USB for Older Operating Systems

by Nick on September 23rd, 2009

Every once and a while, you’ll still encounter an ancient computer that has an archaic version of Windows (yes, even more archaic than windows xp). If you’ve ever tried to use your USB flash drive in one of these old systems, you know that it will not work by default. Below, I will describe how to install USB support for your system.

If you have Windows 98, and don’t have drivers for the storage device, there are generic USB mass storage device drivers available for Windows 98 that accept most of these devices. These generic drivers will work with many different brands and models like the following:

  • USB Flash Drives (also known as Thumb Drives, or USB Pens)
  • Digital Cameras (Still and Video devices with USB connections)
  • Hard Drives
  • MP3 Devices (iPod’s from version 2.4)
  • Sony PlayStation Portable System (PSP)

How to install the generic drivers

Before you install, be aware of the fact that there are 2 main versions of Windows 98 which both handle USB differently. You absolutely must install the correct version of the generic USB driver for your specific version of Windows 98. To isolate which version of Windows you have, follow these steps:

  • Right click My Computer then choose Properties
  • From the System Properties window that opens, click the General tab.
  • Beneath the System heading, look for version number (example image shown below)
    • Version 4.10.1998 means the first version of Windows 98 (98FE)
    • Version 4.10.2222 means Windows 98 Second Edition (98SE)

    System Properties

Driver Download

Choose the correct link for your edition of Windows 98 per the instruction above:


Please note that these drivers are generic and may not work with some devices. They are also only to be installed onto the English version of Windows 98. Installing these drivers onto the incorrect version of Windows could cause irreversible problems with the performance of your operating system until it is reinstalled again. There can be no guarantee they will work for your device, but it has been shown that they generally work with most standard devices.

Please also recognize and accept that the drivers offered are under no warranty. No support other than this article will be offered for them; use them at your own risk. Whenever you make a change to your operating system, it is advised to do a full system backup beforehand.

Further information can be obtained here – Support for USB on Windows 98 from Microsoft site

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