Posting-Frequency: Every two months
Subject: 2. Installing Windows 95
* 2.1. Basics about Win95 vs Win 3.x and DOS
+ 2.1.1. Basics about OEM Service Release 2 vs original
Win95, Win 3.x, and DOS
* 2.2. How do I install Win95 on a computer with...
+ 2.2.1. ...nothing else on it?
+ 2.2.2. ...DOS and Windows 3.x on it?
+ 2.2.3. ...Stacker (tm) disk compression
+ 2.2.4. ...>500 MB drive running Disk Mangler, DriveLamer,
+ 2.2.5. ...Double/DriveSpace (tm) disk compression
+ 2.2.6. ...OS/2 (tm) ? (any 2.x or higher version)
+ 2.2.7. ...Windows NT (tm) ? (why?)
+ 2.2.8. ...no hard drive? (diskless station)
+ 2.2.9. ...notebook computer?
+ 2.2.10. How do I copy my Win95 installation to another
* 2.3. How do I install Windows 95 from...
+ 2.3.1. ...floppies?
+ 2.3.2. ...CD-ROM drive? (Harder than you think)
+ 2.3.3. ...network server? ("Standard" shared install)
+ 2.3.4. ...network server? ("Copy the cabs to a server"
+ 2.3.5. How do I make Setup NOT install things like
Internet Explorer, MSN, etc?
* 2.4. I'm having problems with...
+ 2.4.1. ...rebooting after first part of setup
+ 2.4.2. ...reading disk 2
+ 2.4.3. ..."Safe" recovery
+ 2.4.4. ...part two of setup can't read drivers from
+ 2.4.5. ...part two of setup can't read drivers from
* 2.5. Can I install two separate copies of Win95?
+ 2.5.1. Can I boot from a floppy disk and then run Win95
from a hard drive?
* 2.6. How do I install old DOS and Windows 3.1 in a Win95
* 2.7. Why should I make a startup disk?
* 2.8. Top ten installation mistakes
* 2.9. Things to try before Re-Installing
* 2.10. Things to do before re-installing to ensure a good
* 2.11. Top ten re-installation mistakes
* 2.12. Things to try before giving up
* 2.13. How do I un-install Win95 fromů
+ 2.13.1. ...installation on top of old Windows 3.x?
+ 2.13.2. ...installation on separate directory or drive?
+ 2.13.3. ...a computer with DriveSpace 3 (tm) disk
+ 2.13.4. ...a server based install?
+ 2.13.5. ...a diskless workstation?
* 2.14. Top ten Un-Installation mistakes
Subject: 2.1. Basics about Win95 vs. Win 3.x and DOS
Back up (Make a copy of) your hard drive first, if you don't know what
you're doing! Back up anyway even if you do.
Windows 95 is a very different beast from Windows 3.1, different from
MS-DOS, different from anything else out there. Treat it like Windows
95 and not like DOS, and it will install and perform like Windows 95.
This is especially true with installation. Try to remove as many old
DOS drivers, TSRs, disk compressors, disk managers, etc before
attempting to install. Setup will recognize a host of such programs
and warn you to remove them before continuing. Heed that warning! And
if you have any doubts as to what Setup will do to your computer, back
up your hard drive first!
One very useful function of Setup is creating a Startup Disk to start
the computer from, in case Win95 can't start on its own. Setup will
ask you if you want a Startup disk just before it copies its files to
your hard drive. Make up a Startup Disk. You can even uninstall Win95
from this startup disk, provided you enabled Uninstallation in Setup
(If you installed on top of Win 3.1).
NOTE: The Startup disk that Setup makes for you will not contain any
real mode (DOS) drivers for hardware. It only contains basic utilities
you'd normally associate with DOS (scandisk, etc) plus utilities to
import or export Registry keys (or the entire Registry), and the
Uninstaller. You must add drivers to the disk's DOS configuration (and
hence you should know how to configure stuff in DOS) if you expect to
use such hardware after booting from that disk.
Another very useful tool, though it doesn't get built during Setup, is
the Emergency Recovery Disk. If you own a CD-ROM version of Win95,
copy the ERU utilities, from \OTHER\MISC\ERU to your Win95 directory,
after you finish installing Win95. Then, when you want to make a
recovery disk, run eru.exe. Afterwards, if you ever corrupt your Win95
setup, run erd.exe (the DOS counterpart to eru) to re-build the lost
* 2.1.1. Basics about OEM Service Release 2 vs original Win95, Win
3.x, and DOS
Much of the original Windows 95 install rules above also apply to
version 4.00.950B, more commonly known as OSR2, or even (quite
mistakenly) "Windows 97". Here are additional points to know before
* Without special "attention", 4.00.950B will only install on a
clean computer (without DOS, Win 3.1, or Win95, or any other
operating system). The OSR2 FAQ
(http://ling.ucsd.edu/~erwin/osr2.html) contains details on how to
install 4.00.950B on a system that already has a version of
* 4.00.950B's version of DOS (DOS 7.1) will not run Windows 3.1 (as
per FAQ pages 3 and 12). This version's IO.SYS includes special
code to block other versions of Windows from starting. (Download
this patch to fix DOS 7.1 so it can run Windows 3.x). However,
this version of DOS will run other DOS apps, including games, as
long as they don't perform direct disk writes (even if you use
FAT32 file system).
* Read the OSR2 FAQ after you read this one.
Subject: 2.2. How do I install Windows 95 on a computer with...
Well, let me get some basics about the Win95 setup straight first.
Floppy users should first virus-scan their systems before installing
from floppies. MS's Knowledge Base article Q136111 explains how
viruses can ruin your second disk, because that disk is in DMF (1.68
MB) format. A boot-record virus will remove the DMF boot record,
rendering it useless. Alternatively, you can Write-protect the disks;
Some idiot at MS's production lab decided they should ship all
Microsoft disks write-enabled. That same KB article describes that,
while Setup will try to write to Disk 2 with your name and
registration info, you can leave the disk write-protected and tell
Setup to ignore the write-protect error.
