Make your own free website on
BuildPC * CustomizeWindows * InstallOS * Internet * HardwareProblems * E-Mail * Home

Managing Older Hardware

Things get more complicated when non-PnP hardware is involved. These so-called older devices lack the capability to be dynamically configured by Windows 98, and they may be difficult to detect during setup. In addition, PnP device installations must be able to work around existing older devices already in the system.

Because of the large number of older non-PnP devices in the market, Windows 98's Plug and Play capability is designed to work with them. Windows 98 includes a large database of hardware devices that provides information on the preferred settings for hundreds of such devices. Older adapter cards use one of the following two methods for setting device resources:

Mechanical jumpers. These create a short circuit between two pins of a multipin header. Jumpers are commonly used to designate resource values for sound cards, and they must be set to match the resource settings of Windows 98. If jumper settings do not match those set in Windows 98, the device will not operate.

Non-volatile memory (NVM). Nonvolatile memory — such as electrically erasable, programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) — retains data when you turn off your PC's power. Network adapter cards and sound cards commonly use NVM. Usually you must run a setup program for the card to match the board settings to those of the operating system.



Older Device Detection During Windows 98 Setup

When you run Windows 98's Setup program, the OS attempts to detect all the hardware devices in your PC, including older devices such as ISA sound cards and network adapters. It then installs 32-bit protected mode drivers for peripherals for which updated drivers are available. However, Windows 98 often keeps references to real-mode (16-bit) device drivers in the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, which are used when the system runs DOS software in DOS-only mode.

If Windows can't identify an older device, you need to install the device manually