Will technology ever catch up?

XP: Finding and Installing Drivers, Part 1.1 – Via Motherboard Chipsets

Posted by cascadehush on January 8, 2007

N.B. This is a continuing series of articles about finding and installing drivers in the case that you either don’t have the original driver CD or choose not to use it. There is an introduction to this series as well as an section introduction about Motherboard Chipset.

VIA Technologies, Inc, without a doubt, have the best motherboard driver package. I can’t say whether they are the best chipsets, though most of my PCs have Via chipsets. I find them a nice balance between cost and performance.

4 in 1 Driver
The older motherboard driver package was and is called the ‘4 in 1 Driver’. It is recommended for systems more than about 3 or 4 years old. Personally I have had good results with this driver on quite old systems running Win98; so don’t feel compelled to track down motherboard specific drivers for some ancient hardware if you have already identified it has a Via chipset.

The 4 in 1 driver contains the following drivers

  • AGP VxD; necessary for proper operation of an AGP Graphics Card
  • ATAPI Driver for smoother running of your IDE device.
  • The ‘INF’ driver which sets up the power management
  • The PCI IRQ Miniport Driver, which is only necessary and only installs on Win98, to fix IRQ routing.
  • For NT only, the VIA IDE Bus Mastering driver. This is the only driver installed on NT.

The package runs on any version of Windows from 95 to XP (32 bit only) and is smart enough to know which are the appropriate drivers for your hardware and OS.

The current version is 4.43 and was released on 25 October 2001. Don’t let its age fool you. It is a stable, mature driver set. Download the Via 4-in-1 Driver

Hyperion Pro
Sounds impressive. Well, perhaps not. But this is the name for the current package of drivers. I guess the name 4 in 1 was getting a bit silly since there were 5 drivers included, of which you would get 1, 3 or 4 drivers depending on your OS.

The Hyperion package include similar but updated drivers to what is in the 4 in 1 package, with the important addition of the SATA drivers. As of this writing the latest version is 5.10a which was released on the 8 September 2006.

The Hyperion package is for Win98 through XP and Windows Server 2003. Both 32 bit and 64 bit versions, where appropriate, are included. As with the 4 in 1 package, the installer is smart enough to know what drivers are required.

You can download both the Hyperion and 4 in 1 drivers from VIA Arena.

A Note about RAID Utilities
Now here is a fact worth noting. Many SATA drivers give you the option of installing just the driver, or the driver plus the RAID utility. I recommend that you DONT install the utility, just the driver.

The RAID utility is not necessary, and is usually just another annoying taskbar icon.

If you have a Raid 1 or 5 array where a drive fails, you usually have to go into the BIOS or RAID BIOS to run a utility to re-build the array. (after replacing the faulty drive, of course). Whilst the array is being rebuilt you can’t use the PC, but it is the quickest way to re-build the array.

However, with the utility installed you can rebuild the array inside Windows, which means you can still use the PC whilst the utility re-builds the array. Your PC will probably be slow, and the array will likely take all day (maybe all night as well) but at least you have access to your email and play Freecell.

So if you really, really, must rebuild the array with Windows loaded, install the utility then, and not before. The uninstall it when you are done, or at least remove it from the line-up of programs that run whenever you start Windows.

9 Responses to “XP: Finding and Installing Drivers, Part 1.1 – Via Motherboard Chipsets”

  1. Gail B said

    I accidentally installed the SiS Raid Utility 1.07….don’t want it and can’t get rid of it. It doesn’t show up in the control panel but keeps appearing in the task bar…how can I get rid of it?

  2. You’d have to run msconfig. It will let you remove startup processes which are listed in the registry.

    Sorry I don’t have time for a longer answer atm, but if you select Run from the Start Menu, type ‘msconfig’, and select the last tab, you should be able to find the utility in the list and simply remove it.

    If you remove the wrong thing, you can always re-instate it with msconfig, the entries are never removed, just disabled. The thing you want will have SiS in the name, and a .exe extension.

    You could try googling for msconfig for more info on how to use it. I must go to work now 🙂

  3. Gail B said

    .the program doesn’t show up in the Start Menu..however there are a couple of “unnamed” programs which I could disable …maybe it’s one of them. I’ve also searched all the icons on the computer to see if I could find out where it is (including hidden files). It does not appear to be anywhere. Very annoying.

  4. The utility starts up because of an entry in the part of the registry which lists processes to launch on startup, which includes things like anti-virus software and instant message apps.

    You won’t find msconfig in the start menu, you need to use the run dialog to launch msconfig. When you do, you will find a whole list of stuff there that is running at start-up. A lot of it is unnecessary, but be careful what you remove.

    Maybe I’ll do a post on msconfig and unnecessary startup items. There is probably already such a post somewhere on the net.

  5. Gail B said

    It was the run dialog which I used…Raid doesn’t appear there either.

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