Western Digital EXTERNAL "Elements USB model" drive - How do I run it run under Windows 98 please

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by me, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. me

    me Guest


    I have a 640 GB Elements Western Digital USB external drive which I would
    like to run under Windrows 98 (second edition)

    It is a model type WD6400AAKS - 75A7B drive

    The actual drive is not recognized under Windows 98 although when plugged
    it all that happens is that the blue drive light flashes for a few seconds
    - in other words it does not show up when clicking the "Computer" icon nor
    on a plug and play scan.

    A search on Goggle for Drivers brought up a reference to Enclosure
    Manufactures which seems to imply that I need...

    Firstly a driver that recognizes the enclosure

    Secondly A driver that recognizes the disk fitted in that enclosure

    Other points ---- The processor board is an Intel 845 board and my other
    LACIE 250 GB USB external drive works fine in this computer

    So If anyone has running this Western Digital drive under Windows 98 could
    they let me know how / what they done

    Thank you David
    me, Sep 25, 2008
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  2. me

    VanguardLH Guest

    USB Support in Windows 98

    Note what it says at the bottom: "Every USB device should also include a
    Windows 98 driver." It mentions a USB Evaluation Utility from usb.org
    but I couldn't find it on that site. I did find:


    You gave the model of the enclosed hard disk. That's not the model of
    the entire unit (the enclosure, interface card, disk). From your
    description, my guess is that you have:


    Notice the model number shown on that page. It's for the entire unit,
    not for the disk inside. Click on the Specifications tab. Click on
    Software and Drivers. Click on WD Elements. Click on WD Elements
    Desktop (I don't know what the difference would be from the Portable
    link). There I noticed a couple programs. One is their diagnostic


    You could use that to ensure you can reach the disk from Windows 98 via
    USB. Also there you can click on "External USB ... Formatting Utility";
    however, it says it only runs on NT-versions of Windows.

    I believe the drive, as delivered from the factory, should come
    pre-formatted with a FAT32 partition. "Drives" in Windows don't exit
    until you partition the disk and then format that partition using a
    recognizable file system.

    The specs tab for the product description says it needs USB 2.0. That
    doesn't mean it is backward compatible with USB 1.1. You may need to
    get a USB 2.0 adapter card.

    Western Digital has their own knowlegebase support site. If you look
    there, you'd find:


    Follow the link on how to install the USB drive under Windows 98SE
    (don't know if this works for Windows 98). It lists Series 1 and 2
    drivers. Don't know which you need. If it were me, I'd try the Series
    2 drivers. Also read:

    VanguardLH, Sep 25, 2008
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  3. me

    me Guest


    I finally got the drive working under Windows 98 (SE) thanks to a
    VanguardLH pointer to try. My comments on how to do this are at the bottom
    of this posting so as to keep context. Its a rather lengthy posting as some
    details may help others.

    Getting the drive to work...


    The drive had been portioned into 2. Each partition been 297 GB as a FAT32
    partition. This is the best combination for my needs

    This was done on a Vista machine using START - Computer - Manage Disks to
    format the drive into 2 x NTFS partitions (which were given drive letters
    outside the range in use ) and then converting the partitions into FAT32
    partitions using the DOS program Fat32format which needs the drive letter
    to select the correct drive / partition.

    (A side note--- The WD Site NTFS formatting program for the 640 GB Elements
    Drive does not install under Vista but does install and work under XP -
    Reported to and already known by WD Support)

    I then tried the drive on the Windows 98 computer with no joy The computer
    had had the windows drivers for the "LATICE" external drive installed -
    which work well - I installed the Windows 98 drivers for the WD
    "ESSENTIALS" Range as the nearest I could find for the correct later WD
    "ELEMENT" range.

    I _ think_ I did not install the series 1 / 2 drivers mentioned in


    as they refer to a single partioned drive though it is possible that I did
    as a last resort try them.

    No Joy -but the Latice drive still works !!

    I posted my request to this group and VanguardLH replied (above)

    His comments on a series 1 / 2 drive prompted me to look again at the USB
    HUB drivers I had installed.

