Link to home
Create AccountLog in
Avatar of anshulgupta

asked on

Windows ME driver for Archos MiniCD

I have Archos MiniCD (CD-ROM). I also have its driver for Windows 98.

But I want to use it for my old laptop with Windows ME.

Can anyone suggest a site from where I can download this driver. I have googled so many times, but I do not find an appropriate driver.

If no driver is available, I may think of installing Windows 98 on this laptop. Please suggest the best way to do that (since ME is higher version than 98, it is not possible to directly run the setup program). Further, the CD-ROM is also not accessible till ME is there on the laptop.

Avatar of Mark Poirier
Mark Poirier
Flag of Canada image

Is this a PCMCIA device or a USB device?
Avatar of anshulgupta


It is a USB device. It powers from the laptop when connected on the laptop's USB port.
Have you tried the -->USB Driver package<-- found on this Archos page. It says its for all Archos USB devices running 98,ME,XP,2000, NT
You have to install the driver before you attach the cd drive
I have already done that long back. None of the exe files available in that zip seems to execute on Windows ME.

I have tried them with and without connecting the MiniCD device.

Any other suggestions, please!
When using that with a laptop you need to use the AC adapter. (Or a PS2 power tap.)
Laptop USB ports don't provide enough power (which may be why the drive isn't wroking right) and you definitly risk frying out the port on the laptop without the adapter.

I know the ads make it look like you can use this without the adapter on a laptop but that's not true.

""Thanks to ARCHOS’s patented “Micro Power Management System” (MPMS), the MiniCD is powered directly
by any notebook or desktop PC.""
~~~ MPMS => PS2 power tap.

""Power External power adapter included. No power supply needed on most computers.""
~~~ on MOST computers

