OK, so that should be catch 22, but this is a Windows 98 problem so…
So the starting point is that I have a machine that I am reinstalling Windows 98 onto. That’s a bad start already, even if you ignore the fact that it is Windows 😉 Anyway, the machine is not currently networked, it’s safer that way, so anything I need to get onto the machine in terms of drivers is heading across from my Linux box on a USB key. So far so good. Until we get to the graphics driver that is. The card in question is an old ATI Rage 128, and I tracked down the driver and transferred it onto the machine ready to install. Unfortunately the install required DirectX. I don’t since the machine is only an office machine to do a bit of word processing on and run some old DOS and Windows accounting software on.
Off to the Microsoft site to download DirectX then. Now we really start hitting problems. First off you get lost in lots of DirectX 10 stuff which is totally irrelevant. When you find the DirectX 9.0c download there’s a snag. It requires validation before you can download it. Online validation isn’t going to be any good, so I had for the ‘alternate method’. I then download the stand alone validation utility and transfer it across to the Windows 98 machine. Sadly it fails to run on there. It may, apparently, be due to ‘technical difficulties’ or I may be running an ‘unsupported operating system’.
So i looks as though I need to find a Windows XP machine to validate so that I can get at the file to download and then install on the Windows 98 machine. I guess it’s one way of getting people to abandon Windows 98. Unfortunately I still have customers with 50% of their machines on 98, even one that is 100% Windows 98. Not everyone exercises their cheque books on the Microsoft treadmill!