PC Hardware

Performing a Clean Installation

A clean installation is perhaps the best way to install Window 95. Before undertaking a clean installation, make sure you have:

  • A bootable floppy disk with all the necessary files (FORMAT.COM, FDISK.EXE, and so forth).
  • A disk with all the files necessary to run any hardware such as the CD-ROM drive or SCSI controller.
  • A startup disk. This disk should include an AUTOEXEC.BAT file with a MSCDEX.EXE line that points to the location of the MSCDEX.EXE file, and a CONFIG.SYS file that loads the CD driver. See the example at the end of this section.
  • Disk #1 from your Windows 3.x disk set, if you are upgrading from Windows 3.x. SETUP will ask to see this disk to verify that this is an upgrade. When asked, insert the disk in the floppy drive and tell Windows 95 where to look for the information.
  • Back up copies of all your programs and data because this type of installation requires that you wipe everything off the hard disk drive.

If you are going to complete a clean installation on an existing drive, you will need to remove all the files. You can simply erase (delete) them, or reformat the drive (the best choice because all hidden files will also be removed).

Whether you erase the drive or install a new drive, you need to follow the instructions for installation on a new computer or hard drive.

The following is an example of an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on a boot disk:


The following is an example of a CONFIG.SYS file on a boot disk:

This example disk also contains a folder (CDPRO) with the driver for the CD-ROM drive (VIDE-CDD.SYS).

Installing Windows 95 on a New Computer or Hard Drive

Windows 95 version B is an OEM product designed specifically for installation on new machines or new hard drives. It does not require an existing version of Windows 3.x to be present in order to install. It was replaced with the OSR2 (OEM Service Release 2) version. The primary difference between version B and OSR2 is that the latter uses a 32-bit FAT (versions A & B use 16 bit-FAT). Because this installation takes place on a new drive with no other installed software, potential software conflicts are avoided.

Windows 98

Today, new OEM computers come with Windows 98 preloaded. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to locate a copy of Windows 95 in any local computer store. Windows 98 can be installed on a new computer or as an upgrade to MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows 95. If you wish to retain your Windows 95 settings when upgrading, be sure to start the installation from Windows 95.

For your convenience, here is the complete process of installing a new hard disk drive and the Windows 95 operating system from scratch. You will need the following for the installation:

  • A hard disk drive (preferably new) with the manufacturer's specifications (CHS values and jumper settings)
  • Bootable floppy disk-aWin95 startup disk (can be made from any Windows 95 computer)
  • Device drivers for the CD-ROM drive: MSCDEX.EXE and the driver that came with the CD-ROM drive
  • Windows 95 OEM CD-ROM

Follow these steps to install the hard disk drive and put Windows 95 on it:

  1. Set up all the jumpers according to the manufacturer's specifications. Identify the drive as master or slave.
  2. Physically install the drive. (See Chapters 8 and 9 to refresh your memory on hard disk drives.)
  3. Connect the cables (power and data).
  4. Start the computer and open the CMOS setup.
  5. Set the CMOS either using the CHS values established by the manufacturer or using Auto-detect (the preferred method).
  6. Reboot the computer using the Win95 startup disk.
  7. Run FDISK from the floppy disk and partition the drive.
  8. Format the C partition by typing:
  9.  Format C: /S
  10. Format any other partitions.
  11. Remove the floppy disk and reboot the computer.
  12. Install the CD-ROM drivers on the new C drive.
  13. Confirm operation of the CD-ROM.
  14. Install Windows 95 from the CD. Follow instructions with the documentation.

Optional Install

This optional install method will speed up the installation process and allow for easy addition of drives and Windows 95 programs not installed during the initial installation. However, it requires an additional 40 MB of hard disk drive space. The process is as follows:

  1. After installing the CD-ROM driver, make a directory (name it "Win95") on the C drive, and copy all the files in the Win95 directory on the CD into this folder.
  2. Install Windows 95 from the new folder on the C drive by typing the following command:
  3.  C:\win95\setup