I received a question from Mukesh about using flash drives with older computers:
I have a task to solve, pleast tell me if you have a solution to it —
I own 4 computers, two of them are old and runs with windows 98Se OS. New computers runs with Win XP SP3. I use USB Mass Storage Divice (Pen Drive) frequently. Some Pen Drives (like IBall) comes with installation CD for Win98, so I can use them but the other Pen Drives which do not have this feature, can’t be used with Win98.
If there is some way to make Win98 support all kind of Pen Drives? Please Inform me, I shall be thankful to you.
Once again, Thank you!
Unfortunately, I had to write back to Mukesh to give him the bad news.
Windows 98 Second Edition (Win98SE) supports USB, but only if you load the individual drivers for the individual device — and that includes individual drivers for individual types of flash drives (pen drives). If the manufacturer does not provide a driver for Win98SE, then you’re out of luck.
Actually, Win98SE is the first Windows OS that had support for USB, and it was only limited support.
Windows Millennium Edition (WinMe) provided much better support for USB. Flash drive were universally supported in Windows Me.
I don’t recall when USB 2.0 came along, but Win98SE only handled USB 1.1. I don’t know about WinMe.
Some USB 2.0 devices were backwards compatible to USB 1.1, running at the much slower speed, but at least running. Some USB 2.0 devices may not be compatible at all with Windows Me.
Mukesh may want to consider one of the new distributions of Linux, which have advanced greatly in usability and hardware support from the days of Windows 98 SE. His pen drives should work without problem in them.