So, I pulled out the old one, put mine in, fetched the Windows 98 install disk from under the bookcase, installed the drivers, and rebooted the system.
This did not produce a functional result.
When questioned, the operating system admitted that "Windows stopped responding while trying to start this device, and therefore will never try to start this device again."
Then lilairen noticed that there was a very faint high-pitched whine -- the sort that drives one batty in short order but is too faint to easily locate -- coming from the speakers.
I do not think this has been an improvement.