How do I install Windows 95?

Question

I have WindowsXP in this used computer I just bought.It is very slow to start. I want to install Windows 95. How do I do it?

Answer

This question was answered on February 13, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This is a tough step for both you and the computer Start with a clean slate Power the machine off, wait 15 seconds to clear all memory, then power it on Make sure you have two diskettes, which you feel comfortable about formatting, handy These will become your Windows 95 Startup diskettes

Place the Windows 95 CD in your CD-ROM drive, switch to the root of the CD drive with DOS commands, and type SETUP Follow the instructions, and make choices as best you can Windows 95 is pretty forgiving about anything you do Since this is a from-scratch installation, the worst that can happen is you start over from booting to A: and running FDISK (or more probably just format)

If setup repeatedly errors out it's probably a hardware problem, probably in the form of incompatible BIOS settings Follow the instructions in the footnote section on "Dumbing Down" Your BIOS

If the setup crashes in the middle, reboot the computer with the Windows 95 CD in the CD drive The computer will probably start back up in Win95 safe mode, and continue the setup Win95 setup is very smart, and usually recovers from problems once the underlying hardware issue is resolved Worst case, reboot to A: and reformat C:, following all the instructions to this point

Assuming the minimal Autoexec.bat and Config.sys described in this document, and assuming no .INI files existed on the system, repeated installation failures usually point to a hardware problem, probably in the motherboard Bring the computer to the shop that sold you the motherboard If they can't get Win95 to install, they should give you another motherboard

Once you have successfully installed Windows 95, you're not done yet Copy your C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT to C:\AUTOEXEC.95, and your C:\CONFIG.SYS to C:\CONFIG.95 Delete all lines out of CONFIG.SYS except the one loading DRVSPACE.SYS Specifically, delete the line loading the CD-ROM driver It isn't necessary in Windows 95, and it will hurt performance If that one isn't in there, delete the file itself From Autoexec.bat, delete all lines except the @ECHO OFF, the reference to DOSKEY, and any PATH and SET TEMP statements Specifically, delete the line referencing MSCDEX It shouldn't be necessary in Windows 95, and it will hurt performance

Reboot the computer several times, and make sure everything works each time, including the CD-ROM and the mouse If there are problems, troubleshoot them Intermittent or reproducible loss of the CD-ROM's drive letter (in the absence of the DOS CD drivers) is often a BIOS setting problem If the CD-ROM is absent or intermittent, perform the steps in footnote section Dumbing Down Your BIOS If your mouse doesn't work, make sure your mouse is plugged into serial port 1, and that serial port 1 is configured as COM 1, 03F8-03FF, IRQ 4 I'd highly recommend you use a Microsoft Compatible mouse that doesn't require any special software If you must use a special mouse, at least test with a generic mouse during installation

If for some reason it won't boot, press F8 during bootup to go into safe mode, or boot to the Windows 95 Startup Diskette you made during installation Copy back the original autoexec.bat and config.sys, and start troubleshooting When you can boot the computer to the Config and Autoexec described in the last paragraph, and have everything including the CD-ROM work, you're ready for the next step

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Author

Posted by Ileen of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on February 13, 2003