If you’ve got network clients, you’ve probably got Windows—and chances are good that you are still working with Windows 95/98. In fact, 79 percent of respondents to a TechRepublic poll in January 2001 said they were still running Windows 95. While Microsoft may be discontinuing support for these systems, TechRepublic is not. Our Windows 95/98 TechMail contains valuable information that can save you both time and effort. Below, you'll find several examples of what this TechMail has to offer. Get tips on installation, troubleshooting, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox—absolutely free. Sign up for the Windows 95/98 TechMail today!
How to install drivers using Infinst.exe
When we install Windows 98 on a number of identical PCs, it makes sense to automate the installation process as much as possible.
Often, we also want to make sure that specific drivers are installed for the hardware in the PCs, although these drivers may not always be part of the standard Windows 98 distribution files. For example, you may need to install a specific network card driver during an automated Windows 98 installation.
In these cases, you might be interested in the Infinst.exe utility from the Windows 98 Resource Kit. This utility lets you specify a specific location for a driver to be installed during Windows setup without having to manually edit .inf files. Microsoft's Windows 98 Resource Kit is a valuable addition to any administrator's toolbox. Read more about the Windows 98 Resource Kit at TechRepublic.
How to fix your PC when starting Win95 prompts you to turn the computer off
What could be more annoying than having to start your computer, watch Windows load, and then watch helplessly as it shuts itself down telling you "It's now safe to turn off your computer!" There are two errors that can cause this glitch to happen in either Normal or Safe mode.
First, the Wininit.exe file could be missing or damaged. To fix a broken version of the file or to install a replacement for a missing file, you should use the Extract.exe tool to extract a new copy of the file from your original Windows 95 or 98 installation media (disks or CD) to the \Windows folder. Once you have extracted the file, restart Windows and see if this has fixed the problem.
A second damaged or missing file can also cause Windows to shut down immediately after starting up—the Windows\system\vmm32.vxd file.
To fix this problem, you should complete the following procedure:
- Restart your computer. For Windows 95, press the [F8] key when you see the Starting Windows 95 message and choose Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu. For Windows 98, press and hold down the [CTRL] key after the Power On Self Test (POST) and then choose Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.
- Type cd \windows\system.
- Type ren vmm32.vxd vmm32.old.
- Reinstall Windows 95 or 98 over the existing installation to fix the original installation.
You may need to re-enable the DOS CD drivers to allow you to reinstall Windows 9x.
Even though there is a Vmm32.vxd file in the Windows installation media, simply extracting this file to the \Windows\system folder will not solve the problem. You must run Setup to create a system-specific Vmm32.vxd file.
How to stop your floppy drive from being accessed when opening My Computer
When you open My Computer in Windows 95 or 98, you may find that the floppy drive of your computer is accessed for several seconds before the contents of the My Computer window are displayed. This could become really frustrating if you frequently use My Computer as your primary method of navigating your Windows file structure.
If you are suffering from this problem, you can alleviate the pain by following the procedure below. Note that this involves editing the Windows 9x registry so take care to back up it and your system first.
- First, start the Windows Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) from the Start | Run command.
- In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:
- Double-click the NoDriveTypeAutoRun value.
- Change the Binary Value to "95 00 00 00" (without the quotation marks).
- Click OK and close the Registry Editor.
- Now restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.