First post, by Boohyaka
I had the idea for this thread when I discovered something I've never seen before as far as my memory goes - basically that my ESS Solo-1 PCI I solely use as an MPU-401 was doing stuff on its own every time Win98 boots:
- Modifies autoexec.bat and dosstart.bat to add c:\essolo.com
- Modifies config.sys to add device=essolo.sys
- Prior to it makes a backup of all 3 files as ".ago" files
That pissed me off. First of all because I don't need it (I'm simply enabling MPU through PCISET in DOS mode, I don't need any other DOS emulation out of it), but most of all, because I can't stand having stuff forced on me - I want my retro computers to do what I tell them to do and behave, enough with the hand holding! We've got enough of that on our modern rigs 😁
So I wanted to understand how it was done, and most of all, show it who's boss.
So first I disabled the "DOS Emulation" driver in Windows, thinking it may be linked to it. It apparently wasn't.
Out of good measure I deleted the essolo.com and essolo.ini from the root. Essolo.ini keeps coming back every time Win98 boots, but essolo.com does not, so that was already a small win - I was getting a "cannot find the file specified" error on DOS boot obviously, but at least it didn't mess with my PCISET and sound cards config.
Then looking into the drivers .inf file I saw it was creating some interesting registry entries. Looking for them this is what I found:
Those 3 entries were initially set to FF. Changed them to 00 and bingo, looks like the automatic file modification is dealt with. Essolo.ini keeps getting copied to the root if I delete it, though...not ideal but not a very big deal either.
I must say that maybe memory doesn't serve me (we're all getting older right?) but I can't recall ever seeing anything like this, that feels like really, really intrusive to me. My only assumption is that those functions are included in the drivers themselves, essolo.drv and/or essolo.vxd?
Hopefully this can trigger a funny topic - what are your drivers horror stories? I'd say posting about 300+ MB printer drivers could be considered cheating, but please share anyway 😁
And if anyone has more info about the ESS stuff I just described, I'd be curious as well!