Easy driver updates

You can avoid hardware hassles by using the most current versions of drivers for your PC's components. Until now, that meant going to the vendor's Web site, searching for a new driver, and (if you found one) downloading and installing it.

Windows Update, a utility that connects to a database of the latest device drivers on Microsoft's site, eases this process. Select Start-Settings-Windows Update; this will take you straight to Microsoft's Windows Update site. To use the site, you must use the IE version that ships with Win 98.

Once you're on that site, the program will compare your system's configuration files with the driver database and list any drivers for which updated versions exist. (Note: if a new driver is causing problems and you want to reinstall the original one, run the Update Wizard Uninstall utility, which is located on the System Information Tools menu).

If you select Windows Update from the Start menu and find yourself staring at a blank Internet Explorer page, a possible solution is to delete and then reinstall your Active Setup and Windows Update components.

First, launch the Internet applet in Control Panel, select Settings on the General tab and then click View Objects. This will open an Explorer window displaying the contents of the Downloaded Program Files folder. You should see a number of strangely named files including Wusysinfo, Wuredirinforb and InstallEngineCTL Object. If these are present, right-click each in turn and select Update from the resulting context menu. Answer Yes when you are prompted to install Active Setup. Finally, close the Downloaded Program Files window and dismiss any open dialogue boxes by clicking OK. Reboot the system and try reconnecting to the Windows Update site. If the blank page reappears, Microsoft recommends you download and install the Scripting Engine version 3.1b from http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/vbscript/scripting.asp.

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