CD-ROM users: make sure you can read the CD-ROM from DOS. This means
loading a real-mode CD-ROM driver into your DOS config, either already
on your hard disk or from your boot floppy.
Network users: If you're installing from floppies or CD-ROM, pay
attention to the above notes as though it were a stand alone computer.
If you install Win95 through the network instead, also read the
notes in 2.3.3 below. Don't forget to ask your Administrator if you
can install Win95; he has to make preparations to his server to let it
* 2.2.1. ...nothing else on it?
You need to prepare a File Allocation Table (FAT) partition on your
hard drive to install Windows 95 to. The first bootable partition must
use FAT file system, regardless of where you install Win95. If you
bought the Win95 package designed for PCs without Windows (meaning not
the upgrade) it will come with a startup disk for this purpose. The
startup disk works much like the setup disk for MS-DOS 6.22; it will
create a partition and format it for you. The disk also contains the
traditional MS-DOS utilities like fdisk, format, sys, himem.sys, to do
It will then ask for Setup Disk 1 or the CD-ROM, which installs the
Win95 setup wizard to take you the rest of the way.
NOTE: Some OEM CD-ROM distributors might not have included an MS-DOS
driver for the CD-ROM drive on the startup disk. If this is so, when
the boot disk setup asks you for the CD-ROM disk, it won't find it.
Tell the manufacturer to correct this. If you're adventurous enough to
do this yourself, the config.sys and autoexec.bat files on the boot
disk have instructions on how to add your DOS CD-ROM driver.
If you choose to install the upgrade version on to an empty system,
you will need a boot disk with the DOS utilities I mentioned. You will
also need your Windows 3.1 Disk 1, as proof that you're eligible for
the upgrade. Part way through preparing the inital setup, it will ask
you to "locate" the original installation of Windows 3.1, at which
point you can insert your Windows 3.1 disk 1 and have Setup search
there for it.
4.00.950B users must use their Win95 boot disk (DOS 7.1), add any
needed CD-ROM or network drivers, AND use that particular version of
fdisk to create FAT32 partitions. If you don't want to use FAT32 you
can use any DOS version to create hard disk partitions and run the
Setup from. I could install 4.00.950B with only a DOS 6.22 boot disk.
* 2.2.2. ...DOS and Windows 3.x on it?
Most likely you will have the upgrade version of Win95, and in the
case of the CD-ROM version, you will already have a DOS CD-ROM driver
loaded and working. Microsoft recommends you run Win95 setup from
within Windows 3.1, which does work, but if you plan on installing
Win95 in a separate directory than your existing Windows, you should
run setup from DOS instead. Keep it simple.
If you install from within Windows 3.1, and you choose to install on
top of your existing Windows, be sure to allow Setup to copy your
existing configuration in case you wish to uninstall Win95 later.
A safer bet is to install Win95 in its own directory, which gives you
the option to dual-boot between your original DOS and Win95.
Uninstalling then becomes a simple matter of deltree c:\win95, and
removing the remaining traces from the root directory (including a sys
c: to restore the original DOS system files).
* 2.2.3. ...Stacker (TM) disk compression?
Microsoft recommends to uncompress your drive before installing Win95,
but it does work with real-mode Stacker drivers. Just install
normally, but keep your real-mode Stacker disk drivers installed when
you do. You will lose performance on disk access as long as you
maintain your DOS version of Stacker. Otherwise the same rules apply
as for DOS and Windows 3.x.
* 2.2.4. ...>500 MB drive running Disk Mangler, DriveLamer, etc?
These disk managers allow systems, that otherwise can't handle drives
with more than 1024 cylinders, to work with these drives. They're
typically larger than 500 megabytes.
Ontrack's Disk Manager and MicroHouse's DrivePro work OK with Win95's
32-bit disk drivers, so you can install like you could for an upgrade,
but you should consider a BIOS upgrade and a system backup before
attempting to install Win95 on systems with disks bigger than 500
megabytes. These disk managers are vulnerable to boot record viruses,
making your system unstartable! On a system that supports large hard
drives by design, a virus strike will not cause such damage (though it
will do other nasty stuff of course; at least the virus is easier to
Warning on FAT32: Ontrack's Disk Manager 7.0 or earlier does not work
with protected mode disk drivers and FAT32 (it does seem to work with
MS-DOS mode access though). If you must keep the disk mangler because
your BIOS does not work with disks larger than 500 MB, use normal FAT
Let me get this 1024 cylinder nonsense straightened out once and for
all. IBM compatibles, ever since the XT, cannot start from a hard
drive partition with more than 1024 cylinders, even though partitions
may exist beyond that and may even be accessible after starting up.
The original FAT file system cannot exceed this 1024 cylinder limit
either, and FAT partitions can't go past cylinder 1024, regardless of
the total number of cylinders. Other file systems easily handle this,
but not FAT, nor VFAT (Win95). And no Intel-based PC on this planet
can boot from any hard drive partition that sits beyond this limit,
regardless of the file system!
Disk manager hacks and LBA translation reduce the number of "logical"
cylinders, and usually increase the number of "logical" heads to
compensate, in order for these lame PCs to boot up from such a hard
drive. Since LBA translation is built in to most Intel-based PCs
today, use it. Or upgrade your BIOS. Don't use software to
accomplish this translation, and don't waste time with other software
hacks or "magic" to work around this.
One precaution to prevent a virus strike (and other mistakes, like
booting off a non-system disk), is to set your BIOS to always boot
from drive C: (like C: first, A: second, or C, A) so your disk manager
software will always load before anything else does.
A very kind representative from Ontrack took the time to clear up the
statements I made in this particular FAQ question:
2. If you have a "normal" DOS MBR, and the system gets hit
with a boot-sector virus. Oh, yes, the PC boots, but the
nasty virus is lurking to do its dirty work with no warning
from DOS at all.
3. Now, if you have Ontrack's Dynamic Drive Overlay (DDO),
the virus over-writes part of the DDO code, and the user
cannot boot the PC, but usually gets a warning like "DDO
Integrity Error" which means just what it states, something
has corrupted the DDO code. In most cases, that "something"
is the nasty virus. The user gets a warning, knows something
is wrong, and then is able to take the steps to remedy the damage.
