(OT) Portable USB drive (makes no sense)

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I just bought one of those portable USB hard drives that plug into a USB port. It's a 1tb made by Western Digital. (Passport Drive). It says its for Windows Vista, 7 and 8. (It was on clearance so Win10 is not included). Anyhow, my newest OS is XP. I plugged it into my XP machine and it was immediately recognized. So, I dont need Vista or newer. It works fine on XP. But it comes with included software. Maybe that software requires Vista ir higher, but I never use any of that included software anyhow.
However there is one peculiar thing, which makes no sense. The driver for it, is *ON* the drive. So, if I actually needed the driver, how the heck can I get to it. That's pretty stupid.
Just to see what would happen, I plugged it into my older computer with Windows 98 and 2000. I did not even try it using Win98 because 98 lacks support for most USB devices, regardless of their size or age. But booting it to Win2000, I was suspecting I would need to take that driver off of it from the XP machine, and place it on the 2K computer. Much to my surprise, after stumbling around for a minute, then asking for a driver, I just hit cancel, and I had full access to that drive.
So, first I asked what good the driver is when it's on the drive I'm trying to use. Now I ask what's the purpose of the driver all all, since I accessed the drive from both Windows 2K and XP.
This drive is also for Macintosh. I thought a Mac computer requires a different drive format. That's even more puzzling!
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On Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 7:31:15 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

Any OS will "look" for a driver in the "usual" places (likely folders)...if it doesn't find a driver you have to point it in the right direction...on the USB drive itself. Win98 had fairly good USB support...95 did not.
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On Sun, 1 May 2016 17:40:22 -0700 (PDT), bob_villain

The problem with W98 is it won't talk to a NTFS drive. I agree with the OP, they are referring to the bundled software and it might run on XP anyway. I always wipe that stuff out too.
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On Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 7:50:34 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

He was asking about drivers and I wasn't commenting on included software...
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On Sun, 1 May 2016 18:00:55 -0700 (PDT), bob_villain

The mass store driver is in XP already. On W98 you need to install nusb33e.exe or some other similar driver. When you plug in a drive on the USB, you see it loading the driver but that is coming from c:\Windows\system32 or maybe another similar location
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On Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 10:39:28 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

+1
That's how it's worked for a long time now, the driver for USB drives is in the OS, part of plug-n-play. I suspect whatever is on that drive is likely additional utilities. It might have an improved driver, but not at all surprised that the drive works by just plugging it in. That is all I've done with various USB drives, smartphones that look like drives, etc.
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On 05/01/2016 07:40 PM, bob_villain wrote:
[snip]

If you can do that (point the OS to something on the drive itself), it seems that you don't need the driver.

A lot of USB stuff I got around that time (when Win 98 was new) had separate driver disks for 95 and 98.
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On 5/1/2016 7:31 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

I use them, they install their own drivers.
Seems to work OK. I just smile, be happy, and get on with life.
If the drive really fails, there is a way to get to computer management through control panel. Been a while since I used that. You can find and reformat a drive that doesn't otherwise show up in windows explorer.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 05/01/2016 07:56 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:
[snip]

I do that frequently, "Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management". This IS available on Windows 10, although they make it harder to get to.

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On 5/2/2016 5:49 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

Center posted, as a courtesy.
--
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On 05/02/2016 07:18 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

[snip]

[snip]

This may be the first time I've seen a reply in the middle of a WORD of the quoted text.
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Sam E wrote:

That's just the Stormin' Moron seeking attention .
--
Snag



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On 5/1/16 7:31 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

The standard "Mac format" is called HFS+, but that cannot be read/written to on Windows machines without special software.
The Mac OS, however, -can- read/write at least some Windows formats (and can read some others).
It makes sense to have a copy of the disk drivers "on the drive itself". The idea is that: - you plug it into the computer - computer queries connection, discovers drive, loads drivers - drive mounts on desktop and is ready for use...
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wrote:

The drive is NTFS. Will a Mac read that?
I left the driver on the drive, but removed all the extra software. I did zip it and save a copy on a flash drive just in case it's needed.
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On 5/2/16 6:26 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

I don't know the how and why of it, but I use a flash drive to move files between a Mac mini w/ El Capitan, and a Win 7 laptop all the time. (.jpg, .xls, .doc )
If you have a Mac and a Win machine, try it.
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I dont have a Mac!
I know .jpg . gif . mp3 .htm are universal. I suppose .doc is too, as well as .txt. (not sure what a .xls is used for).
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On 5/2/16 3:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

These are all application file types, which have nothing to do with disk formats. .xls is an MS Excel spreadsheet file type, which can also be created/read by such free apps as OpenOffice or Libre on Macs or Win PCs
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On 05/02/2016 02:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:
[snip]

I seem to have heard of that filetype. Proprietary Excel spreadsheet format?
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Yes, but it won't write to it without it has some additional (non-Apple) software. A modern Mac can read and write FAT (including FAT32), exFAT, and HFS+ (its native file system).
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On 05/01/2016 09:28 PM, John Albert wrote:

So it actually doesn't need the drivers, since it can access the disk without them.
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