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View Full Version : "Driver" sites going to dark side, vendors purging support files...



IBMMuseum
December 6th, 2010, 12:44 PM
This has been happening at least for a few years now. Unlike how it was before, you search for a driver. Dozens of links pop up, saying you can get the driver there, but it is just ads, misdirection to "Registry Repairers", and other nonsense.
Vendors are purging old supporting information, at a time where the space to store it would be low-cost...
Understand that it wasn't something extremely old or unknown, or a small vendor that "broke the camel's back" for this rant: It's an Intel PCI bus dial-up modem. I have the model information exactly. No hits in the support area at Intel, even in discontinued products.
The Net got bigger, but is much worse than it was before with this...
Why?...

mark66j
December 6th, 2010, 01:34 PM
Yes, this is unfortunate. There are exceptions -- 3com still offers drivers for most everything they ever sold, for instance. But Western Digital seems to have only rather recent stuff.

tezza
December 6th, 2010, 02:07 PM
Access to drivers is a real concern regarding restoration, upkeep and trade of 16 and 32 bit vintage machines. I'm not sure what the answer is, but it could be a serious problem in the future unless public archives are kept somewhere.

Tez

Unknown_K
December 6th, 2010, 03:05 PM
I have had problems for years tracking down drivers for products that pre date the internet (and the original company went out of business). If you think it is hard finding drivers for a network card made by a company still in business, then try finding a driver or software for old video capture and editing systems from companies that no longer exist.

Private archives tend to go away as soon as the users get bored of the platform. I have my stash of drivers (everything I ever needed to download gets archived on my server) and share them as needed. I also try to image original driver disks when I get them.

barythrin
December 6th, 2010, 03:13 PM
Quite a big problem. We've discussed it before regarding ways to share this archive, etc but the time it takes to test these drivers also is a huge issue and legality of sharing is another just poor implementation. Perhaps some folks with large driver collections should just go ahead and collaborate with a temporary ftp server, etc and share with each other vs hosting it publicly. Alternatively maybe there needs to be an open source driver effort but that would be difficult having folks reverse engineer existing drivers and/or probing the hardware for features themselves.

lyonadmiral
December 6th, 2010, 03:20 PM
If anyone wants, you can e-mail me just about anything, or find me on AIM (PM for username) and I can archive it. Lots and lots of storage here. Nothing web enabled, but securely stored beats unsecurely gone.

Unknown_K
December 6th, 2010, 07:19 PM
I got burned today looking for a driver, anyone have the install disks for a Reveal SC400 Rev3 card? Looking for the DOS stuff not Win9x.
Every revision by Reveal was a different makers card they rebadged.

CP/M User
December 6th, 2010, 07:32 PM
IBMMuseum wrote:

This has been happening at least for a few years now. Unlike how it was before, you search for a driver. [snip]
Why?...

Everyone is using Google!! :stern:

deadcrickets
December 6th, 2010, 09:41 PM
http://www.drivermuseum.com/files/drivers/sound_d.html

Unknown_K
December 6th, 2010, 09:57 PM
http://www.drivermuseum.com/files/drivers/sound_d.html

Thanks but none of those links work, and there is not a revision 3 sc400 reference anyway.

michal
December 7th, 2010, 02:58 AM
I think the whole internet is evolving to a big google ad-nonsense bunch of content-less pages with keywords. I think we're lucky still to be able to find anything useful...

And then again, what must be done so that someone finally starts a page with archived manuals and drivers ? For a start, ibmmuseum.com might do :cool:

deadcrickets
December 7th, 2010, 06:08 AM
Thanks but none of those links work, and there is not a revision 3 sc400 reference anyway.

Yeah, I didn't check it. Might be able to contact the maintainer of the site though. I did find the drivers over on DriverGuide. Or at least I think I have. They are for Windows 95 but usually that meant it included the DOS drivers as well.

glitch
December 7th, 2010, 06:43 AM
http://www.mpoli.fi/files/hardware/SOUND/OTHER/index.html

Having no experience with the SC400, I can only assume that might be helpful (Ctrl + F for SC400). I like metropoli for old drivers, especially because I can browse the site on my desktop, then FTP in and download the drivers directly onto vintage hardware. I do that a lot when getting Windows 3.1 machines up and running.

