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Compaq Contura Aero Frequently Asked Questions
Section - Running Windows 95 and Windows 3.x

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[C] From: Philip Wilk
Date: 9 Nov 1998

You do not have to modify your msdos.sys file, you can just do the F8 boot
thingy when you need to boot to Windows 3.x. Also, do not fiddle with the
.w40 files or you may accidentally prevent yourself from booting back into
Windows 95. Read the entire section fully. Only mess with the mentioned
system files from the version you want the changes to affect. What I mean
by this is, if you want to have your autoexec.bat operate differently when
the previous DOS version boots, only edit this file when you have ALREADY
booted to the previous version. Be very careful with the msdos.sys file.

[C] Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 22:34:31 -0400
From: Jeff Westhead <>
Subject: Dual Boot

Unless the original poster want to dual boot something other than an MS
operating system, he does not have to reformat and he definitely does
not have to purchase Partition Magic.

Simpy install Win95 in a separate directory. Do NOT install it in
c:\windows or where-ever you have installed your copy of Windows 3.1.

That's it. You now have a dual boot system. When Win95 boots you will
see "Loading windows 95" in plain text - before the opening graphic
screen. You have about a 2 second window here. Press F8. You will get a
boot menu. Scroll down to "Previous version of DOS" and you will boot
into your old DOS (6.x probably). You can now run win from the DOS

One gotcha - back up your DOS system files (but you don't have to worry
about your Windows system files): your autoexec.bat, config.sys, and any
batch files called by autoexec.bat.

The Win95 setup program may lobotomize your autoexec and associated
batch files. Simpy boot into your previous DOS version and restore your
DOS autoexec.bat and config.sys. Win95 will shuffle the different
versions of this file at boot time.

[C] From: "Pres Waterman" <>
Subject: Info for novices re Something old, something new...
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 17:10:25 -0500

The following is a discussion about running classic DOS and WIndows 3.x AND

A really good idea if you're willing to devote the disk space ( costs an
extra 16 MB or so ) is to install Windows 95 to a separate directory such
as c:\WIN95

Do a custom install and specify the directory to install to.

The advantages to this would be the possibility to boot to prior dos for
the speed and simplicity of the earlier system.

It is important to realize that Windows 95 does not need or want any
config.sys or autoexec.bat. All card and socket services and power
management are built in. So, when you DON'T install 95 over prior DOS, it
takes your config.sys and autoexec.bat and msdos.sys and renames them
config.w40, autoexec.w40 and msdos.w40. Hold that thought for a second.

After you boot with 95 installed, press F8 when it says "Now starting
Windows 95" and choose "Command prompt only"

 - ed. note: command prompt is NOT previous DOS version

type in the following: 
attrib -s -h -r msdos.sys

edit msdos.sys
add (after BootMulti=1) "BootMenu=1"
(the quotes are for reference only)

ALT F X Y to close and save
attrib +s +h +r msdos.sys

if you want, you can do this also:
ren config.sys config.16b or config.bak or whatever
ren autoexec.bat autoexec.16b or autoexec.bak or whatever

NOTE: you will have actually renamed the config.sys and autoexec.bat that
WIN95 is using- this is good because you don't want any real-mode drivers
gunking up 95

At this point you will be given a menu at boot time to boot to prior dos
6.2x or Win95.

Notice that there are files called config.w40 and msdos.w40 and
on the fly as you choose "boot to prior DOS"

These are your original files, and will be renamed *.w40 if you boot back
to 95 automatically.

They should contain card and socket services, including cs_apm.exe in
config and power.exe in autoexec. When you boot to prior DOS you can

At this point prior DOS will be the same as when the Aero was shipped, and
you'll have a clean Windows 95 without 16 bit drivers confusing the system
and taking up valuable RAM.

Some people will say you should have himem.sys and emm386.exe even in
Win95, but I think 95 does a good job of memory management. It's up to you.

Go mess up your computers and I don't want any complaints!

Pres Waterman

[C] From: John David Steffes <>
Subject: RE: Info for novices re Something old, something new...
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 19:49:49 -0500

But the files io.sys, msdos.sys, config.sys, autoexec.bat, and 
change with a .dos for old dos and w40 for the new win95 (under dos 6X.)!

Win95 does load himem.sys automatically however it does not load emm386.exe 
and we can make more room for windows 95 and other.

Win97 NOTE: Under windows97 things on an Aero change there are no more start 
butttons and the soft-paq's for win95 do NOT work correctly PLEASE note 
There is a lot of changes in the power management (instead of just battery, 
suspend, and shutdown) Now they have a hibernation that is build it to win97 
and ON-NOW demand loads win97 in about 10 seconds instead of about 1 minute 
for win95! WIN97 Looks more stable and acts more stable I am only on BETA3 
SO when final release hits it should be close to NT Stability! 


[Win95, WinNT, Cario, WinCE, Win97, And Linux Beta tester] 

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