USB Flash Drive driver for Windows 95 OSR/2.1
As some people may know I am a big fan of Windows 95 because it can
be installed without any web browser. Unfortunately for me manufacturers
no longer provide Windows 95 drivers for most newer devices, or if they
do they install a mess of software that often requires IE. As such I am
very cautious about what hardware I add to my computer.
From using flash drives on other computers I have discovered how incredibly
useful these things are. They can store as much as or more than a CD-ROM
but they can be written to randomly. Supposedly there is a write limit
of perhaps a hundred thousand writes but this still makes them way more
reliable than floppy disks.
Of course the only driver I could find for my Sandisk Cruzer only worked
on Windows 98 SE. Now the funny thing is that USB mass storage devices
like this use a somewhat standard communication protocol and work "out
of the box" on most newer operating systems. This is true for Linux, MacOS
X, OS/2 eComstation, and Windows XP. So I looked around to see if anybody
had a USB mass storage driver for Windows 95 that would work with standard
devices like this.
I eventually found one that was intended for an older Sandisk USB device.
I had to modify the Plug-And-Play ID numbers to match the one being sent
by the Cruzer before Windows would accept the driver. But after that it
worked perfectly! I just plug in the Cruzer and a new removable drive letter
appears in My Computer.
I also added PNP ids for many devices. I don't know if it works with
all of the IDs I added, but feel free to let me know what works and what
doesn't. You should even be able to use it even if it doesn't specifically
recognize your device!
Windows 95 OSR/2.1 ("B" version with the "USB Supplement to OSR2" installed)
or Windows 98 with a USB port that is already recognized by the system.
Typical first time usage:
This driver is not supported by SanDisk or any other manufacturer.
This driver may not work on your machine or with your USB memory device,
I only know it works for me.
For all I know this driver may cause damage to your machine, your USB memory
device, or the files on your USB memory device.
Any additional software that comes with your USB memory device probably
will not work and should not be used.
Unzip the file below in to a folder on your 95/98 machine's hard drive
such as C:\USB95
Insert your USB memory device in to a USB port.
The "Add New Hardware" wizard should appear and ask for a driver.
Point it to C:\USB95. It will copy the files and start the driver. (It
may ask for the location more than once)
Your drive should now appear as an icon in "My Computer".
|Download USB mass storage driver for Windows 95 OSR/2.1 (Updated 1/24/2007)
|Same thing as above, but in a self extracting executable format in
case you do not have a program to uncompress ZIP files.
Back to Files
If you are running the OSR/2.0 "B" version of Windows 95 you must first
install the USB supplement from Microsoft if it is not already installed.
(search for "Usbsupp.exe").
Note that none of this will work on the original "A" version of Windows
If your USB flash drive or mass storage device is not specifically recognized
by this driver, Windows will prompt you to install a new driver. Keep the
above driver on your hard disk and point the New Hardware Wizard to the
driver. This *should* let it use the driver if it really is a compatible
If your system freezes up while communicating with your USB device check
and see if your USB port uses the same IRQ as another device and change
it if possible.
If your motherboard USB hardware is not recognized, check your BIOS to
ensure the USB hardware is enabled (some have an option to enable or disable
built in USB).
If you previously attempted to install a driver on 95 intended for Windows
98 you may need to remove all INF files from that driver in "c:\windows\inf"
before this one will work.
I noticed sometimes after installing/re-installing the driver the drive
fails to mount or show up in "My Computer" even after rebooting.
If this happens, try going to the device manager, open the hard drives
group, and find and remove the entry for your drive from there. Then remove
and re-insert the flash drive and it should be found again.
USB 1.1 hardware found on older machines is slower than modern USB ports.
This is not a software or OS issue.
If you have many small files to copy to the device, consider zipping them
first. This can speed things up and reduce the number of writes to the
file system area.
Regardless of what OS you are running, if your USB ports are all on the
back of your computer I highly recommend buying a USB extension cable.
Makes life much easier. (And reduces wear on your computer's USB plug)
There is also a USB system with a generic USB mass storage driver for Windows
NT 4 located
(it is part of a bundle for some camera device.) For larger flash drives
on NT 4 you may also need the FAT32 filesystem driver located here.
(Interesting trick, using this FAT32 driver and the Win2000 bootloader
you can boot NT 4 from FAT32)
And believe it or not, there is even a USB
storage driver for DOS! This can also be used under the "a" version
of Windows 95.
Avoid the Sandisk models with the "U3" autorun stuff on it. Those can have
freezing issues even after the U3 stuff is removed. Currently I have had
very good luck with the Kingston DataTraveler USB Flash drives.