over time to a system, and if such were not centrally collected for subsequent use later is going to be a horrendous tasks to accomplish.

A. I'm getting ready to have someone reinstall my Windows 98SE. A CD containing various drivers came with my computer some years ago but I lost it.

Specifically for the given motherboard used. With WEB resources, perhaps this can be acquired from the manufacturer.

B. I understand that I'll need to install drivers that aren't automtically installed as part of Windows 98.

Any device other than those generally contained as part of the motherboard (provided by that lost CD) should have drivers provided by the manufacturer. Window uses a very generic set of drivers only for certain devices which you most likely would not be satisfied with but could be updated later perhaps.

C. I thought that Device Manager provided a list of drivers on my computer but I guess not, and I'm wondering how's a body to know what drivers there are?

In a very generic fashion that is not easily understood. Even to the point, the following would only provide limited information but should give you an idea of what is used on that system.

1. The article [Q308549] describes the System Information tool (Msinfo32.exe) used to diagnose issues or to access other tools and to gather information about your computer such as devices that are installed or device drivers that are loaded, and provides a menu for displaying the associated system topics (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools or Start, Run, type msinfo32.exe, and then press Enter). System Information is divided into the following five categories:

Hardware Resources
Software Environment
Internet Explorer

Note: If you install an update from the Update site and it fails to meet your expectations, restore the original files by running the Update Wizard Uninstall from the Tools menu. If your computer worked fine yesterday, but is not working properly today, try restoring yesterday's configuration files by running the System Restore utility from the Tools menu in the System Information tool.

a. Click Start, Help and Support. Click the Support button on the toolbar, and then, under Tools and Links on the left side of the window, click Advanced System Information. In the details pane, click View detailed system information.

Note: The Tools menu contains several tools: WMI Controls, System Restore, Network Diagnostics, DirectX Diagnostics Tool, Update Wizard Uninstall, Signature Verification Tool, Registry Checker, Automatic Skip Driver Agent, Dr. Watson, System Configuration Utility, and ScanDisk.

(1) In the Find what box at the bottom of the window, type the word or words that correspond to the system information wanted.

Note: If the Find options do not appear at the bottom of the window, on the Edit menu, click Hide Find to clear the check mark and restore the options.

(2) Select the appropriate search option:

(a) To search only through a portion of the console tree, select the Search selected category only check box. This starts the search at the top of the currently selected category and searches all of its subcategories. To start the search at the root, clear this check box.

(b) To search only the categories in the console tree for a match, ignoring any matches in the details pane, select the Search category names only check box. To search both the console tree and details pane, clear this check box.

(c) To search all categories in both panes, clear both check boxes.

(d) Click Find.

b. To open a saved System Information file:

(1) Click File, Open and in Look in, click the file location.

(2) In Files of type, click the type of file that you want to open -- default is .nfo.

(3) Click the name of the file, or in File name type the name of the file, and then click Open.

c. To print the system data from a System Information file:

(1) Click File, Print and in the Print range, specify the system data that you want to print:

(a) Click All to print all of the system data.

(b) Click Selection to print the currently selected category and all its subcategories.

(c) Click Pages, and then specify the page numbers in from and to, to print a range of pages of the system data.

d. Printed output, especially when exporting multiple categories can be very large. Check the options to limit categories.

2. The article [Q307733] warns that when you click Find information about the hardware installed on his computer under My Computer Information in Help and Support Center, the following error message may be received and occurs when the information collection is 9 percent complete (when Help and Support is collecting local disk information). When this occurs, the collecting of information stops, and the mouse pointer becomes a "busy" (or hourglass) pointer. However, you can still move the mouse pointer and continue working in Help and Support Center:

'all.part2' is null, or it is not an object

Note: Since this tool is supposed to displays information regarding direct memory access (DMA) channels, free and used interrupt request (IRQ) lines, device conflicts, and resource sharing and hardware resources, I would have to assume that if there is major problem in one or more of these areas which the tool cannot sort out, it may not run.

a. The article [Q310751] states that when attempting to configure the direct memory access and programmed input/output (DMA/PIO) settings for a device on a WinXP-based computer, the settings may not be found in the Properties dialog box. This behavior occurs because the DMA/PIO settings are configured for each controller instead of for each device. Depending on the option set for Transfer Mode, simply changing it from PIO Only to DMA if available and then back again may cure certain anomalies.

b. The article [Q304853] states that when upgrading a Sony computer from WinME to WinXP HE, the startup sound may plays irregularly when the computer starts, and can occur because direct memory access (DMA) is not the default setting for integrated device electronics (IDE) devices.

c. The article [Q327805] states that after installing WinXP SP1, ATA-133 (Ultra DMA Mode 6) devices are not enabled even though SP1 supports it. Since Ultra DMA Mode 6 devices were not supported prior to SP1, they are not installed/reinstalled in the process.

d. The article [Q310592] describes the subkeys contained in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum for the specific hardware components entries for Plug and Play components of the BIOS (this includes timers, controllers, and direct memory access [DMA] chips). Each BIOS subkey starts with the string *PNP and is followed by a four-digit number that represents classes by which the components are grouped.

e. Supplemental reading:

(1) "HOW TO: Manage Devices in Windows XP (Q28365Cool."

(2) "Abit Hot Rod DMA 366 IDE Expansion Adapter Does Not Work After Windows XP Upgrade (Q30502Cool."

(3) "HOW TO: Configure Devices By Using Device Manager in Windows XP (Q307970)."

(4) "Description of Ultra DMA (Q308541)."

(5) "Explanation of Error Codes Generated by Device Manager (Q310123)."