These two points are the ones I'll ponder here:
2) If the PC can at least boot, you will be able to start your system
with some kind of boot disk (Remember the Startup Disk? Did you
make one?) and run a DOS version of a virus killer to remove the boot
record virus. Win95's quite attentive in this respect; you'll know if
you have a boot record virus as soon as the Desktop appears. Oh you
could load DDO drivers in config.sys on the boot disk (DM 6.03
includes instructions on how to do this) but you still won't be able
to repair the DDO partition table without destroying the rest of the
disk (since the virus already destroyed it). The best you could do is
back up the data onto another hard disk (At last there's a use for
DOSLFNBK; the real mode DOS long filename backup utility) and
install the Win95 DOS startup files (SYS x: (x=Target drive)) on it.
Regardless of our Ontrack friend's claims, I did not find a utility on
the DM disk to repair the DDO partition table without destroying
everything afterwards (DDO boot record, FATs, directory tree, etc)
3) I didn't get any warning at all besides "Non-system disk or disk
error" on the virus infected DDO drive. If I were a typical reader of
this FAQ, meaning, "All I know how to do is hit the Start button, tell
me more," this error message would mean nothing more to me than, "my
hard disk is toast, please help me fix it."
Here's more from our Ontrack rep:
Just another tidbit on the off-chance that you are unaware
of new BIOS limitations. There are a number of newer LBA
BIOS's that have limitations at 2.1GB, 3.27GB as well as
4.2GB. Here again, Ontrack's Disk Manager comes back into
play to solve these problems.
Uh-huh. Didn't Award fix that with their 4.50G BIOS? Wasn't that
released in early 1995? Doesn't standard FAT have a partition size
limit of 2 GB? Doesn't FAT32 work with larger disks anyways?
* 2.2.5. ...Double/DriveSpace (TM) disk compression?
Simply perform your normal installation as per the Upgrade.
Win95 comes with 32-bit versions of the DoubleSpace/DriveSpace drivers
and they will unload the real mode drivers from memory when Win95
4.00.950B comes with DriveSpace 3 and the utilities needed to convert
existing compressed drives to DriveSpace 3. You should pay attention
to the info in FAQ page 11 for more help.
* 2.2.6. ...OS/2 (TM) ? (any 2.x or higher version)
Microsoft does not support installing Win95 on systems with OS/2, any
version. Attempting to install Win95 on a system like this will wipe
out any capability of starting OS/2.
However, if you use Boot Manager, you can install Win95 in a partition
of its own, or in the same partition as MS-DOS. This will isolate
Win95 from OS/2. Setup will temporarily disable Boot Manager by making
the DOS partition the active partition. To re-enable Boot Manager
after installing Win95, run fdisk and make the Boot Manager partition
(the little 1 MB partition of type Non-DOS) the active partition
again. This also has the advantage of using HPFS file system on the
OS/2 boot partition.
Of course, installing Win95 on an HPFS partition is not possible.
Win95 doesn't have any HPFS file system drivers yet, though I'm hoping
* 2.2.7. ...Windows NT (TM) ?
Supposedly, Setup will recognize NTLDR.COM and insert itself into the
list of OSes to boot from. As long as you have a FAT partition to
install Win95 to, this will work. Win95 does not support installation
on an NTFS partition either.
If you want to triple-boot between DOS, Win95, and NT, MS has some
wicked setup procedure that lets you use NTLDR to pick your booting OS
(like OS/2's Boot Manager). The details are in the Win95 Resource Kit.
WARNING: Do not install Windows NT 4.0 on top of an existing Win95
installation! Likewise don't install Win95 on top of NT. The Registry
acts quite differently between these versions.
* 2.2.8. ...no hard drive? (diskless station)
NOT RECOMMENDED, though it is possible. The big reason is Win95 will
use a network drive for its Virtual Memory swap file, which will cause
heavy traffic on the file server. Put minimum 16 MB memory on each
diskless workstation, to minimize swapping to the server. Also see
How to prevent random hard drive access, to further reduce server
To perform a diskless install of Win95, you need a server based
install already on the file server. You also need a real mode
connection to the network (either on a boot disk, or a virtual floppy
on the file server via a boot EPROM on the network card). You merely
install all the Win95 files into your home directory, wherever that
is. Unfortunately, this only works with real mode network clients; you
can't use 32-bit network components on a completely diskless
If you use a boot EPROM, you need to make a virtual boot disk with the
Win95 system files (IO.SYS etc) on it. Use whatever utilities come
with your network server to do this. Other details are in Microsoft's
Knowledge Base article Q133349.
* 2.2.9. ...notebook computer?
You merely install it on the notebook as you would on any other
computer. Because of complications with CD-ROM and network support on
some notebook computers, I suggest you use the floppy disk version
because you don't need to load any fancy drivers, as compared to the
CD-ROM version, to get running.
Setup will recognize special brands of notebook computers (Toshiba and
Zenith for example), and you should change the "Computer Type" if it
did not. This lets Setup tune the power management features to work
Once you finish, run the PC Card control panel (My Computer / Control
Panel / PC Card) to let Win95 install 32-bit PC card support for it.
* 2.2.10. How do I copy my Win95 installation to another hard drive?
First, don't use xcopy. I'm telling you this up front because too many
people out there just can't get this image-copying of Win95 right.
Sure, there are utilities for copying the long filenames etc from DOS,
but not all of us can handle this. So here's my sure fire way of
copying Win95 from one hard drive to another and keeping ALL settings
1. Hook up your target hard drive and partition it using fdisk or
whatever. Let's say it's Drive D: but it could be any drive
letter. Use a Primary partition. Don't worry about making it
active; we do that later.
2. Run Win95, and right-click on the target drive and hit "Format..."
Make sure you turn on "Copy system files" (so it copies the IO.SYS
and boot record properly.) Quick or Full format will work; if it's
an old drive you might want to use Full format so it can scan the
surface of that disk for errors.
