Finding Drivers for a Second-Hand Computer

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but I’ve
never heard a solution to it.

You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating system
(maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You reinstall
but after you do the OS doesn’t recognize certain hardware (e.g. video card,
network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).

What’s the best way to fix this? I have Windows XP Pro SP2 on my own
computer. I installed Windows 98SE onto the second-hand computer (but it has
no updates since I can’t get a connection to the internet). What if I were to
take the unrecognized hardware and plug it into my XP computer and run the
Add New Hardware Wizard. If the hardware is recognized by XP and the driver
installed, could I copy that driver file over to the appropriate directory in
the second-hand computer?

Also, say if I somehow got an internet connection on the second-hand
computer running, how helpful would Windows Update be in getting the drivers
I need? The problem is that the video card is completely unrecognized by
Windows 98SE (it doesn’t even recognize it as a video card, it just labels it
“unknown device”).

Thank you very much,
Jeremy
7 answers Last reply
More about finding drivers second hand computer
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Install Everest Home Edition from www.lavalys.com to identify the hardware. Then
    track down the drivers online, preferably from the manufacturers' sites.

    No, you can't use Windows XP drivers. You could use WinXP to identify the
    devices--*if* WinXP would run on that machine, which is doubtful--but Everest
    does a better job of it. No, Windows Updates will not help with drivers one bit.
    Even if it *does* find some, you don't want to use them.

    --
    Gary S. Terhune
    MS-MVP Shell/User

    "Jeremy B" <JeremyB@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:B169A871-B63F-4301-94F9-DFFB404F9522@microsoft.com...
    > This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but I’ve
    > never heard a solution to it.
    >
    > You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
    > system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
    > driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating system
    > (maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You reinstall
    > but after you do the OS doesn’t recognize certain hardware (e.g. video card,
    > network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).
    >
    > What’s the best way to fix this? I have Windows XP Pro SP2 on my own
    > computer. I installed Windows 98SE onto the second-hand computer (but it has
    > no updates since I can’t get a connection to the internet). What if I were to
    > take the unrecognized hardware and plug it into my XP computer and run the
    > Add New Hardware Wizard. If the hardware is recognized by XP and the driver
    > installed, could I copy that driver file over to the appropriate directory in
    > the second-hand computer?
    >
    > Also, say if I somehow got an internet connection on the second-hand
    > computer running, how helpful would Windows Update be in getting the drivers
    > I need? The problem is that the video card is completely unrecognized by
    > Windows 98SE (it doesn’t even recognize it as a video card, it just labels it
    > “unknown device”).
    >
    > Thank you very much,
    > Jeremy
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Google for a program called everest by lavasys.
    DO NOT USE any hardware drivers recommended by MSupdate.

    Personally, I would just pop the hood and snoop for snooping sake. Maybe
    get a clue what I had.

    The unknown device is probably not a video card. Windows loads the standard
    PCI adapter driver when unknown.

    "Jeremy B" <JeremyB@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:B169A871-B63F-4301-94F9-DFFB404F9522@microsoft.com...
    > This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but I've
    > never heard a solution to it.
    >
    > You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
    > system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
    > driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating
    system
    > (maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You
    reinstall
    > but after you do the OS doesn't recognize certain hardware (e.g. video
    card,
    > network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).
    >
    > What's the best way to fix this? I have Windows XP Pro SP2 on my own
    > computer. I installed Windows 98SE onto the second-hand computer (but it
    has
    > no updates since I can't get a connection to the internet). What if I were
    to
    > take the unrecognized hardware and plug it into my XP computer and run the
    > Add New Hardware Wizard. If the hardware is recognized by XP and the
    driver
    > installed, could I copy that driver file over to the appropriate directory
    in
    > the second-hand computer?
    >
    > Also, say if I somehow got an internet connection on the second-hand
    > computer running, how helpful would Windows Update be in getting the
    drivers
    > I need? The problem is that the video card is completely unrecognized by
    > Windows 98SE (it doesn't even recognize it as a video card, it just labels
    it
    > "unknown device").
    >
    > Thank you very much,
    > Jeremy
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Did you format before reinstalling Win98? Did you use an OEM version of
    Win98 from another machine or a retail version of Win98?

