More On Drivers
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I've been doing a bit more wrangling with drivers lately, and ran into another very annoying issue which I've also seen before.

I decided to install Windows XP on my new laptop, just to make sure it works (and in case Vista has a lot of problems). During the Windows installation, I need a driver for the SATA disk controller, otherwise Windows can't see my hard drive. Normally this can be provided at the start of the Windows setup in the form of a floppy disk. However, there is no floppy drive on this laptop.

The only thing you can do is burn a new CD that contains both Windows and the drivers. I've done this before by hand, but this time I'm trying nLite, which seems to work well so far. nLite handles mastering the CD, so the main thing you need to do is obtain the drivers in a usable format.

Sounds simple right! Of course it can't be. They only distribute the drivers as a WinImage file, and it will only let you copy the files directly to a floppy disk! You cannot (without being very clever), open the files directly to a folder on your hard drive. They do this, even though many computers no longer come with a floppy drive (and when's the last time you used a floppy disk?).

I'm sure the intent is to make it easier for a novice user to handle, but in this case less hand-holding is better. The people who need these drivers can handle it on their own, without additional roadblocks put in the way. Just let us download a .ZIP file. Even a novice user can handle the instructions "copy the files to a floppy disk", and the rest of us can move on with what we need to do.