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Troubles with Windows 98 driver files

By bwarren97 · 7 replies
Sep 5, 2014
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  1. So I downloaded an iso for Windows 98 Second Edition and it seems to run really well on my old machine here. One problem I keep running into while trying to install drivers and stuff is that it keeps asking for files on the Windows 98 SE disc that aren't there. There's also errors for the Microsoft Network service during boot that I have to skip through. Is there another disc I should be using (without having to borrow or purchase one from someone else)? Or should I just continue my process of looking through all the files it asks for, downloading them, switching to my Live Linux CD to transfer the files to the hard disk, and then redoing the driver installation?

    ... or is there a better way to do this, lol. I've tried using Mass Storage Device drivers and I'm not about to peel open my flash drive and pick around the internet to find the exact driver I need that might not even be available for Windows 98.
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    Sorry to be discouraging but I think you are wasting your time with Windows 98. It came with my first computer now long gone. I have the disc because I purchased an upgrade to XP Home now installed as a virtual OS. To install it I need to insert the original W98 disc.

    I have experimented by trying to get 98 running largely because of a couple of old games that won't run under later versions of Windows. It was a lost cause and very frustrating. Internet Explorer was also pretty much useless.
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  3. bwarren97

    bwarren97 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I'm using this for the same reason as you did; to run older games. I remember Diablo II being a pain in the butt getting to run on my Win7 system. Besides, I felt it would be kinda fun getting an old computer running beautifully with an even older OS. I'm running Need for Speed at all high quality with no lag!
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    I'll give you my conclusions for what they are worth. The old computer I mentioned when I upgraded to Windows XP had hardware for which there were no suitable drivers. I remember having to replace the sound card. In other words going back to W98 would quite likely have posed driver problems too. To run W98 I'd say buy an unmodified computer still running the OS. Installed on VMPlayer as a virtual OS W98 was useless for games because there was no 3D acceleration available.

    Generally speaking old games are poor fare by today's standards. You will find it easier to get old software running in Windows XP than sorting out a working installation of Windows 98. I think that Diablo 2 will run in XP with some tweaking. It won't work for some of them though.

    Surprisingly, it may be easier to use game consul emulator software to get a classic/obsolete game running which though it ran under W98 lacks patches or fails to work even with compatibility setting changes. I did actually get my favourite game running in this way and it was far more stable than it ever was in W98. The problem is that there are copyright issues. At best it's a grey area. I can see no problem with stating that this possibility exists but any details would be promptly removed from the forum. You could buy an ancient games consul for practically nothing and do it legally for zero effort.

    I've just had a success with Microsoft's Pandora's Box which is a classic puzzle game written for W98. The solution is legal. I include this as an example of how older software lacks the support it deserves. I came across loads of posts from people who couldn't get Pandora's Box going but clearly some were able to run it in XP and Windows 7. The Microsoft website was no help. Eventually I found references to a patch for the game and links to Microsoft Support. The pages were no longer available. I did a google search for the patch and was inundated with hits. Infuriatingly, they were all dead ends and attempts to get me to download the usual junk for tuning up my PC, updating my media player or running AV scans. It was only when I tried some of the classic gaming sites that I managed to find the patch. After installing the game then running the patch it runs perfectly in Windows 7.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  5. bwarren97

    bwarren97 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Regardless of whether this is worth it or not, I still want this system to happen. My main question is why Win98 is requiring files not on the original install disc, yet it asks for that specific disc?
    The hardware I'm using should without any doubt be old enough to run the system; the only hardware that's any newer is the GPU, which works without issue (besides a hardware defect that has all the red color missing from the analog signals but that's a completely different story). I have all the chipset drivers, too, the only problem is installing them.
  6. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Dont remember to much about win 98 se. But I do believe there was different version of this OS before it went down. . This maybe your problem. Another thing, Have you just tried Looking for these files on the disk your self. I do remember win98 not being very good at pulling files from it own disk. Just a thought.
  7. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,031   +53

    There was a version of '98 (first edition), but the SE was very much improved.
    As I remember, every device had it's own driver disc, (graphics/audio/modem etc) on 3.5" floppy normally, that was supplied with it. Everything had to be installed after Windows, also not many manufacturers would supply drivers via download, and this would have been at dial-up speeds (33k/56k) even if they did.
    In the time between 98 and 98SE the software was changing so often, to keep up with hardware improvements, to the point where if you bought a printer for instance, the driver supplied could be useless, and even Internet Explorer was released on separate CD, (photo).
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  8. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    My Windows 98 desktop had no floppy drive and there were no extra drivers.on a CD. All I received was a Windows 98 installation disc. If you want to sort this out you are most likely going to have to work it all out for yourself. Windows 98 was the first Microsoft OS to tempt me into buying a computer for mega money. I think it cost me something like £1500. Windows 98 even featured usb1. Wow! Looking back it was very prone to blue screening and driver problems. Ask yourself again if it's worth all the hassle.

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