USB is Cool!
Taking an older PC and giving it Universal Serial Bus recognition
I recently decided to purchase a scanner that offered a USB (Universal Serial Bus)
connection by default and SCSI as a secondary option. Since the higher speed SCSI cards
have a steep price, I decided to investigate the option of using USB.
The target machine for the scanner was configured as follows:
- 200Mhz Pentium (pre-MMX) 1997 Phoenix Bios (the newer Bios' have a USB
- 64Mb ram
- 4Mb Video
- 2 Gig + 4 Gig Hard drives
- Windows 95 (build a)
The scanner was:
- HP 6200Cse ScanJet (comes with USB cable)
- My 1997 PC has no USB port.
- Buy a USB card.
- After some research, I opted to buy a "2-Port USB PCI card" made by INTEREXÒ . I had extra PCI slots
open so why not go for the faster throughput.
- Windows 95a, notice the significance of the build number a, does not support
USB and could not detect my new USB card.
- Upgrade Windows 95a.
- I scoured the internet with hope of finding a simple downloadable fix, but only
discovered what others had already come to realize: Upgrade to Windows 98. The other
"builds" or upgrades of Windows 95 were apparently released as OEM products
without upgrade software built in. That means that you cant just upgrade to another
build, you have to completely reinstall.
- So, though I already had the latest goodies from Microsoft downloaded months ago, like
IE 4.0 and saw no need to spend money on what seemed like an upgrade, I found it to be the
most feasible solution. The installation was fantastic: I was asked if I wanted to make a
back-up copy of all files that would allow me to restore Windows 95a in the future. After
I completed the install of Windows 98, I plugged in my USB card and upon reboot, had it
detected and working in minutes. In sheer joy, I plugged in my scanner and turned it on,
LIVE and discovered that it was instantly detected and ready to go wow, no need to
If you find yourself in a similar dilemma and/or want to know more about USB, here are
two sites that I found very informative:
Interex Products - USB -
USB for Win95