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Installing drivers

Tony D

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#1
What you do folks do when rebuilding a machine and you have to search for drivers?

I have a Windows 98SE Dell here. I put a new hard drive in it and used the Dell install CD. Of course the drivers specific to this machine are on another CD which I don't have.

Device Manager shows PCI Communication Device, PCI Multimedia Audio Device, PCI System Management Bus, and an Unknown Device as not installed. I use Belarc Advisor, AIDA32 and SIW to list the physical devices. Then I try to match up the reports from these programs with the devices in Device Manager to determine what devices are not installed software-wise.

Is there an easier way?
 

Seth

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#2
Those programs are only useful when you can't determine the make and model of the PC.

Fortunately, all Dell PC's that I know of clearly state the model number on their PC's.

Forget about the third party utilities. Get that model number and go to Dell's driver support. You should be able to find what you need.
 

Tony D

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#3
Sometimes that works nicely, but not with this machine.

The first driver I installed was for the NIC - there were about 13 drivers listed on Dell's site. I ended up going to DriveGuide to get the driver. Right now I'm doing the audio and there are 8 drivers listed for this model - Dell Dimension 4100.
 

Seth

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#4
Yes, Dell is also notorious for many different devices on any given model number. It's often a matter of starting from the top and working your way down.

I checked the dell site for that model, and there are only two or three nic drivers for that model. The rest are irrelevant diagnostics, html's, upgrades, etc.

The first driver listed, is usually the right one. If not, then just proceed to the next.
 

Tony D

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#5
Thanks - this is just a problem machine. I don't think it's ever taken me so long to get all the devices installed. I just finished the display adapter - it was the third, or the 12, in the list.
 

Seth

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#6
Honestly Kelly,

I tactfully refuse to work on 98 systems any more, and provide the valid reasons for doing so.
 
Last edited:

AdvancedSetup

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#7
Hi Kelley,

Take 2 Aspirin and call me in the morning ;)

  • Go here Craig's PCI Programs
  • Then download this zip file PCI.ZIP Version 1.1
  • Make sure you get the updated device file as well and replace the one in the zip with this one PCIDEVS.TXT
  • Extract the zip file to it's own folder like C:\PCI
  • From a DOS prompt run C:\PCI\PCI.EXE >DELL.TXT
  • Then run NOTEPAD C:\PCI\DELL.TXT
  • The go into DEVICE MANAGER and look at the details and match up the devices
  • Then go find the correct drivers and install them.
  • Be happy - this is a great tool and you should be done soon


.
 

Seth

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#8
AS,

You've mentioned that tool before, but I've yet to use it.

Have you found it to better than apps like Aida or Everest? (Both of which I've found to be very poor at identifying devices that XP isn't able to).

I suspect that it is a matter of the quality of said apps database. Agreed?
 

AdvancedSetup

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#9
Well Everest bought up AIDA32 and as far as I can tell there is no longer any FREE version of Everest.

Everest has to be "installed" and Craig's PCI tool does not. You extract it any where you want and run it. It is also FREE and has always enabled me to locate the proper drivers for the system I was working on.

As for your question, yes the quality of the Database does matter. Nothing is perfect but a lot of that has to do with MFG not releasing information on purpose to the public which then takes more time and work to confirm and add to the database.
 

Tony D

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#10
AS - thanks for the PCI.EXE tool. It runs OK from just double clicking on it. If I try to redirect the output using the DOS commands that you provided, I get a file in the Windows directory, with
"PCI Halted Sorry I cannot locate my PCIDEVS.txt data file!!! I expect it to be in the CURRENT directory, so don't run me from a path!!!"

Same thing happens if I use the DOS command in the PCI.EXE documentation.
 

Seth

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#11
So no luck at the Dell site Kelly?

Since the devices are probably all onboard, you could always google the board model number and get the drivers right from the mobo site.
 

Seth

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#13
If the nic and sound are working, and the unknown device shows as "communication", then it's the dial up modem.
 

Seth

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#15
NP.

After a clean install, I install the latest versions of Java and Flash.
 

AdvancedSetup

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#16
What you can do now is create a Ghost Image or even a WinRAR image for future installations or repairs.

Boot from something like Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows and then create a WinRAR file of the entire drive. If needed again you can extract to a clean drive and the just SYS it and it will be back up and running exactly as it is now.

WinRAR

.
 

Tony D

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#17
I'm not familiar with using WinRAR. What I usually do is make an Acronis True Image and tape the DVD's to the inside of the computer.

I see WinRAR is inexpensive and includes free upgrades. That's nice.
 

AdvancedSetup

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#18
WinRAR is great for this as it's a small Windows 9x box. But it is not a full fledged imaging program like Acronis or Ghost

It is quite similar to WinZip but does not have the file size limits of WinZip and can store internal repair tables in case of CRC errors unlike a Zip file that would just be toast if it gets a CRC error.

I would continue to use Acronis if that's what you've been doing. You can look at WinRAR for stuff you'd normally do with WinZip as the RAR format is much better.