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Win98 and USB Flash Memories


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#1 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 06:43 AM

I hope I picked the right forum for this. This could also be a software question, I suppose. Regarding those little 'thumb drive' USB flash memories, I have a PNY 128M USB 2.0 version memory running on various computers with Win98. These same drives, BTW, are directly recognized on WinXP machines, but you must install drivers for them to be recognized under Win98. I'm wondering if those drivers are generic or vendor specific. In other words, what happens if I insert a competitor's thumb drive, say a Kingston or whatever. Will the PNY drivers allow my Win98 to talk with this other brand of flash memory? Or will I also have to install a Kingston Win98 driver? TIA, Clutter
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#2 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 08:10 AM

Hmm...... good question! My experience would lead me to beleive the following:In linux using a thumbdrive that is "mass storage compliant" is simple. The mass storage USB driver is automatically started when we plug the drive in.This leads me to beleive that if you install one vendor's Windows 98 driver, it should be able to recognize all mass storage class driver compliant USB tumbdrives.
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#3 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 11:46 AM

I believe Adam's theory would be correct. What Windows 98 needs is some sort of USB driver, so if it didn't have any installed, the one packaged with the USB flash drive should work and work will all USB devices.

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#4 OFFLINE   LoneWolfMage

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 12:14 PM

i HAVE used differnt USB Flash/Thumb drives in  windows SE on the same computer .. and from my experince it seems like it just installs a  a Generic USB Driver is one is NOT available ... AND it installs a Generic "Mass Storage device"  driver   and it works good .. without any flaws .. just detects the diffrent "drives"  as "removeable device/drive"  when you insert or remove the diffrent devices ...in other words it seems like a one time thing .. as far as the USB Drivers are concerned ..obviously YMMV   but that has been my experince ..

#5 OFFLINE   AbeL

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 12:25 PM

LoneWolfMage, on Nov 7 2004, 11:12 AM, said:

i HAVE used differnt USB Flash/Thumb drives in  windows SE on the same computer .. and from my experince it seems like it just installs a  a Generic USB Driver is one is NOT available ... AND it installs a Generic "Mass Storage device"  driver   and it works good .. without any flaws .. just detects the diffrent "drives"  as "removeable device/drive"  when you insert or remove the diffrent devices ...in other words it seems like a one time thing .. as far as the USB Drivers are concerned ..obviously YMMV   but that has been my experince ..
My experience has been that different brands of flash drives require their own, brand-specific driver. But this has not been a hardship since the drives come with drivers on CD, and the OS loads the appropriate driver for the flash drive inserted (after the first time).As Lonewolf says," YMMV".Abe

#6 OFFLINE   LoneWolfMage

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 01:14 PM

AbeL, on Nov 7 2004, 12:23 PM, said:

But this has not been a hardship since the drives come with drivers on CD, and the OS loads the appropriate driver for the flash drive inserted (after the first time).
any of the Thumb or flash drives i have didnt come with CDs .. they are just basically "Plug and Play" ( or pray depending on your take on it LOL )  all seeming to have been system or "drive"  specific ...and as i said YMMV  :lol: thanks Abe :P

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 01:35 PM

Depends on whether the drive is "Secure", or not.I just recently purchased my first one of these devises (Lexar), and a friend pointed out to me that it would be incompatible with other PCs that didn't have the software for it.  (Thanks! Ross549)But as I'll only be using it on my Home and Work PCs, it's not a consideration for me.  I'll just install the software on both.(Hopefully... I won't be violating the license) :lol:

#8 OFFLINE   Jeber

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 02:30 PM

Don't be too worried, Paracelsus.  I have yet to see driver software that comes with a restrictive EULA (except the part about Windows only).   :lol:

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#9 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:32 PM

LoneWolfMage, on Nov 7 2004, 01:12 PM, said:

any of the Thumb or flash drives i have didnt come with CDs .. they are just basically "Plug and Play" ( or pray depending on your take on it LOL )  all seeming to have been system or "drive"  specific ...and as i said YMMV  :) thanks Abe :unsure:
That is what I meant in my earlier post..... any thumbdrive that works without a driver install from CD is known as "mass storage compliant." If you want true interoperability between different operating systems, that this is what you need to look for.
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#10 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:33 PM

LoneWolfMage, on Nov 7 2004, 12:12 PM, said:

i HAVE used differnt USB Flash/Thumb drives in  windows SE on the same computer .. and from my experince it seems like it just installs a  a Generic USB Driver is one is NOT available ...
The first post mentioned that the system was Windows 98SE...... which does not have the generic mass storage driver for USB.
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#11 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 04:10 PM

My Sandisk Cruzer Titanium came in on Friday and it works fine in Linux and Windows XP without special drivers for Linux. Haven't tested it in Windows 98 yet but will when I get back to work on Monday.