IBMMuseum
December 7th, 2010, 06:53 AM
I think the whole internet is evolving to a big google ad-nonsense bunch of content-less pages with keywords. I think we're lucky still to be able to find anything useful...

And then again, what must be done so that someone finally starts a page with archived manuals and drivers ? For a start, ibmmuseum.com might do :cool:

You do bring up a good example. I've provided hosting (www.IBMMuseum.com/ohlandl) for Louis Ohland's accumulation of IBM stuff. Over 800Mb last time I checked some months ago. Especially if PS/2-related, the files or documentation are going to be there.

Amusing when I do a search, and find it where Louis has put it on my hosting...

The other great example you provide has a comparable story from me. Around the late 90's, I had a motherboard giving me a particular error, so on a whim I typed in the limited part number into a search engine (probably Yahoo at the time). Of the 18 results, the third link told of the exact error I was experiencing, and steps through a 15-minute process to fix the error.

We've lost that now...

linuxlove
December 7th, 2010, 08:31 AM
The other great example you provide has a comparable story from me. Around the late 90's, I had a motherboard giving me a particular error, so on a whim I typed in the limited part number into a search engine (probably Yahoo at the time). Of the 18 results, the third link told of the exact error I was experiencing, and steps through a 15-minute process to fix the error.

We've lost that now...
While most of my error searches online are for software based things, I really can't find any help. When I do a search for a software error, it's usually something in C (I'm trying to learn anyway) and all links I can find about the errors go something like this:



PersonA: I have a problem with a 123 error in my program. Does anyone know what the problem is?
PersonB: Try changing ABC to XYZ in line 2 of your code.
PersonC: It could be that the EFG statement is defined incorrect.
PersonA: I solved the problem myself.

And they don't tell what they did to fix it.

As far as drivers go, I find myself poking around at Driverguide a lot, though I have found myself looking up drivers online and a driver finder (probably malware) wants to be installed on my computer before it will find a driver.

wolfie
December 7th, 2010, 11:43 AM
has anyone thought about maybe using windows live sky drive to store and share old drivers. you get 25GB free storage that you can store your files or document and download them when you need and you can share with some people or everyone. i know i use sky drive to store back-ups of some of the drivers for my computer components. maybe even create a public account so that other people can upload stuff.

Unknown_K
December 7th, 2010, 11:48 AM
Cant we just have some kind of p2p file sharing going on?

Unknown_K
December 7th, 2010, 11:50 AM
http://www.mpoli.fi/files/hardware/SOUND/OTHER/index.html

Having no experience with the SC400, I can only assume that might be helpful (Ctrl + F for SC400). I like metropoli for old drivers, especially because I can browse the site on my desktop, then FTP in and download the drivers directly onto vintage hardware. I do that a lot when getting Windows 3.1 machines up and running.

I know about that site, but the SC400 Rev 3 files do not exists there.

wolfie
December 7th, 2010, 11:54 AM
Cant we just have some kind of p2p file sharing going on?
that is not as reliable and safe.

MikeS
December 7th, 2010, 12:41 PM
And the RIAA's lawyers would probably find a way to shut you down... ;-)

barythrin
December 7th, 2010, 01:42 PM
You can encrypt all the file names in pig latin and then try using the DMCA law against the RIAA again (napster reference (http://slashdot.org/articles/01/03/06/1448236.shtml)) which cracked me up back then. Unfortunately no matter what technique I don't think there is ever a "safe" method of sharing files with the open public. I suppose you could allow new files but not overwriting of files which may save your already compiled/trusted archive in ftp. I'd have to find my archive of drivers but again it'd be who wants to share and back them up, etc. At least I suppose we have a forum to request a driver and receive a PM to get it via email, external means?

tezza
December 7th, 2010, 02:02 PM
At least I suppose we have a forum to request a driver and receive a PM to get it via email, external means?

Yes, that's true. It's not that convenient but it does work. Most drivers are small and generally people don't mind flicking them to others if they have them.

That's a good reason for people to keep offline archives of these things.

Terry