3. In any Explorer window, hit View / Options... and turn on "Show
all files". This way you'll copy the 20 MB or so of hidden files
and Registry, and maintain all their original attributes and long
4. Copy the Win95 directory's contents first. (This is in case you
let Win95 manage virtual memory...) Make a folder on your target
with the same name as your Win95 directory. Then select ALL files
and folders except for WIN386.SWP if it exists, and drag them to
the Win95 folder on the target. (You can hit Edit/Select All to do
this quickly, then hold CTRL and click on the WIN386.SWP file to
unselect that file.)
5. Now copy the rest of the hard drive. Select ALL files from the
Root of the source drive, and unselect IO.SYS, COMMAND.COM,
Win386.SWP if it exists, and your Win95 directory! Be sure to
leave MSDOS.SYS selected! (Don't forget, MSDOS.SYS is really a
settings file now!) Then drag them on to your target.
6. When all this copying is done, install your target hard drive into
its system, and have a DOS 7.x (Win95 DOS) boot disk handy with
fdisk on it. Boot with that floppy, run fdisk, and make the new
partition active. Reboot with the copied disk.
7. NOTE: This step may be needed... Copy sys.com from your new
\windows\command directory, and msdos.sys from the hard drive's
root directory, to your boot disk and type sys c: from your boot
disk. Sometimes you need to rebuild the startup io.sys and
msdos.sys this way. If necessary, copy back the msdos.sys file.
NOTE: I won't post or entertain thoughts on copying a Win95
installation any other way, so stop sending me messages about
DOSLFNBK, GHOST, or any other copy utility. You will probably have to
perform steps six and seven if you use any of those utilities anyways.
Subject: 2.3. How do I install Windows 95 from...
* 2.3.1. ...floppies?
For basic systems, and notebooks, this is the best source to install
from. Setup will detect all hardware it can, and add protected mode
support for it. It does take a while to sit and flip disks, but you
will have a clean installation afterwards. This also gives you a good
excuse to delete or hide your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT before
First, boot to DOS, then run Setup on disk 1. If you don't already
have DOS on the computer, boot using any DOS disk and prepare the hard
drive for a normal DOS installation. The Stand-alone version of Win95
will have a boot disk for this purpose.
* 2.3.2. ...CD-ROM drive? (Harder than you think)
You need a real mode CD-ROM driver in place to run Setup initially. My
favorite method is to prepare a boot disk (or use the boot disk from
the non-upgrade version) which loads the CD-ROM drivers, then runs
Setup from the CD-ROM.) This way there's no chance of Setup arguing
with a CONFIG.SYS file on the target drive.
A boot disk only needs these entries in CONFIG.SYS:
DEVICE=(your CD-ROM driver) /D:MSCD001 (and whatever parameters it needs)
And these lines in AUTOEXEC.BAT:
MSCDEX /D:MSCD001 /M:4 (and whatever preferences you have)
SMARTDRV 2048 2048
I suggest including smartdrv to speed up the first part of
installation. Include smartdrv after mscdex so it can cache the CD-ROM
* 2.3.3. ...network server? ("Standard" shared install)
Server based installs work like they did back in Win 3.1, but you need
to run a different setup program, netsetup, to install the server
copy. netsetup comes on the upgrade CD-ROM version in
NOTE: netsetup does not come with the floppies or OEM CD-ROM. And you
can't get it from Microsoft's web site, either. You can get it from
the Win95 Resource Kit if you don't have it.
Perhaps the two best advantages of using netsetup to make a server
based install, are 1: you can do shared installs, saving local hard
drive space, and 2: you can apply service packs and other components
to server installs, which will take effect for server based, and local
installs. Service Pack 1 Admin Edition includes a utility to apply
the service pack to a server based install.
To use netsetup:
1. Install Win95 on one computer as a stand-alone, and install
network support for it so you can write to the server drives.
2. Run netsetup from the CD-ROM disk. It will list several tasks you
must do to complete the server install.
3. Do the first task: specify the target server and directory you
will install the admin copy to.
4. Do the second task: specify the source drive (usually the CD-ROM)
and install. It will perform three passes of installs; one for
stand-alone installs, one for shared installs, and one for the
initial setup files.
5. (optional) Write an installation script. The script editor is
rather simple; you use the option menus to turn options on and
off, to specify what network components to load, and settings for
6. Done. Go to a workstation and run setup from the server to test
the install, and any install script you wrote.
One dumb thing about netsetup is you have to run it from Windows 95,
which means you have to install Win95 once, then run it on that
station. It will run in Windows 3.1, but you won't be able to create
an installation script until you run it from Win95.
NOTE: Installing the OEM CD-ROM version to a server using netsetup
does not entirely work! The OEM version includes the MS Internet
Explorer from Plus, and the PRECOPY.CAB files contain references to
those components. Netsetup will not attempt to install those, which is
why MS didn't bother including it with the OEM version. You could find
out what files it looks for and manually insert them, but that's a bit
of a pain. You'll just have to shell out the $250.00 for the
non-upgrade, non-OEM, Win95 CD-ROM. Installing the upgrade version
works, but it will ask you for Win 3.1 evidence before it will
* 2.3.4. ...network server? ("Copy the cabs to a server" quick
You can install Win95 using its cabinet files from any location, even
a network share. This method will not allow for shared installations
of diskless installations, but it does let you quickly re-install a
dead machine and it takes a lot less server disk space. The same
automation tools (batch.exe) also work, but you can't add components
to a "cab" installation (using infinst.exe) and automatically install
them along with the rest of Win95.
These steps are very simple; copy the Win95 CD's \WIN95 directory to a
network share, and install your workstations from it. You can create a
msbatch.inf using batch.exe or by hand, and copy it to the same
directory as the cabinet files, to automate the installation, but
you're restricted to components that come with Win95.
* 2.3.5. How do I make Setup NOT install things like MSIE, MSN, etc?
