If you have finally taken the plunge to Windows98 - 98SE and
to save money you purchased the upgrade version, there might now be some
issues that are driving you nuts. Many people have reported varying
issues with this upgrade on PCBUILD
mailing list and PCSOFT
The one issue that seems to torment many users is the driver
issues. Windows95 ran clean and solid on their computer, then they
loaded Windows98 and all went down hill.
The usual advice is to perform a clean install, basically
formatting the hard drive and install Windows98 fresh. This requires
you have your Windows95 install CD or disks handy so that Windows98 upgrade
version can verify you are upgrading.
But, if you are a more timid soul, you believe that
Microsoft surely would not put out an Operating System that has issues
upgrading from the previous version... and just upgraded over the top
of Windows95... there is one solution that helps many users solve
driver problems: The Virtual Conflict Manager in Windows98.
Windows98 Virtual Conflict Manager
When upgrading Windows95 to Windows98, the Win98 installation procedure swaps out some of the
Windows95 drivers in your current configuration with some newer Windows98 drivers.
Microsoft is NOT advising the user on this, and sometimes the new Win98 drivers
do not work properly... OOPS!!!
So now what do you do? To check, whether you have been the victim of such a driver swap during your upgrade, check the
"Version Conflict Manager (VCM)", which you find your Windows98 menu:
Start / Programs / Accessories / SystemTools / System Information:
Microsoft went out of their way to hide this utility,
possibly believing end users were incapable of solving their own issues
with Windows98 or perhaps hoping this issue would generate additional
traffic to their "Pay for Tech Support" phone lines.
What ever their intent, the next step once you have the System
Information window opened, click on the toolbar: TOOLS /Virtual Conflict
This next window will display all the drivers that
Windows98 replaced and backup during the install process. The
great part of VCN is that it allows you to replace the drivers or lack
of drivers in Windows98 for your hardware with the drivers used in
Windows95 that were working properly. In this example, it shows
that Windows98 replaced the MS Intellimouse driver supplied with the MS
mouse with a Windows98 driver and it is not working properly:
Now it is a simple matter to highlight the driver and
click on the Restore button. Nearly always, if the driver worked
fine in Windows95, this restore will solve any issues you are
experiencing after the Windows98 upgrade.
Understand that this may solve most of the problems you
experienced after an Upgrade from Windows95 to Windows98... but,
as always with Microsoft products, there are no guarantees.