""Package Includes Swappable interface cable USB 2.0 or PCMCIA PC Card (depending on model), AC adapter or PS2 cable depending on version, 6-language manual, Drivers on floppy disk.""
~~~ there's a reason they come with either an AC adapter or a PS2 power tap.

This type of advertising confusion has killed many laptop USB ports.
I had Windows 98 SE earlier on the same laotop and it used to power very well.

Since I have installed Windows ME, it is not working. It still powers well (the disk rotates, the lights are on, etc.). But I cannot see the files in the explorer.

Does this give any clue to address the problem?

Run Windows Update to make sure your ME install isn't lacking a patch.
Have run windows update, but it has changed NOTHING.

If I try to UPDATE the driver of this USB CD-ROM, Windows says that I am already using the best available driver and that it is recommended to continue using it. But in the end, it is unable to read anything from the CD-ROM.

I wonder if there is no choice left but to reinstall Windows 98 :-(

Check the drive on another computer.
It sounds like possibly the CD Drive has gone bad.
I have checked it on another Windows XP notebook. It works fine.
Further, as I said earlier, it used to work well with Windows 98SE just a few months back. I had to install Windows ME so that I could meet the configuration need of my internet connection provider.

To be noted that the installation disk available with Archos MiniCD has drivers for Windows 98, 98SE and 2000. It does not have drivers for Windows ME, atleast in the disk provided with the MiniCD. Does it mean that this CD-ROM does NOT support Windows ME? I thought I will obtain drivers from the internet, but so far I have no success.

Thanks in advance for any further suggestions that you might have.
Avatar of PCBONEZ
Flag of United States of America image

Link to home
Create an account to see this answer
Signing up is free. No credit card required.
Create Account
The driver sparkmaker linked to -should- work.
Which is why I suspect the drive or some other hardware problem.
I suggested Windows update so you'd pick up any USB patches if there were any.

Do you know the USB ports are working via some other USB device?

It is possible that what you say is right. But when I had Win 98 on my laptop, I was unable to connect to the internet using the same ISP. I had read about its support for Win ME, so I went ahead with changing the OS on my laptop. It did work, but rendered my CD-ROM useless!

Well, the ultimate purpose is to have both internet and CD-ROM work on this laptop. I will check for the ISPs support for Win 98SE. Meanwhile, can you suggest the best way to install Win 98SE on this laptop. Keep in mind that SETUP.EXE cannot be executed directly as ME is higher version than 98SE. Further CD cannot be used because it does not work with ME.

I am able to use an external USB Mass Storage device through this laptop, though.

We would need the model number of that laptop to give direction on the install.
The laptop is "NEC Versa SX".

Please let me know if you need additional inputs about the laptop.

Thanks in advance.

I do not understand what you mean by ... "The driver sparkmaker linked to -should- work."

"I suggested Windows update so you'd pick up any USB patches if there were any"
As I said, I have already done that. Windows Update did not detect any missing USB patches.
I think your issue is definately with the USB and Windows ME, as the support site for this particular laptop has no Win ME support at all.
There are floppy boot disks for this laptop and it covers win95, 98, NT,2000, and XP but no ME.
Do you have a floppy drive on this laptop?
Have you checked in device manager to see if the USB ports are OK. try to uninstall the usb ports from there and then reinstall.
"The driver sparkmaker linked to -should- work."
Click on it.
You unzip the contents of this download to a folder, then you plug the USB cd drive into the laptop, when asked for the drivers for the cd drive point it towards the folder you have unzipped this set of drivers to. It should find the appropriate drivers in this folder and set up the cd drive.
Yes, I do have a floppy drive.

I have already tried using the USB driver package from Archos site, but it does not change anything.

USB port is working fine as it is able to read another mass storage device.

I think I need to reinstall Windows 98 SE. Please suggest the best way to do that keeping in mind that SETUP.EXE cannot be executed directly as ME is higher version than 98SE. Further CD cannot be used because it does not work with ME.
There is no setup.exe for these drivers.
When the cd drive is plugged into the USB port, can you see it in device manager. If so open it up and try to update the driver. when it asks for the updated drivers, point the install to the downloaded and UNZIPPED driver folder from archos.
If you need to install win 98 then you will have to use a boot floppy with the drivers for the USB drive incorporated into it.
By SETUP.EXE, I did NOT mean the setup program of the drivers. Instead, I meant the setup program of Windows 98SE.

I think now I should reinstall Windows 98SE over Windows ME, so that my CD-ROM will start working again.

So, my question was how to install Windows 98SE over Windows ME knowing that Windows 98SE SETUP.EXE cannot be executed directly as ME is higher version than 98SE. Further CD cannot be used because it does not work with ME. I do not have the boot disk of Windows 98SE. Where can I get it from?

If you don't have the whole Windows 98se CD stored on your hard drive or to some drive that works there is no way without a CD drive.

You have a ME driver for the CD drive.
You have a laptop that isn't officially supported bt ME which is why it won't work.
Officially supported really only means that NEC didn't create a driver package for the Laptop for ME.
What you should do is create your own drivers package for me.
You do this by identifying each chip on the motherboard that needs a driver and then finding a ME driver for it.
To fix only this particular problem you been to identify the USB chip and find a ME driver for it.

As I said earlier, I can access a USB mass storage device through USB port. The CD content is stored there. I can very well shift it to the notebook's hard drive.

But I understand that I need to format the hard disk before installing 98SE. In that case, even the CD content will get washed off.

Further, if I think of installing from the external USB mass storage device, I wonder if the formatted disk will detect it during installation.

Also, I wonder that if I go ahead for installation of ME, wouldn't I loose my drivers for other hardware installed on the notebook, such as sound card, microphone, etc?
Perhaps an upgrade to win 2000 would be more appropriate. If not then the only way to do this is from a bootable floppy with a driver for the usb port and cd drive. If you make this floppy you can test it before formatting the drive to see if you can access the cd drive through DOS. If you can accomplish this then setup for win 98 can take place. Check here for info on making this type of boot floppy