Quick background... OEM releases of Win95 include some built in
components, such as Internet Explorer, Internet Mail and News, MSN,
the "Online services", and such. These components are not optional on
OEM releases by design. There are legal processes in motion forcing
Microsoft to stop this practice, but in the meantime you can use these
techniques to skip installing them. Such uses for unbundling may be
network installations, troubleshooting Internet setups, preventing,
"This may affect Registered Programs" from appearing for no apparent
reason, and the like. The CompuClinic folks are credited for
assistance here (http://www.compuclinic.com/).
Legal Stuff: Until such time that OEMs may unbundle these components,
I intended these steps only be used by private users or network admins
who use Win95 internally. OEMs and resellers attempting to use these
techniques might face legal action from MS for violating their license
agreements. Check to see if you're allowed to do this before doing so.
...with that out of the way...
1. Copy your Win95 CD's \WIN95 directory to a convenient place on
your hard drive or network server. You'll need as much as 50 MB of
disk space. Users with a pre-installed Win95 will find an
installable copy already on their hard drive in
\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS ready for editing; you should move this
directory somewere else if you plan on erasing your previous Win95
2. From a DOS prompt, change to that directory and use extract to
extract setruppp.inf from there. Use the command line "extract
setuppp.inf precopy2.cab" NOTE: Strangely enough, you need to boot
from a hard drive before you use the extract utility; it kept
telling me "disk write protected" when it tried to write the file
if I booted from a floppy drive!
3. Edit setuppp.inf to taste using the information below.
4. Edit layout.inf (In the same directory) so that the line
containing setuppp.inf reads: setuppp.inf=0,,xxxx (xxxx represents
the resulting size of setuppp.inf after your edits, and the Zero
indicates to Setup to use the existing copy instead of extracting
it from a cabinet file). Also comment-out or remove any .INF
entries you commented out or removed in setuppp.inf.
5. Run Setup normally to install your cleaned-up version.
These components and coresponding setuppp.inf entries are
"Non-optional" in OEM releases and are candidates for removal:
OHARE.INF Internet Explorer (All OEM releases)
MOS.INF The Microsoft Network (All releases, including the "Setup the
Microsoft Network" pieces)
ATHENA.INF Internet Mail and News (OSR2 and 2.1)
INETMAIL.INF Internet Mail add-on for Windows Messaging (OSR2 and 2.1)
MSINFO.INF The "Online Services" installables (OSR2 and 2.1)
QUARTZ.INF ActiveMovie (OSR2 and 2.1)
My own experience with this editing suggests you keep ActiveMovie
however, as it replaces many commented-out components in the original
Media Player which will be unusable otherwise.
Each of these components, with the exception of The Microsoft Network,
are available on your Win95 CD-ROM in the \OTHER directory. Newer
versions of MSN are available from PC dealers, cereal boxes (I'm not
kidding!), etc for free.
The OSR2 FAQ contains other edits you might want to perform, to allow
you to install OEM releases on machines that already have an OS, or to
manipulate setup further. In addition, you can perform network
installations of Win95 with this modified kit. Use batch.exe to build
a customized msbatch.inf file; see the Network Server installation
Subject: 2.4. I'm having problems with...
* 2.4.1. ...rebooting after first part of setup
On systems with bizarre DOS configurations, you may get a "Windows
protection error", or "This VxD conflicts with another driver already
loaded". This is because a DOS driver loaded before win.com loaded,
and a corresponding protected mode driver can't load.
To avoid this, just when the computer reboots for part two of setup,
press F8 when you see Starting Windows 95... then select Safe mode
command prompt only. From here, delete or rename your config.sys and
autoexec.bat files. Then re-boot and proceed with part two normally.
You may get this error if you use an unrecognized CD-ROM driver
(Usually the case for IDE CD-ROMs attached to PCI IDE adapters), or if
you use a DOS network driver and a Win95 net card driver tries to
load. The above technique will work around both these cases.
If you have to do this, you won't be able to configure a printer or
copy any other drivers until you finish Setup. No matter; if it asks
you for Win95 files, just cancel, and wait until Setup finishes.
* 2.4.2. ...reading disk 2
The disks come in MS's new "DMF" format, which holds nearly 2 MB on a
1.44 MB disk. The first disk is a standard 1.44 MB disk, and Setup
loads a driver to read the DMF disks.
A DMF disk can get destroyed by a boot record virus, because the virus
over-writes the DMF boot record. As a precaution, write-protect the
floppies before using them. For some really dumb reason, Microsoft
insisted on shipping the disks write-enabled.
Setup will also try to write your registration info on disk 2. If you
have the disk write protected, you can just hit "Continue" and Setup
will continue without writing to the disk. For details, read KB
* 2.4.3. ..."Safe" recovery
If you re-run Setup on a bad installation of Win95, you will get a
prompt to use "Safe Recovery". This will let you either Undo the
install, or Redo the install using safer detection techniques. My
suggestion is to Undo the install, then use the technique above,
regarding Rebooting after first part of setup. Also, try
installing on a target drive with no DOS startup files (config.sys).
* 2.4.4. ...part two of setup. I can't read drivers from CD-ROM
This means Setup didn't load protected mode CD-ROM drivers for your
drive, which happens for many reasons. This will only affect your
ability to add printer drivers and setting up MS Exchange, both of
which you can skip and do later.
You should make sure, after finishing Setup, you bug the CD-ROM
manufacturer for a Win95 driver. Also check the section on SCSI
and IDE CD-ROM support.
PCI IDE or PCI SCSI adapters won't kick in until the second re-boot,
so such CD-ROMs won't work until then. Just let it finish and it will
Later on, if you have to use real mode CD-ROM or net card drivers, you
can add printers and set up Exchange once you can use the CD-ROM or
* 2.4.5. ...part two of setup. I can't read drivers from the network
If you installed network support but you didn't get a network log in
at the start of part two (so you can access the file server), this
means the Win95 network support didn't install correctly. As per the
CD-ROM install, you can skip the Exchange and Printer setup until you
get the protected mode network support working.
