Hardware driving you mad?
One of the least fun facts of life is that you will have a difficult time trying to locate drivers for those computers whose owners believe that the the words ‘System Recovery’ actually means ‘throw me away and forget about it.’ Sounds absurd, but believe me it happens each and every day with recovery CDs. For those of you working with computers that actually were built from scratch, hence using a Windows 98/Me CD, you have some options alloted to you that might just save you a whole lot of scrounging around to find what you need.
Drivers are not always a lost cause.
When you are dealing with old, outdated operating systems like Windows 98/Me, more often than not you’ll see that when it comes time to do a full reinstall for a client on a freshly formated hard drive, the OS has nothing for hardware drivers. Oh sure, Me has some limited database of drivers, but we all know you would be better off with 98 over Me anyway. Since there is almost a 95 % chance that the drivers you need are no longer being supported by the manufacturer’s Web site any longer, you may need to get a little more creative than you would have to with a modern OS like Windows XP or Linux with the 2.6+ kernel.
Using Google to find the drivers you need is a bit like a roll of the dice, so I like to use a Web site known as DriverGuide.com. Logging in is a snap, just use ‘drivers’ for the users and ‘all’ for the password. Those of us in the IT field have been using this site for many moons now, but there are still a number of you that have been going at getting those old drivers the hard way: spending countless hours on Google looking for them. Heck, if you Google around enough, the chances of finding the driver you need will eventually come about – from a link on DriverGuide.com, that is.
Preventive measures are a huge time saver.
Whether you are working on a client’s PC or on one of your old ones, do yourself a favor and save a copy of the drivers that you find. Trust me on this. You will be oh, so glad that you did. For me, this proves to be especially true with my clients as they return back often. And for the most part, things are so badly trashed that doing a backup of the data and then a full reinstall oftentimes seems like a really great plan.