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Installing Device Drivers

Device drivers are a critical part of hardware configuration. This software acts as a bridge between your hardware and the Windows 98 operating system, enabling the two to talk to one another. Drivers not only enable features, they can also enhance performance and fix bugs and conflicts. For this reason, users should always keep an eye out for improved versions of driver software for their hardware. Devices most affected by device driver updates include graphics cards, sound cards, scanners, printers, and video capture devices.

Windows 98 makes it easy to install new driver software, via the Update Device Driver Wizard. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Click Start | Settings | Control Panel and select the System icon.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab to display the list of device types available to your PC.
  3. In the scrolling list box, click the plus sign next to the hardware category you want to work with.
  4. Double-click the specific device item that appears, and Windows displays the Properties dialog box for that item.
  5. Click the Driver tab, and then click the Update Driver button.
  6. The Update Device Driver Wizard launches. Click Next.
  7. At the next screen, click the top radio button to tell Windows 98 to search for a new driver. Click Next.
  8. Tell Windows 98 where to look for the new driver. If you want to try to find the latest version on the web, make sure the Microsoft Windows Update check box is checked.

    Windows 98 searches the selected locations for a new driver. Again, the most recent versions will often be found via a search of the Microsoft's Web-based index of device drivers.

  9. Tip
    Windows 98 might carry you off to Microsoft's approved driver index, but you might find more recent — if unapproved — drivers at the manufacturer's web site. This won't happen automatically, however. You'll have to use your web browser to go to the vendor's site, find the appropriate driver files, and download them to an empty directory on your hard disk. If the file is compressed (using PK Zip or some other utility), you'll need to expand it as well. Then use the Update feature to browse over to the directory containing the files and install from there.


  10. Windows 98 tells you if it finds a more recent driver. If you want to install the software, click Next.
  11. After the driver is installed, you will have to reboot your system.