PCI net cards won't operate at all until the second re-boot, when the
PCI Bus driver kicks in. Just let it finish and your net card will
work on the second re-boot. ISA PnP cards react the same way.
This could also mean you skipped network support to begin with, or it
could not load a network card driver. Again, you can skip the Exchange
and Printer setup until you correct this.
NOTE: There is a way to work around this minor problem; use a real
mode network client (Either netx, vlm, or Workgroup Connection for
DOS) to run Setup from, and tell it to use your Existing ODI or NDIS 2
driver. This is the default net card choice if you install from a
server-based copy. The second time it re-boots it will read your real
mode driver and add the components needed to make it work with 32-bit
network software. Finally, after you log in to the server to continue
Setup, it will detect your net card and replace the ODI or NDIS 2
support with the appropriate Win95 support.
This method of loading network support for PCI and ISA PnP cards can
produce some unusual side effects. For example, if you booted from a
floppy disk to get on the network, Part 2 of Setup will try to read
the NDIS 2 or ODI driver from the floppy disk! If this occurs you will
get a "General failure reading Drive A:" error message. When you do,
re-insert that disk and hit "Retry" so Setup will continue.
Another side effect is Win95 shutting down in the middle of a driver
file copy! To prevent this, make sure you erase this line in
msbatch.inf on the Server copy:
This line immediately re-boots the computer after the end of all the
Setup Part 2 stuff. If you remove it, Setup will prompt you to
re-start the computer when it's all finished. You should wait until
Win95 detects and installs all other hardware before you press "OK" on
this requester. If Win95 asks you to re-start the computer at any
other time, tell it NO.
Subject: 2.5. Can I install two separate copies of Win95?
The problem with this is there's only one msdos.sys file, which points
to only one copy of Windows 95. You could edit msdos.sys (which is
just a text file in Win95) to point to either copy, but this is
annoying. A better technique is to borrow someone's copy of OS/2 and
install Boot Manager, then have two bootable partitions, each with its
own copy of Win95.
The first technique is great, however, for developers experimenting
with their apps, without destroying their primary copy of Win95, and
for those without friends using OS/2.
4.00.950B users can't use FAT32 file system if you install a non-950B
version alongside a 950B version. Be careful.
* 2.5.1. Can I boot from a floppy disk and then run Win95 from a
A few people actually asked this...
1. Get Win95 to start normally (off the hard drive!)
2. Make a Win95 DOS boot disk using Add/Remove Programs / Startup
Disk or formatting a disk with /S
3. Copy the msdos.sys file from your hard drive to the floppy. This
file contains the pointers to your installed copy of Win95; you
can edit it as you need to as well.
4. Copy himem.sys, ifshlp.sys, and setver.exe from your Win95
directory to the boot floppy.
5. Try booting from the floppy.
The idea is, msdos.sys contains the paths to your installed copy of
Win95, which could be on another directory or even another drive. This
lets you install it on drive D: for example, but it still needs to
boot from A: or C: to bring up the real mode bootstrap (Good ol' DOS).
You will need to make one edit on the boot floppy's MSDOS.SYS file
though; change "HostWinBootDrv=C" to "HostWinBootDrv=A".
Subject: 2.6. How do I install old DOS and Windows 3.1 on a Win95 system?
I do not recommend installing old DOS on a Win95 machine at all.
Win95's included MS-DOS 7.0, in Single Mode, can run anything
that previous versions of DOS can, including Windows 3.1 or Windows
for Workgroups! If you have to run old DOS programs that don't run in
DOS sessions in Win95, check out the Running MS-DOS Games page.
With that aside, to install the missing utilities that DOS 7.0
blatantly forgot from DOS 6.22:
1. Find the \OLDMSDOS directory on the Win95 CD-ROM in
2. Run the install.bat from that directory, within Win95.
3. When asked to, shut down and re-start your computer. This is
because the old DOS programs are really from DOS 6.22, and the
batch file SETVER's them to that version of DOS.
You'll find other old DOS toys in the directories of \OTHER, including
MSD and the Central Point version of MSBACKUP.
To install Windows 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups on a system running
1. Find your original Win 3.1/WFWG disks of course. Silly.
2. Exit to Single mode DOS by Start Menu/Shut Down, and "Restart
computer in MS-DOS Mode".
3. Make copies of any config.sys or autoexec.bat you have (You
shouldn't have these anyway!)
4. Run Setup from your Win 3.1 disk 1 and install normally, into any
directory that Win95 isn't in! Like C:\WIN31
5. When Setup finishes, choose the option to Exit to DOS.
6. Make copies of any changes that Win 3.1 Setup made to your
config.sys and autoexec.bat, and restore your original versions
of these files. You'll need these copies later on!
7. Type exit to go back into Win95.
8. Find win.com in your Win 3.1 installation, right-click on that
file, and hit "Properties".
9. Hit the Program tab, hit Advanced, hit "MS-DOS Mode", hit "Specify
new MS-DOS Configuration."
10. In the empty spaces below, copy & paste the text from the saved
config.sys and autoexec.bat that Win 3.1 Setup modified. CTRL-V
works in these text boxes to paste text from the clipboard in. Add
a LOCK C: to the end of the special autoexec.bat (for 32-bit disk
and file access, if you wish to use it).
11. Modify the resulting text entries so you use the right versions of
these files. Finally OK everything.
Use Win95 versions (C:\WIN95\.....) of these files:
Use Win 3.1 versions (C:\WIN31\... or C:\WINDOWS\...) of these files
(Only relevant to WFWG actually)
* NET START
* MSCDEX (If you share a CD-ROM via WFWG)
When you double-click on win.com here, or on its resulting PIF file
(Shortcut to MS-DOS program), your computer will restart using this
special DOS configuration. When you exit Win 3.1, Win95 will restart.
Trust me; this is the absolute best way to get Win 3.1 working on a
Win95 machine, if you don't have an older DOS already installed.
NOTE: Windows for Workgroups, in particular, will ask you to "Restart
Computer" sometimes. This is fine; Win95 won't try to re-start because
a line in the special AUTOEXEC.BAT (WIN.COM /EX) won't execute, and
your computer will re-start still using the special DOS configuration.