    You *might* be able to download appropriate drivers from the computer
    manufacturer's website. You do *not* want to install any drivers from the
    WinXP machine (OEM WinXP or retail).
    --
    ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    MS MVP-Windows (IE/OE) & Security

    Jeremy B wrote:
    > This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but I’ve
    > never heard a solution to it.
    >
    > You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
    > system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
    > driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating
    > system
    > (maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You
    > reinstall
    > but after you do the OS doesn’t recognize certain hardware (e.g. video
    > card,
    > network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).
    >
    > What’s the best way to fix this? I have Windows XP Pro SP2 on my own
    > computer. I installed Windows 98SE onto the second-hand computer (but it
    > has
    > no updates since I can’t get a connection to the internet). What if I were
    > to take the unrecognized hardware and plug it into my XP computer and run
    > the Add New Hardware Wizard. If the hardware is recognized by XP and the
    > driver installed, could I copy that driver file over to the appropriate
    > directory in the second-hand computer?
    >
    > Also, say if I somehow got an internet connection on the second-hand
    > computer running, how helpful would Windows Update be in getting the
    > drivers
    > I need? The problem is that the video card is completely unrecognized by
    > Windows 98SE (it doesn’t even recognize it as a video card, it just labels
    > it “unknown device”).
    >
    > Thank you very much,
    > Jeremy
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Seconded!

    Lil' Dave wrote:
    > DO NOT USE any hardware drivers recommended by MSupdate.
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Jeremy B wrote:
    > This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but I've
    > never heard a solution to it.
    >
    > You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
    > system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
    > driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating system
    > (maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You reinstall
    > but after you do the OS doesn't recognize certain hardware (e.g. video card,
    > network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).
    >
    > What's the best way to fix this? I have Windows XP Pro SP2 on my own
    > computer. I installed Windows 98SE onto the second-hand computer (but it has
    > no updates since I can't get a connection to the internet). What if I were to
    > take the unrecognized hardware and plug it into my XP computer and run the
    > Add New Hardware Wizard. If the hardware is recognized by XP and the driver
    > installed, could I copy that driver file over to the appropriate directory in
    > the second-hand computer?
    >
    > Also, say if I somehow got an internet connection on the second-hand
    > computer running, how helpful would Windows Update be in getting the drivers
    > I need? The problem is that the video card is completely unrecognized by
    > Windows 98SE (it doesn't even recognize it as a video card, it just labels it
    > "unknown device").
    >
    > Thank you very much,
    > Jeremy
    >

    www.driverguide.com


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  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 17:42:04 -0700, "Jeremy B"
    <JeremyB@discussions.microsoft.com> put finger to keyboard and
    composed:

    >This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but I’ve
    >never heard a solution to it.
    >
    >You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
    >system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
    >driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating system
    >(maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You reinstall
    >but after you do the OS doesn’t recognize certain hardware (e.g. video card,
    >network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).

    The first thing I would do is to open up the box and eyeball the
    components. Get the chip numbers on the modem card, sound card, video
    card, network card, etc. If the parts are incorporated into the
    motherboard, then get the part numbers of those chips. Also check the
    motherboard for a model code and/or manufacturer name.

    You can also take down some details during the POST. There will
    usually be a text string identifying the graphics chipset, and a text
    string containing the BIOS ID of the motherboard.

    Many people recommend Everest Home Edition:
    http://www.lavalys.hu/products/overview.php?pid=1&lang=en

    Windows 98 has msinfo32.exe.
    Windows 95 has hwdiag.exe (in the Hwtrack directory on the CD).

