clownwolf wrote on 2023-06-07, 08:31:
How about diskettes or even CDs for drivers or utilities?
Yes. An 5,25" or 3,5" diskette with utilities.
Like cache check utilities, anti-virus program (as a companion to boot-sector protection in BIOS), external CMOS Setup utilities, etc. Little things like this.
Drivers in the common sense were not required yet, because 286/386/486 motherboards appeard more or less as generic PC hardware to software.
You could still switch HDDs between similar PCs and not require a new software installation (say Win31/95 or OS/2).
PCI-ISA bridges or EIDE controllers (on-board) on late 486 boards were among the exceptions here, I think.
You know, those 486 VIP (Vesa, ISA, PCI) boards of the time..
By that time, there were diskettes for Windows 95 and/or NT 3.5x included, with some *.INF files.
In case of EIDE controllers, a diskette had special drivers included,
for better performance on Windows or DOS.
DDOs to support larger drives were also on such a disk, maybe.
Motherboards with EISA or MCA bus required configuration diskettes, I think.
Some Compaq PCs had utilities or Setup utilities pre-installed in a hidden partition on HDD.
These partitions could be re-created with diskettes (about 3). Such disks were maybe part of the box, not sure.
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