Questions tagged [driver]

For questions relating to the use and development of hardware drivers for a computer operating system.

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9 votes
1 answer
434 views

What is a "driver information database" in Windows 9x?

At first boot post-installation or when installing third-party device drivers in Windows 95/98/ME, it's common to see the following dialog: So what is this "driver information database" ...
7 votes
1 answer
516 views

Why is the Compaq FWS2ASPI.SYS driver not recognized as an ASPI driver?

I have a Compaq ProSignia server with an onboard NCR53c710 EISA SCSI controller. Compaq supplies a driver for it (the latest version is contained in the SoftPaq 10751 (SP10751.EXE), called FWS2ASPI....
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was there ever a Linux kernel driver for accessing disks via BIOS?

If there is some piece of PC compatible hardware where there are no (publicly) existing drivers for Linux, the only option is to access the disk with BIOS calls. I'm aware that this imposes ...
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Need help with my Compaq Presario cm0900

First off, this is something that has been troubling me for quite a while because I am dealing with a pretty rare machine. I looked up this specific model but the computers I found were either from ...
31 votes
5 answers
6k views

What really is a sound card driver in MS-DOS?

To my knowledge, neither MS-DOS nor BIOS offers any kind of API for sound cards. Therefore the concept of a "driver" is absent, as we know it today. Apart from accessories and sample files ...
31 votes
7 answers
6k views

Why didn't PostScript eliminate the need for printer drivers?

In the days of dot matrix printers connected by RS-232 or the IBM/Centronics parallel port, each with its own quirky set of commands, it's obvious why printer drivers were a necessary and important ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to wrap 32 bits drivers on 64 bits based Windows or even vxd?

Current state : There are more and more computers like mine which are 64 bits uefi only and thus unable to boot 32 bits based Windows. And as Windows 11 is 64 bits only this means in a few years (ends ...
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why have MS-DOS device drivers if the ROM BIOS provides access to the same devices already?

IO.SYS is an essential part of MS-DOS that contains the default MS-DOS device drivers. IBMBIO.COM is a system file in PC-DOS. It contains the built-in device drivers. Based on the answers of the ...
23 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why are these DOS console drivers wasting precious bytes?

While doing some research on DOS device drivers, I took a peek at the console drivers DISPLAY.SYS and ANSI.SYS that are part of the DOS 6.20 installation. Both have "Microsoft" stamped on, ...
5 votes
1 answer
691 views

How did the Windows 95 'Add New Hardware Wizard' work?

I remember when Windows 95 came out and the 'Add New Hardware Wizard' seemed almost magical! It was able to detect a large amount of hardware on the COM ports and automatically install drivers. It was ...
1 vote
0 answers
171 views

How can I install a driver for a digitizing tablet Genius HiSketch 1212 in a VMWare virtual machine running Windows 98SE? [duplicate]

I posted a question some time ago - How can I make use of a Genius HiSketch 1212 serial-port drawing tablet on a modern PC? - and I didn't found the solution, but the scenario now has changed. This is ...
4 votes
1 answer
512 views

How can I make use of a Genius HiSketch 1212 serial-port drawing tablet on a modern PC?

I have a friend that still uses Windows 98 because of a drawing tablet (Genius HiSketch 1212) that he is not able to install in modern systems. He has Windows 98 installed in an old PC that's always ...
31 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why was the DOS clock device renamed from CLOCK into CLOCK$?

From the Wikipedia article on reserved device names ... and the CLOCK$ (still named CLOCK in some issues of MS-DOS 2.11) clock device were introduced with DOS 2.0, ... Why was is necessary to add a $...
26 votes
12 answers
5k views

Why did CP/M and MS-DOS use the BIOS instead of their own drivers to access hardware?

Modern versions of Windows (and other modern operating systems I suppose) have their own drivers to access hardware. But as I have read, in the old days, if CP/M or MS-DOS wanted to access hardware, ...
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Windows 95 boot disk cannot detect my CD-ROM drive

I have an IBM 466 DX2 with the default CD-ROM drive installed like normal. I wanted to install Windows 95, so I first tried to install on top of the version of DOS already on the hard drive. It had ...
5 votes
2 answers
480 views

Where can I find Windows 3.11 drivers for my Video Blaster capture card?

Where can I find a Windows 3.11 driver for a Creative Technologies CT6042 Video Blaster card? I need it to recover a piece of 90s era test equipment.
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where can I find a Windows 10 driver for old Syquest Drives?

SyQuest made portable hard drive diskettes. I believe they have been out of business going on a couple of decades. At any rate I have some disks and the hardware, but I am unable to find drivers. I ...
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there a generic VBE driver available for Windows 3.x?

I’d like to run Windows 3.11 on a relatively modern laptop. One problem I have is that the only display driver that works with my hardware is the basic VGA driver, which only supports the rather ...
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why can't VirtualBox install drivers for Windows 95B?

I can complete the installation of Windows 95 (B version) in VirtualBox, but it has a problem installing some of the drivers (see image below). Even when the installation disk is mounted and I click '...
3 votes
1 answer
482 views

Does there exist a MPU-401 to OPL3 TSR for MS-DOS?