    Go here to identify your motherboard using its BIOS ID:
    http://www.wimsbios.com/numbers.shtml
    http://www.wimsbios.com/numbersami.shtml

    You can also identify the motherboard and the graphics chipset using
    these techniques:
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt/msg/e34c5eb98f9af0a1?dmode=source&hl=en
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips/msg/b2818b16547f4171?dmode=source&hl=en
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips/msg/40c0e6e0b373d6b1?dmode=source&hl=en
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.msdos.batch/msg/6cee0f737f81fe41?dmode=source&hl=en

    IMO the best site for setting up and troubleshooting modems is ...
    http://www.modemsite.com/56k/trouble.asp

    Identifying Your Chipset:
    http://www.modemsite.com/56k/chipset.asp

    Who Manufactured My Modem?
    http://www.modemsite.com/56k/whomadeit.asp

    Modem Drivers:
    http://www.modemsite.com/56k/drivers.asp

    This utility identifies unknown PCI devices, including modems:
    http://www.modemsite.com/56k/pcitree.asp

    -- Franc Zabkar

    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Yep. And after you find all the drivers, save them to removable media.
    Have sense enough to put them in subfolders named to help identify each
    later.

    "Franc Zabkar" <fzabkar@iinternode.on.net> wrote in message
    news:5jski1d3ka9fet2pcnjvk04bi8e6kqsa12@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 17:42:04 -0700, "Jeremy B"
    > <JeremyB@discussions.microsoft.com> put finger to keyboard and
    > composed:
    >
    > >This is a problem that a lot of people probably have to deal with but
    I've
    > >never heard a solution to it.
    > >
    > >You get a second-hand computer from someone. It comes with the operating
    > >system already installed but with absolutely no software installation or
    > >driver disks. Next, you find that you want to reinstall the operating
    system
    > >(maybe the computer is password protected or malfunctioning). You
    reinstall
    > >but after you do the OS doesn't recognize certain hardware (e.g. video
    card,
    > >network adaptor, dial-up modem, etc.).
    >
    > The first thing I would do is to open up the box and eyeball the
    > components. Get the chip numbers on the modem card, sound card, video
    > card, network card, etc. If the parts are incorporated into the
    > motherboard, then get the part numbers of those chips. Also check the
    > motherboard for a model code and/or manufacturer name.
    >
    > You can also take down some details during the POST. There will
    > usually be a text string identifying the graphics chipset, and a text
    > string containing the BIOS ID of the motherboard.
    >
    > Many people recommend Everest Home Edition:
    > http://www.lavalys.hu/products/overview.php?pid=1&lang=en
    >
    > Windows 98 has msinfo32.exe.
    > Windows 95 has hwdiag.exe (in the Hwtrack directory on the CD).
    >
    > Go here to identify your motherboard using its BIOS ID:
    > http://www.wimsbios.com/numbers.shtml
    > http://www.wimsbios.com/numbersami.shtml
    >
    > You can also identify the motherboard and the graphics chipset using
    > these techniques:
    >
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt/msg/e34c5eb98f9af0a1?dmode=source&hl=en
    >
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips/msg/b2818b16547f4171?dmode=source&hl=en
    >
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips/msg/40c0e6e0b373d6b1?dmode=source&hl=en
    >
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.msdos.batch/msg/6cee0f737f81fe41?dmode=source&hl=en
    >
    > IMO the best site for setting up and troubleshooting modems is ...
    > http://www.modemsite.com/56k/trouble.asp
    >
    > Identifying Your Chipset:
    > http://www.modemsite.com/56k/chipset.asp
    >
    > Who Manufactured My Modem?
    > http://www.modemsite.com/56k/whomadeit.asp
    >
    > Modem Drivers:
    > http://www.modemsite.com/56k/drivers.asp
    >
    > This utility identifies unknown PCI devices, including modems:
    > http://www.modemsite.com/56k/pcitree.asp
    >
    > -- Franc Zabkar
    >
    > Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.
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