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#12 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 04:24 PM

You got one too? I just got mine on Friday as well! Very nice little unit... and looks to be nearly indestructible. :)
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#13 OFFLINE   LoneWolfMage

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 04:42 PM

ross549, on Nov 7 2004, 03:31 PM, said:

The first post mentioned that the system was Windows 98SE...... which does not have the generic mass storage driver for USB.
um yes with my experince it does .. in a way ... you have to have the Win 98 SE disk to be able to have the "mass storage  device"     driver you have ot have the Win98 SE disk to do it tho if you DONT happen to have the Win 98SE disk  then  .. either that OR download the generic driver from  i belive its windrivers.com ( link not provied because im not EXACTLY sure of the site url) but one way or the other once you D/l the driver for a mass storage device .. its there   and most if not all of those thumb/flash  drives will work ... might just be the copy i have but it DOES work   and i guess a bunch of other have been lucky as well  LOL .. cause it has worked on thier puters     :)  (with Win 98 SE)

#14 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 05:38 PM

I use 3 different brands on my 98SE computer: Lexar, SanDisk MiniCruzer, and Kingston. Each USB drive uses a driver specific to a particular company. So I have 3 drivers because I have 3 "different" USB drives according to what my computer thinks. In fact, I have 2 mini-cruzers, one worked and the other did not. I was back and forth emailing tech support to try and figure out why 1 drive worked perfectly and the other did not. (Windows refused to even see it).  Apparently, windows loaded the wrong driver for it. Sandisk support  told me exactly what lines in the registry to remove and then install the software again (it is downloaded from their website). Both drives now work perfectly under 98SE. What I discovered is I needed to load the driver, then plug in the device and the found new hardware will start up. If the computer wants to reboot in between don't let it because it will somehow lose the driver (at least it did on my computer).
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#15 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 01:32 AM

Thanks, guys. A lot of great comments. Since I do have 98SE, I will just plan to acquire and install vendor specific drivers if I end up buying other brands. Yes, I do know the importance of installing new USB drivers before hooking up the new USB device to the computer for the first time. You can really munge up a USB printer installation badly if you forget this important point.So far I have not seen any real need for encryption, due to the way I use the memory only on my own or friends' computers, not at kiosk computers, etc.One last question I thought of- has anyone who has multiple drivers for flash memories installed on a 98SE machine ever seen where installing new drivers causes the previous ones to become 'broken'? I think it likely that I will end up with multiple brands of flash drives, as I usually wait until a sale comes along. I have a PNY 128M USB 2.0 right now. I see a good buy on a 512M USB 2.0 SanDisk for 40 dollars at Best Buy this week. I can probably resist, but sooner or later I will have to have another one of these neat little gadgets.  :whistling:
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#16 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 06:55 AM

Cluttermagnet, on Nov 8 2004, 01:30 AM, said:

Thanks, guys. A lot of great comments. Since I do have 98SE, I will just plan to acquire and install vendor specific drivers if I end up buying other brands. Yes, I do know the importance of installing new USB drivers before hooking up the new USB device to the computer for the first time. You can really munge up a USB printer installation badly if you forget this important point.So far I have not seen any real need for encryption, due to the way I use the memory only on my own or friends' computers, not at kiosk computers, etc.One last question I thought of- has anyone who has multiple drivers for flash memories installed on a 98SE machine ever seen where installing new drivers causes the previous ones to become 'broken'? I think it likely that I will end up with multiple brands of flash drives, as I usually wait until a sale comes along. I have a PNY 128M USB 2.0 right now. I see a good buy on a 512M USB 2.0 SanDisk for 40 dollars at Best Buy this week. I can probably resist, but sooner or later I will have to have another one of these neat little gadgets.  :whistling:
Cluttermagnet...As long as they don't require that a driver be installed, I would not install a driver. then they should all work.
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#17 OFFLINE   AbeL

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:35 AM

Cluttermagnet, on Nov 8 2004, 12:30 AM, said:

One last question I thought of- has anyone who has multiple drivers for flash memories installed on a 98SE machine ever seen where installing new drivers causes the previous ones to become 'broken'? I think it likely that I will end up with multiple brands of flash drives, as I usually wait until a sale comes along. I have a PNY 128M USB 2.0 right now. I see a good buy on a 512M USB 2.0 SanDisk for 40 dollars at Best Buy this week. I can probably resist, but sooner or later I will have to have another one of these neat little gadgets.  :whistling:
I'm using 98SE. The system is a laptop with a USB 1.1 port.I'm using three different brands of drive: a Lexar Jumpdrive with USB 1.1, a PNY Attache with USB2.0, and a no name device disguised as a working ball point pen, and I don't know which USB spec - hey, its was free!! Each came with drivers for use on 98/98SE. I am able to switch between each of the drives with no hazzles. In fact, its possible to watch Device Manager change appropriately as these devices are inserted or removed. In other words, if the Lexar device is installed and I pull it out, its drivers are unloaded; inserting a different storage drive causes its drivers to get loaded. Little chance of things "breaking" as long as it continues to do what's right. (I hope)Abe




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