There are a few games for MS-DOS with music only through MPU-401, like the platformer Abuse and the RPG Avalon. Is there a TSR available that intercepts MPU-401 port accesses and transforms them into ...
3 votes
1 answer
426 views

Where can I find Windows 98 drivers for VIA sound card VT8237A/VT8251?

I'm looking to try and get a VIA sound card working in Windows 98. I have everything else running no problems, just the sound. I've tried everything I can think of including VIA’s website which lists ...
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does Windows 9x determine which disk drivers correspond to which BIOS disks/DOS drive letters?

Windows 9x can employ two kinds of disk drivers: native protected-mode drivers and compatibility-mode DOS drivers, and the former are used in preference to the latter whenever possible. When Windows ...
10 votes
2 answers
653 views

S-100 bus and device drivers

It is said that the S-100 bus provided a standard hardware format for expansion cards across many models of computers, including ones using different system software and even different CPUs. Having ...
2 votes
1 answer
584 views

How to get started with writing drivers for amiga OS

I would like to learn how to write drivers for Amiga OS. Seems like a daunting task, but I have spare time and I find great value for amiga (CDTV) community in particular. Currently if a CD ROM breaks ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does anyone have information about the nj32disk.sys driver?

I'm currently trying to use the nj32disk.sys driver to use my USB stick as a virtual hard drive. The problem is that the driver acts like a floppy disk. My question is: Is there a documentation about ...
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was a "Windows protection error"?

Back in the day, I had a Windows 98 machine (don't recall the hardware right now) and sometimes it would crash with the "Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer" error. So, what ...
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Two graphics cards for retro gaming

I'm considering installing two graphics cards in my retro gaming setup (one AGP and one PCI) and was wondering if there are any drawbacks to doing so? The main things I'm thinking about are power ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to configure NETWORK and TCP on a DOS VM

I'm trying to install and use the Arachne broswer under DOS (6.22). I've DOS installed on VirtualBox VM (5.2.34) under Linux Ubuntu (4.15.0-88-generic #88-Ubuntu). I'm in trouble in configuring ...
22 votes
6 answers
6k views

Sound driver for DOS or Windows 3.x that used the PC speaker?

Long ago in a galaxy far far away, back in the early 90's, I worked for a crappy clone company as a phone technician. At the time, 386SX/25's were common for in-house technical support / customer ...
2 votes
1 answer
648 views

Are there any examples of the use of AI to recreate drivers to resurrect old systems?

Background I am fascinated by the thought of re-purposing systems with modern OSes. For example, I am running a hacked Android Pie ROM on an old Samsung Galaxy S4. A main reason why this isn't more ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did the BBC sideways ROM software for the AMX mouse process the user port input data to determine x and y movement?

This mouse plugged into the user port on the underside of the BBC micro models. The mouse came with software in the form of a sideways ROM which provided APIs, CLI commands for own programs as well as ...
4 votes
1 answer
439 views

CompactFlash driver for Sony Clié (Palm OS)

A Sony Clié (PEG-NX70V) has come into my possession. It runs Palm OS 5.0, and has both a MemoryStick slot and a CompactFlash slot. The latter is only designed for use with a WiFi card, as Sony ...
2 votes
1 answer
358 views

Refactoring Old Printer Driver for Current Linux Kernel [closed]

I have an old Lexmark 1100 printer (parallel port LPT1) that is currently working fine on Windows 98. I've tried to make it work on several current distros of Linux but, so far, none worked. Basically,...
4 votes
1 answer
588 views

Using a NeoMagic 256XL with Windows 98SE

I have a Sony Vaio PCG-F560 notebook and I have installed Windows 98SE on it. The only issue is that the display works only in 16 colors mode with 640x480 resolution. I think the problem is that ...
26 votes
8 answers
4k views

Did terminals (e.g. VT100) require a terminal driver on the host computer?

I'm wondering if terminals (like, e.g. the VT100) required the installation of a driver on the host system in order to work with that host? I looked at the documentation of the VT102, and there is ...
12 votes
1 answer
246 views

Is my Atari Falcon's filesystem messed up?

I use the Cecile driver for the Kingspec DOM (basically an IDE flash drive0 in my Atari Falcon. I've noticed on occasion that in file dialog boxes (save, open etc.) I sometimes see weird files, called ...
9 votes
4 answers
18k views

Connecting Iomega Zip (parallel port) to modern PC

Am wondering what would be the easiest way to connect an Iomega Zip drive (parallel port version) to a modern PC. I note there are USB to IEEE 1284 adapter cables, but would be very surprised if this ...
1 vote
1 answer
694 views

Windows 98 CD-ROM driver error

I've begun forcing myself to learn the basics of Windows 98, since I figured that it was essential to have knowledge of computing before Windows XP and Ubuntu 12. After successfully creating a boot ...
8 votes
1 answer
377 views

How do I make a Unibus device?

The Unibus was an innovative I/O system used by DEC PDP-11 machines. A device would choose some memory addresses to respond to, register an interrupt vector, then communicate with software that was ...