Windows 98 SE (second edition) had a bug which meant that (with certain combinations of CPU & Chipsets) the USB port timing either didn't work or was very intermittent ... there was a patch available to fix this problem which you can still download from here ... http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240075
This patch from Microsoft fixes a hardware-specific problem affecting USB connections on PCs with a VIA USB Controller and AMD processor. This is only for Windows 98 Second Edition. Here is how Microsoft describes it:
"Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices that are plugged into a computer running Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition may not work if the following hardware components are installed on the computer: AMD processor (running at 350 MHz or faster) and VIA Technologies USB controller.
This behaviour occurs because there is a timing-specific problem in the Universal Host Controller driver (Uhcd.sys) that may prevent USB devices from be properly enumerated under specific timing conditions."
Here is how The Software Patch describes it:
Some times when you plug in a piece of hardware (eg camera, modem, MP3 player) into the USB connection you find that it works. Other times, it doesn?t. The reason this happens is that there is a problem in the programming. This patch will fix it.
Hope this helps some of you
edit ian_hawdon: Made this sticky