The only way to get back into Win95 safely, is to exit Win 3.1 with
Program Manager (File/Exit Windows).
Also notice, that you'll find files named CONFIG.W40 and AUTOEXEC.W40
in your hard drive. These files are Win95's DOS configuration. Leave
them alone! Don't touch them! Win95 copies these back to CONFIG.SYS
and AUTOEXEC.BAT when you finish with Win 3.1.
And don't try to install old DOS on a Win95 machine. Just don't.
You'll regret it. And don't ask me why. You'll regret hearing why.
4.00.950B users will discover a VERY ANNOYING message when they try to
run Win 3.1 under 950B's version of DOS (MS-DOS 7.1): "The version of
MS-DOS you are running is incompatible with this version of Windows.
Your system had been halted." (grrr... this string is hard-wired into
IO.SYS so I think this is a deliberate hack on MS's part)
Subject: 2.7. Why should I make a startup disk?
(Why didn't I think of this question? Thanks guys)
The startup disk contains a handful of basic utilities you can use to
fix your broken Win95 installation, and even uninstall Win95. The
traditional DOS utilities for disk management are in there, as are a
version of edit, regedit, and the uninstaller.
To make a startup disk, answer "YES" to the question about the startup
disk. If you skipped this part and want to make up a startup disk, run
Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and hit the "Startup Disk" tab.
* Notes regarding REGEDIT on the startup disk
The version of regedit on the startup disk only lets you import and
export Registry pieces (or the whole Registry) to text files you can
edit using good ol' edit. To build an editable copy of the Registry,
change to your Win95 directory and type:
REGEDIT /E REGBCKUP.REG
This will export the two Registry files to a text file with said name.
Copy this text file to a separate floppy disk (it'll exceed 1 MB
easily) and edit it as you feel necessary.
To completely re-create a Registry from this backup text file, from
your Win95 directory type this:
REGEDIT /C REGBCKUP.REG
Regedit can also import and export portions of the Registry. Outside
of Win95, type regedit without parameters for a list of extra options.
Subject: 2.8. Top ten installation mistakes
10. Hitting the "exit" button on the 13th disk
9. Lending your install disks to a friend, after you let Setup write
your name to Disk 2
8. Installing on your station at work, without letting your M.I.S.
manager know (He'll find out though...)
7. Installing on top of Windows 3.1 without enabling Uninstall
6. Installing from a unsupported CD-ROM drive or network
5. Installing on a system that doesn't work with 32-bit disk & file
access in WFWG 3.11
4. Restoring a backup of old Windows on top of your new Win95 install
3. Not doing a backup of old Windows before installing
2. Leaving the floppies write-enabled while installing
1. Installing from a BOOTLEG CD-ROM (Watch it: They're showing up now.
Buy the original and save yourself the troubles!)
Subject: 2.9. Things to try before re-installing
Oh No! You installed some 16-bit program and it over-wrote too many
Win95 system files! You need to re-install... or some other disaster
makes you think you need to re-install.
Not. Win95 has a pretty good defense mechanism against 16-bit programs
that replace system files, and other disasters. All key system files
have a backup copy in \WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP (or wherever you installed
Win95). Most cases, Win95 will detect that system files got
over-written and it'll offer to copy Win95 versions back. Let it do
so! This includes any winsock.dll files (You should use Win95's
dial up networking anyway, not Win 3.1 dialers like Trumpet).
If it doesn't do that, you can always copy them back yourself. Go into
"Safe mode command prompt only" (Press F8 on "Starting Windows 95..."
then select said option), then:
XCOPY C:\WIN95\SYSTEM\SYSBCKUP\*.* C:\WIN95\SYSTEM
from the DOS prompt.
Also, try editing system.ini. Inspect the [386Enh] section for any
additional device=xxxxx.386 drivers. On a clean Win95 install, you
shouldn't have ANY of these files. This goes double for any
"vshare.386" files that show up; Win95 has a built-in device=*vshare
driver. Removing old Win 3.1 386 Enhanced drivers will clear up many
If you get a "Registry corrupted" error of some kind, inspect your
hard drive for errors. On the requester that tells you to "Restore
from backup and Restart", press CTRL-ESC to bring up the Win95 task
manager, and run scandskw.exe from there to check the drive for
errors. Scandskw does a better job of scanning Win95 drives, and it
handles long filename problems better than scandisk does at the DOS
prompt. Once it finishes, you can hit that button to restore the
Registry and re-start. However, if you continue to get this kind of
error, start investigating your hard drive system. You might be
over-driving your HD at Mode 4 when it's not designed for it, for
example. Or maybe the drive's just on its last legs and dying. Do a
back up as soon as you can!
This Registry stuff is actually a good reason to use User
Profiles. Each user will have their own copy of the second half of the
Registry; the user.dat file. If the master user.dat gets ruined and
you need to completely re-install, you can bring back your program
settings for your 32-bit programs just by logging in as one of the
users. Your hardware (system.dat) config is still toast, but you can
rebuild that easy enough just by re-running the "Add new hardware"
Subject: 2.10. Things to do before re-installing to ensure good re-installation
OK, the above techniques didn't work and you have to re-install.
Here's what to do to make re-installing work best:
Plan to re-install from DOS, not from within Windows or Win95. This
way it'll assume a fresh installation.
From the DOS prompt outside of Win95, change to your Win95 directory,
and type this:
ATTRIB -H -S -R *.DAT
This will unhide the Registry files system.dat and user.dat. Then
delete them. That's right, delete them. A corrupted Registry will
cause no end of trouble until it's killed dead. If you have user
profiles you can restore user.dat easily enough.
If you were smart enough to make up a Registry backup with the
startup disk, you can try re-building it after you delete the
system.dat and user.dat, if you're sure that the backup is a good
copy. Still outside of Win95, change to your Win95 directory and type:
REGEDIT /C REGBCKUP.REG
This will kill the current Registry files and re-build them from the
.REG text file. If necessary, specify the disk path in the filename,
after all, that .REG file will easily exceed 1 MB, and you probably
copied it to a separate disk.