(6) "Programming of Transfer Mode Speed Is Not Supported by Atapi.sys When You Hot or Warm Swap Drives (Q323760)."

3. Task Kill (Tskill.exe) is a command-line tool used to end one or more processes. You can end processes by using a command-line parameter to Tskill.exe that specifies the process identifier (PID) or any part of the process name, such as the title of the application's main window. Use Task Kill for troubleshooting when you suspect that faulty services or applications that stop responding or consume excessive system resources might be adversely affecting the performance of your system. Symptoms typically include sluggish performance, slow screen updates, delayed response to network requests, or slow response to keyboard and mouse input.

a. You can obtain a list of process names and IDs by using a related tool, Task List (Tasklist.exe). This command-line tool allows you to obtain a list of active processes that are running on a local computer. For each process, Task List displays the process name and process identifier (PID). A process can be terminated by specifying the PID number as a command-line parameter to process-ending tools such as Task Kill or Process Viewer to rule it out as the cause of a problem.

b. For more information about the Task List or the related Task Kill and Process Viewer tools, click Tools in Help and Support Center.

4. In part, "Systeminfo" (Systeminfo.exe) is a command-line tool that displays computer configuration information. Use this tool to gather information useful for troubleshooting, such as the firmware version and any hotfixes applied. This tool is separate from the GUI-based System Information tool (Msinfo32.exe) but provides similar information. The following is an illustration of output:

Host Name:...................................RLY-1-TST
BIOS Version:...............................BIOS v4.51PG
Boot Device:..................................\Device\HarddiskVolume1
Total Physical Memory:............27.00 M
Available Physical Memory:....8,976.00 K
Virtual Memory: Max Size:.........443,176.00 K
Virtual Memory: Available:........190,580.00 K
Virtual Memory: In Use:..............252,596.00 K
Logon Server:...............................\\LOGON-SRV-1
Hotfix(s):..........................................1 Hotfix(s) Installed.

5. Supplemental reading:

a. "How to Troubleshoot Unknown Devices Listed in Device Manager (Q244601)."

b. "How to Manage Devices in Windows XP (Q28365Cool."

c. "How to Use System Information (MSINFO32) Switches (Q300887)."

d. "Troubleshooting Device Conflicts with Device Manager (Q310126)."

Note: The DevCon utility is a command line utility that acts as an alternative to DM, and allows a user to enable, disable, restart, update, remove, and query individual devices or groups of devices, [Q311272].

e. "The Processor Speed May Be Reported Incorrectly in Windows XP (Q316965)."

f. "Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Might Be Corrupted (Q319101)."

g. "Msinfo32.exe Generates a "Can't Collect Information" Error Message (Q323209)."
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CursorCowboy, I'm using 98 rather than XP

In reply to: Re: What drivers?

Those KB articles say they pertain to XP. I presume they are not of use to me.

I phoned the outfit that I plan to have to the reinstall and it says it will do all the necessary driver installation. Wow, another horrendous task avoided, I hope. It installed a new motherboard a whle back.

Thanks again, CursorCowboy, for your input and interest.


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Re: What drivers?

In reply to: What drivers?

I run an old machine with an old OS. (w9Cool

I just ran the scan from drivers headquarters.

It tells me my mobo drivers and my vid driver is out of date.
Which is true.

What it does not tell me is that if I install these new drivers my machine will run slower.

Why slower?
Because these new drivers are designed for a newer OS.

So use caution with that auto scanner and an old OS.

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Thanks, bob b, but....

In reply to: Re: What drivers?

How can I be cautious other than to simply not use the scan? Is there some practical way to tell if the update will slow my computer and whether it will be a significant change? I'd apprecitate your thoughts. grandpaw

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Re: Thanks, bob b, but....

In reply to: Thanks, bob b, but....

Is there some practical way to tell if the update will slow my computer.

If by practical you mean easy then the answer is NO.
My method was trial + error + testing.

whether it will be a significant change?

To my eye-balls NO.
However my benchmark tool shows that some of these newer drivers don't play nice with this old OS.

Vid rate takes a big hit.

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Where is the driver list in Device Manager?

In reply to: What drivers?

When I open Device Manager, I see a list of device types, such as CDROM, Imaging Device, etc. I click on the plus and get the specific drivers for the device. I go to properties for the device, click on the driver tab, and get told if it is working properly. Is that the drivers list people talk about? I thought there was a place where drivers are listed with codes giving some info about each driver. No? grandpaw

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In reply to: Where is the driver list in Device Manager?

If you click on the plus-sign, you see what devices you have. If I click on Modems, it says Compaq 56K Dfi, to name an example. Right click, properties, drivers, details shows you some details, but those really aren't interesting for anybody.
The list in MSINFO32 contains about the same info.
If you like, you can download a program called AIDA32: It tells you more on your PC than you'll ever want to know!

Knowing what devices you have should be sufficient for any professional (or even guru) to locate the drivers on Internet. With a copy of the output of AIDA32 you'll surely impress anybody you hire to reinstall Windows 98 for you. But it would be best to find the driver CD('s) that came with the machine or the parts you added later.


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Oops, Aida 32 is no more

In reply to: No.

Kees, do you know of any other program, free or otherwise, that does somewhat the same thing?

Thanks for the info about misinfo32.


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Re: Oops, Aida 32 is no more

In reply to: Oops, Aida 32 is no more

The author of Aida32 has been promoted to a higher position and also moved to another company called Lavasys, His Aida32 has been changed to the new name Everest Home Edition 1.10. Here is the link for a new product (freeware)

If for some reason you see the foreign language displayed, just click on the British flag to change to English.


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Thanks for the update, Frank

In reply to: Re: Oops, Aida 32 is no more


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