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Chapter 11. Device Advice: Dealing with ... > Troubleshooting Hardware Headaches

Troubleshooting Hardware Headaches

As you've seen, Windows 98's support for hardware of all stripes is vastly improved over what was found in Windows 3.x. From Plug and Play to the universal driver/mini-driver architecture, hardware has never been so easy for non-Macintosh users. Still, that doesn't mean hardware is foolproof; far from it. Things still can, and will, go wrong, so you need to perform some kind of troubleshooting. (Assuming, that is, that you're not just dealing with a part that has kicked the electronic bucket.) Fortunately, Windows 98 also has some handy tools to help you both identify and rectify hardware ills.

Troubleshooting with the Performance Tab

If your system feels sluggish, it might be because Windows 98 is being dragged down by 16-bit real-mode drivers. To find out, open the System Properties dialog box and select the Performance tab. If your system is fine, Windows 98 will show Your system is configured for optimal performance. Otherwise, you may see something like the Performance tab shown in Figure 11.26. Here, Windows 98 is complaining that the FLASHPT driver (a SCSI controller driver loaded in CONFIG.SYS) is forcing Windows 98 to operate all disk drives in MS-DOS compatibility mode, which causes a sizable performance hit. The solution here is to remove the driver from CONFIG.SYS and let Windows 98 use its 32-bit SCSI driver. (Note too that an updated, 32-bit miniport driver for the SCSI controller will also likely need to be installed.)


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