The NEC link I provided earlier is the start point for the driver download page for the components in the laptop.
I have tried all solutions suggested by the experts, but none has really helped. Probably, Archos did not make driver for Win ME at all.
sparkmaker linked to the driver

>> <<

Apparently you got it and went looking for exe files.
That's not what the directions on the archos page say to do.
They say>>
"This package includes all of the USB drivers for the various Archos products. Download and unzip this file. Upon unziping, you will have a folder of drivers. You do not have to select which drivers are for which products since the newly installed device will ask Windows to obtain the correct one. When asked for the driver, just tell windows to look in this folder. For Windows Win98SE, WinME, Win2K and WinXP."


Thank you for your remark.

NO, I am NOT looking for any EXE. Infact, when I connect the CDROM, it does NOT ask for drivers as it AUTOMATICALLY installs it. And this automatic installation perhaps picks up the WRONG friver for this CDROM.

I even tried to update the drivers by specifying the path myself (the path where the drivers are downloaded from Archos site) but still it says that the CDROM is already using the best avialable driver.

What is confusing for me is that the documentation for this CDROM states that it supports WinME, but the driver floppy does NOT contain a driver for it (it has only Win 98/98SE and NT). I even called Archos Support but they said that they have stopped supporting this product, so they cannot look for this driver for their customers anymore.

I have no clue where am I going wrong, if at all.
Okay, (My understanding, this isn't one of my greatest subjects.)

When Windows auto installs a PnP driver this is what happens.
- Windows 'reads' the firmware stored in the ROM chip on the drive.
(That identifies what the device -is- to Windows.)
- Windows selects the inf file based on what's in the ROM and then loads the drivers based in the info in the inf file.
(The inf is where windows get's it's "best driver" info.)
- Windows first searchs in the inf files stored in windows. If it doesn't find anything there that is when it askes for a drivers location.

It sounds like Windows is determined to use the wrong inf file and so it loads the wrong drivers.

This ~may~ work.
Identify which inf file windows is using for the drive. (And the drivers files.)
Make a backup copy of it first. (And the drivers files.)
Then delete it. (And the drivers files.)
Hopefully the next time around windows will pick a different inf as "the best" and load different drivers.

You can 'peek into' inf files using notepad which may give you some clues as to which inf is correct but in reading it's not easy to follow or understand them.
Driver files listed for this CD-ROM are:

2. C:/Windows/System/VMM32.VXD (IOS.VXD)

I understand that VMM32.VXD is required by Windows. So renaming/removing it may not let Windows ME boot.

I am not sure about the first file (.PDR). What do you suggest to do?
The INF file behind is USBNTMAP.INF with the following contents:

LayoutFile=layout.inf, layout1.inf, layout2.inf
StorageClassName="Storage device"
GenDiskDeviceDesc="USB Disk"
GenCdRomDeviceDesc="USB CD-ROM"
GenOpticalDeviceDesc="USB Optical Disk"
GenTapeDeviceDesc="USB Tape"
GenFloppyDeviceDesc="USB Floppy"

I renamed this file and then tried to install the CD-ROM again. This time, Windows DID ask for a location. When I specified the location where I have downloaded all USB drivers from Archos site, it gave the message that Windows count NOT find appropriate drivers from the specified location :-(

Any further clues?

I am lost!
Appears to list most of the other INF files here in the part I posted below.
This may be the one you need so windows can ID the rest of the files.











I am not so good at Windows. Frankly, I do not get what you mean.

Do you want me to look for FALSTAFF.INF and point Windows to this file for driver information?

Kindly clarify.
I noticed that FALSTAFF.INF is a part of USB Driver Package from Archos.

I will try pointing Windows to this file instead of existing USBNTMAP.INF.

But in FALSTAFF.INF, last line says ...
DISK1="USB Storage Adapter Install Disk for Windows 98/2000 "

I wonder if there is any USB driver at all for Archos MiniCD in the USB Driver package downloadable from Archos site.
Nevertheless, I will try to perform this step and update you soon.
Yes that is what I was suggesting.

As I said (or tried to say) earlier, this Q is to the point where I'm making best guesses.

The driver package says it works for ME from where you download it.
- That's really all I'm going on.

Where you see >> Signature="$CHICAGO$" <<
Chicago was the 'code name' for Windows 95 though many Win95 drivers that were updated for Win98/Win2k left that line as-is in the INF file.
- So, if you see $CHICAGO$ then it's probably an udated Win95 driver.

Windows ME as a program is closer to Win98 than to Win2k.
ME and 98 use either the FAT16 or FAT32 file system.
Win2k -can- use FAT32 but the default file system is NTFS
- So, it's more likely that a Win98(only) driver will work in ME than a Win2k(only) driver.

ME is between Win98 and Win2k so far as the timing of the release.
- So, I'm hoping that the 'universal' windows drivers that work for both Win98/Win2k will work in ME.

Well, as I have said long back in this post, I have an installation disk which contains drivers for Windows 98 and Windows 2000.

I have tried installing the CD-ROM with this floppy disk, but it does not work.
I don't know how old the files on that floppy disc or if the driver version 'supports ME', but I know that download from Archos claims to.

If you can't get that to work then you will need to either write your own driver (and that's beyond me, I just know it can be done because I've seen 'how to's" for it. (google is your friend for that one)) - or switch to another operating system.
I have used almost all INF files (including FALSTAFF.INF) available in Archos USB Package. But there is no change.

When I choose these INF files, Windows gives me an alert message that these drivers are NOT meant for the selected hardware. If I ignore this message and continue installation, installation is successful, but the drive STILL does not work.

I am almost concluding that Archos has NOT made a driver for this CD-ROM to be used for Windows ME.
It does look as if the answer here is that it won't work with ME. Since ME is an obsolete OS there won't be much to do, so I suggest you close the Q.

EE Cleanup Volunteer
I believe I posted that very suggestion in an earlier post  

-->Comment from sparkmaker
Date: 09/20/2006 01:54PM ADT
I think your issue is definately with the USB and Windows ME, as the support site for this particular laptop has no Win ME support at all.
There are floppy boot disks for this laptop and it covers win95, 98, NT,2000, and XP but no ME.
Do you have a floppy drive on this laptop?
Correct. That's why i'm asking anshulqupta to close the Q...