    Using Device Manager I selected my USB HUB device I asked the computer to
    find any later drivers on the Microsoft site. It found none but offered to
    instead use the Generic drivers on my computer that it had listed in its

    I took the option - a "USB hub driver" and a "USB hub driver series 2" was
    listed I selected "USB hub driver series 2"

    Great Joy - My new external drive (both partitions) is now seen and my
    Latice drive still works.

    Notes. The main stumbling block was the need for USB Hub Series 2 .
    I am not sure if I actually have USB 2 ports on the hub in my very old ACER
    Verion 400D Computer.

    The allocation of actual drive letters to the letters that the partitions
    were given (on formatting) do not follow each other.
    This can make life interesting !!!!
    me, Sep 28, 2008
  4. me

    VanguardLH Guest

    I don't use Vista but it seems odd that you cannot use their included
    tools to create a new partition and select to use FAT or NTFS. FAT
    partitions aren't just for external drives. You may want a partition
    that is accessible by more than one OS, like when multibooting.
    You might want to look at the spec sheets for the Lacie device. It
    probably only needs USB v1.x to support it. The new one you added said
    it needs USB v2.x. That's what I suspected was meant by the "series 1"
    and "series 2" drivers.
    Disk drivers don't support partitions. They support mass storage
    devices (that is, the whole device). They are the interface between
    function calls in the OS to the hardware control logic on the device.
    They don't care about partitions.
    I don't have Windows 98 to look at. I don't remember the USB driver
    names having "series 1" and "series 2" that came with Windows. If you
    look at the properties for the driver when looking at the driver details
    for the USB controllers in Device Manager on your Windows 98 host, who
    is its author?
    From other posts that I've read, in Device Manager, look for the work
    "Enhanced" in the name of the USB controller. That means v2 of USB. I
    believe this was try for Windows versions from 2000 and backward. You
    might not see one with "Enchanced" in its name from Windows XP and
    onward since Microsoft switched to the usbohci.sys miniport driver
    (Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller; see
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa940140.aspx) from the old
    uhcd.sys driver. Intel pioneered USB using their UHCI design and Compaq
    extended it with their Open HCI design. Since the miniport "driver"
    uses the usb.inf to figure out which files to copy and use, I looked in
    there. Under the "Win 95" section, it says to copy files defined in the
    Hub.CopyFiles section which says to copy and use the usbhub.sys file.
    It's also copied and used under Windows NT. If I look in Device Manager
    at driver details for the "Enhanced" USB controller listed there, yep,
    it uses the old usbhub.sys driver - but those details also show it uses
    the usbehci.sys (enhanced) driver. If I look at the driver details for
    the "Open HCD USB" controller, it also lists the old usbhub.sys driver
    but also lists the Open HCD usbohci.sys driver. That driver isn't in
    the usb.inf config file. It's in the usbport.ini file for the miniport
    driver. So all my controllers support USB v1.x and 2.x.

    See http://www.everythingusb.com/usb2/faq.htm, item 2 - and another
    reason that I suspect you installed the "series 1" and "series 2"
    drivers which did not come from Microsoft. Maybe they came with your
    Lacie drive but either you or its setup only used the USB v1.x driver
    for that device since that's all that particular device required for USB
    DOS and Windows 9x used the same scheme to assign drive letters as does
    the BIOS: in physical detection order by primary partitions first on
    each disk and then go back to assign by logical partitions. NT-based
    versions of Windows track by the disk signature, part of the MBR on each
    disk. Within an instance of Windows NT that has saved the disk
    signature, it will track if the drive moves physically to other
    controllers and retain the drive letter. It doesn't use the old BIOS
    ordering scheme. You would assign the drive letter in Disk Management
    (diskmgmt.msc). However, if you move the disk to another instance of
    Windows (that you multiboot on the same host or you move the drive to a
    different host), that one won't have the signature assigned to a drive
    letter yet so you might get default drive letters using the next
    available. You go into Disk Management and assign it drive letters
    which will stick. The enumeration of a hard disk with its disk
    signature is recorded in the registry for a particular instance of
    Windows NT.
    VanguardLH, Sep 29, 2008
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