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Win95 FAQ Part 2 of 14: Re/Un/Installation
Section - 2.2. How do I install Windows 95 on a computer with...

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Top Document: Win95 FAQ Part 2 of 14: Re/Un/Installation
Previous Document: 2.1. Basics about Win95 vs. Win 3.x and DOS
Next Document: 2.3. How do I install Windows 95 from...
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
   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
   this manually.
   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
   for it.
     * 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. 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
   with it.
   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
   in tact.
    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 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.

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Top Document: Win95 FAQ Part 2 of 14: Re/Un/Installation
Previous Document: 2.1. Basics about Win95 vs. Win 3.x and DOS
Next Document: 2.3. How do I install Windows 95 from...

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