Windows & Hardware + Microsoft

Hardware Drivers not Working of Disabled

Is it Microsoft or your hardware?

I am asked about once a week from customers whether or not they should upgrade to a newer version of Windows. Well this is a difficult question to answer. I can remember when I used Windows 95 as my main OS for a long time. But as I keep upgrading hardware I finally ran across a problem that forced me to move to Windows 98. The new motherboard was a ViaTech, and Windows 95 did not support the Ultra DMA ViaTech needed. So I needed to install ViaTech's own drivers. But upon reinstallation of Windows 95, Windows crashed on bootup. It could not load the drivers correctly. Hence, I needed to go to Windows 98 which did support Ultra DMA.

This was not a bad step to take for me. All worked out well, and I adjusted to the newer, slower Windows. Well as this industry grows so does the technology, and so comes the new hardware. So, as things have it, I built a new computer and  had to move to Windows ME to support the new hardware. But this time is was at a cost. I had several pieces of software that would not run on ME and many of them I used all the time. So out to the store I go to get more current software for the ME OS. That cost me as much as the new machine did.

So far I have not answered your question, I know! However, I am not done with my story yet either. Anyway, I also needed a new laptop, a Sony, and it came with Windows XP installed on it, no choices in OS's here. XP will not support the software I need to run my business, and Windows ME or 9x will not support all the hardware on the laptop. Sure you think this is simple to fix, just go to Sony's site and get drivers for ME. Not so simple, Sony uses proprietary hardware, like most computer manufacturers do today, especially in laptops. Sony never used this hardware for ME so no drivers are available.

Hence, I need an OS that can handle at least the hardware and software I need.  I have one program I use daily and it crashes the OS when it dials out on the existing modem in XP; and there are no updates available for the software yet.

I decided to install a second OS, Windows ME on one drive and XP on the other. ME supports more of the newer hardware than Windows 9x, but not this modem. So I had to install a 3Com PCMCIA modem. Now I have a modem that ME can use, but the software has problems with the expected modem strings. Now what? Should I just throw out the laptop, but I really needed a new one.

So here I am running two OS's, rebooting between them just to do my job. What a pain!!! To answer your question "What OS should I use?". You need to decide, as each OS has its advantages and each piece of  hardware creates a new hill to climb. The answer you need is to choose between all new software with a new computer, or stay with what works for you. If you have the space and the money, you can build a computer to run your old scanner, like a Cannon P600, and another to run your printer a Cannon MulitPass. You may even need a third to run your old programs.

I think Microsoft has teamed up with Compact, Dell, Sony and so on to force us all to buy new machines and Microsoft software only. I hate to see what new improved, faster, more reliable, and more convenient features will be built into the up and coming Windows Vista and what will it do to us. I think what MS really means is that it's faster (if you purchase a new computer with a 3 meg Ghz CPU, I am suring it is in the workings); and more reliable (if you do not install any additional software other then Microsoft); as well as more convenient (because you cannot install anything else).

I currently have a 3200 AMD with 750 megs of RAM, 180 megs of hard drive space; and they tell me I cannot run Vista! Heck I think next week I'm digging out my old Pentium 266 Mhz machine, upgrading the CPU to a 450 AMD KIII,  and 40 gig hard drive,  and installing a fresh copy of Windows 95B and Office 97. What else do I need, a calculator? Even that comes with Windows.

I got the answer, Linex!!!!!


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