Making W98 ignore new hardware/automatically install drivers

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Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:19 am

Ok, so this is a question slightly unrelated to this forum, but given the amount of bright people around here maybe someone will have the answer.
I'm making a custom flavour of Windows 98 to be booted into a RAM disk using GRUB4DOS. GRUB4DOS, for those who don't know, is an extension of GRUB that goes beyond regular GRUB, and it can for example emulate a hard drive with a RAM disk by placing a real mode hook on some BIOS calls. And since Windows 98 is so DOS compatible, it will actually boot pretty much fine from that virtual hard drive. (I had to replace himem.sys with another xms manager, but apart from that it works fine)
However, it will naturally insist on detecting all new hardware in that machine, which makes booting it a pain. (I also want this thing to be arbitraily bootable, so just installing the drivers my machine needs is not an option)
So basically what I want to do is tell Windows 98 to ignore all new hardware it detects, which is not needed anyway.
The purpose of doing this in the first place is to aid people who are using certain LPT based devices which require direct user mode access and work much more stable under Win9x.
So to make this more useful I want to skip drivers for all hardware except for
*LPT Ports
*USB host controllers
*USB mass storage devices

Or even better to tell Windows to automatically look for drivers in a certain path, install the driver if found, otherwise skip that particular device.
Any ideas?
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6286
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands

Make a seperate folder called Drivers
For each USB device you can find/printer you can find make a separate folder that holds the drivers and copy the drivers files + the inf files.
In each folder, right-click each .inf file and select Install

This way if you connect an USB device or a printer you already pre-installed the drivers for will be recognized and automatically added. From the sound of your story you seem to have a problem with an LPT-based dongle and the drivers for that in more recent OSs. The solution is quite simple: Use a dedicated machine for that dongle/software and do your day-to-day stuff on your regular workstation, no need to do separate boots etc. The other (most likely more expensive) option is updating your software to a version that supports USB dongles.

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
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