If you didn't make a Registry backup, you'll have to re-install your
32-bit apps and settings, but that's safer than trying to use a
Remove all the DOS drivers and TSRs you can, so it won't hinder
Win95's Setup. If you have the CD-ROM version, only have the DOS CD
driver, himem.sys, and mscdex loaded.
Edit the remaining system.ini to remove all foreign drivers from the
[386Enh] section. A clean system.ini's [386Enh] section will look
exactly like this:
mouse=*vmouse, msmouse.vxd ; the mouse driver may vary, but shouldn't be .386
PagingDrive=C: ; this may vary depending on where you put it
MinPagingFileSize=32768 ; these will vary depending on your swap file
MaxPagingFileSize=32768 ; Or they may be even missing, that's OK
You might also have a device=*vpowerd if you have power management on
your system. Don't forget: All of Win95's drivers really sit in the
Registry, not here.
The best bit of advice I can offer, regarding disaster recovery, is
use the Backup program which comes with Win95, or use any backup
program designed for Win95, to do a Full System Backup. This kind of
backup will copy The Registry to tape as well as the hidden and system
files. When you complete the re-install, restoring this tape will
restore all your original settings. All of them.
Subject: 2.11. Top ten re-installation mistakes
10. Inserting the 13th disk before reading the "Things to try before
9. Restoring your old Windows 3.1 backup on top of your re-installed
Win95 (again? Shame on you)
8. Not reading the Installation part of the FAQ over again before
7. Forgetting to uncompress your DriveSpace drive before reinstalling
(It's best to make a separate compressed volume, and keep your Win95
directory OFF it)
6. Forgetting to erase the corrupt Registry before re-installing
5. Using that BOOTLEG CD-ROM to re-install from (Didn't you learn the
4. Re-installing the Win 3.1 program that made you re-install Win95
3. Forgetting to remove old garbage from system.ini, config.sys,
2. Ignoring the Installation part of the FAQ, which might've
prevented the need to re-install
1. Not backing up your system after you re-installed Win95
Subject: 2.12. Things to try before giving up
You can read the Re-Installation part of this FAQ, which covers
some ways of fixing problems without re-installing, and which covers
some tips to make a good re-installation.
Failing that, try again from scratch, with an empty system (Meaning
back-up your system first, then delete everything and try again),
using the techniques in the Installation part of this FAQ.
Completely kill everything, even, if necessary, doing a low-level
format from your BIOS setup. Yes I know that you aren't supposed to
re-low-level-format IDE and SCSI hard drives, but it does work in a
Failing that, check with the hardware makers for Win95 versions of
drivers, etc, and look in the MS Knowledge Base, and see about
trading your hardware for Win95 compatible types. Don't waste your
time with unsupported hardware. Check out the Hardware
Compatibility List which contains a lot of out-dated crap, but they
did sort it by manufacturer nicely for you.
Also check with your software makers and tell them to get their BUTTS
in gear, and make Win95 compliant versions of their software, or to
fix their Win 3.1 software to make it work. (Soapbox mode on)
Microsoft didn't spend a whole year and a half of beta testing, just
to be ignored (Soapbox mode off)
Subject: 2.13. How do I uninstall Windows 95 from...
* 2.13.1. ...installation on top of my old Windows 3.x?
If you enabled the uninstall feature back in Setup, go to Add/Remove
Programs in Control Panel, and remove Windows 95. This will restore
your original Windows config files, your original DOS config files,
and the original partition table and boot record of the target drive.
If you didn't enable uninstall, you'll have to trash your Win95
directory using the technique below, and re-install Win 3.1 fresh.
* 2.13.2. ...installation on separate directory or drive?
There's no fancy uninstaller for this kind of installation. However,
you can just:
DELTREE C:\WIN95 (or wherever)
and that'll work. To do this, get your DOS setup disks and boot from
the first disk. Then, exit that setup program to a DOS prompt. From
here you type:
DELTREE C:\WIN95 (or wherever)
DELTREE C:\PROGRA~1 (The old "Program files" directory)
COPY C:\AUTOEXEC.DOS C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT
COPY C:\CONFIG.DOS C:\CONFIG.SYS
You can then run Windows 3.1 File Manager, with "Show Hidden/System
Files" turned on, to hunt for other files you don't recognize.
* 2.13.3. ...a computer with DriveSpace 3 (TM) disk compression?
If you installed DriveSpace 3 from MS Plus and you chose to
uninstall Win95, you can still access DriveSpace 3 drives, as it keeps
the real mode component drvspace.bin there. DOS will recognize this
version and load it. Of course, it'll eat 100 KB of conventional
memory, so you had better back up your compressed drive and
re-partition it, to kill DriveSpace 3 completely. Otherwise, the
techniques above for removing Win95 will work just fine.
* 2.13.4. ...a server based install?
The techniques above will work for a server based install, just make
sure you get your right version of DOS and your old DOS network
drivers back when you do it. It's also a lot less to delete.
* 2.13.5. ...a diskless workstation?
You'll need to change back to your DOS boot disk or DOS virtual boot
disk, then just clean out Win95 from your home directory. If you
installed on top of a Win 3.1 diskless install, you're better off
re-installing Win 3.1 fresh.
Subject: 2.14. Top ten UN-installation mistakes
10. Reading the Things to try before giving up section after
9. Reading the Re-Installation section of the FAQ after
8. Forgetting to convert the important Microsoft Word 7 document, when
7. Forgetting that your database was written in Microsoft Access 95
6. Forgetting to try restoring that backup you made before
5. Calling Microsoft tech support after uninstalling (Think they'll
help you now?)
4. Uninstalling, then realizing that your software vendor isn't
selling Win 3.1 stuff anymore
3. Having a friend or technician discover a virus after you thought
Win95 caused all your troubles, and after you uninstalled
2. Uninstalling because the program you need to use the most doesn't
work (The program's broken, not the OS)
1. Buying Win95 in the first place, if you uninstalled for keeps
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