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HOW TO UPDATE WIN9x

Last reviewed:

Installing, and uninstalling, Win9x updates

Installing Windows bug fixes is a necessary
but worthwhile chore for us all.

BUG FIXES AND UPDATES

This section was substantially altered with the introduction of the NEW Microsoft Download Wizard. Windows 98 users can download updates and utilities from the NEW Windows Update site.

Microsoft has change its policy for access to its upgrades & bug fixes, and trying to access them often brings you to their online registration page.

The online wizard checks your computer for existing Microsoft software files, and makes suggestions for file updates that may be appropriate for your computer's configuration. This is a " Premium Support " page and so it is available only if you register (free) for that extra service.

This may be a huge bonus for Windows 95 home users - or it may be a disaster. This site has not tested it. Feedback would be appreciated.

Home users may be concerned about Microsoft intruding on the privacy of their PCs. If not, then you should get the updates from Microsoft and then visit the OSR2 site to get those extra updates that will make your original Windows 95 very like the OSR2 version and quite like Windows 98. See Creating OSR2 . • You can also visit http://www.soton.ac.uk/~rjww195 and download Memphis (free, 335KB Zip file) - this will give you many of the visual enhancements that come with Windows 98.


The original release of Windows 95 was loaded with bugs. Three years of use showned us that Windows 95 could not be tamed, merely contained a little. It can, and sometimes does, jump up and bite us for indeterminable reasons.

There is little point in waiting until you get Windows98 as, while correcting most of these mistakes, it will have it's own quota of nastiness, though less than Windows 95. When you have the Windows 95 fixes & updates, and the latest version (4.x) of Internet Explorer, you will have much of the elements of Windows98.

While there's no quick fix for Windows 95's quirky behaviour, these system updates can boost its performance, and eliminate most of it's bugs. (Most of the more recent updates relate to security matters for the Net).

It is all a bit of a minefield for the uninitiated but you will have a superior system by installing them. Just make sure you install updates appropriate for your own system e.g. do not install a SR2 update when a SR1 is required. The latest updates read the version installed, and will not install unless appropriate.

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ERROR SEARCHING

Searching Microsoft's site for 'fixes'

Microsoft Technet

Technet is Microsoft's online searchable list of known bugs and fixes for all of their products. It can be highly informative, especially in relation to fixes for known errors. If you can not locate the source of, and fix for, a specific error then you should have a look.

You can go to Microsoft Technet,
or search directly from this page (in a new window).


Search Microsoft Technet from HERE

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UNINSTALLING UPDATES

Uninstalling a Update

An update places a Setup Information file with a .inf extension in the _\Windows\INF folder.

It also installs another Setup Information .inf file in _\Windows\INF\QFE. Older updates may be in _\Windows. This uninstall file will have a similar file name but ending with the letters un or _un.

Right-clicking one of these files and clicking Install will uninstall the update should you ever need to do so: e.g. remideun.inf will uninstall the update file remideup.exe. The previous version is then reinstalled.

Note: An exception is the file msdun.inf, in c:\windows\INF. It is the MS DUN installation file. MS DUN is uninstalled via Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

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QFECHECK

QFECheck Utility

qfecheck.exe (and qfecheck.hlp) are copied to the _\Windows (and \Windows\Help) directories by the OSR1 update(setup.exe). Recent updates also install this utility onto your system. This program gives detailed information on the currently installed system updates.

However this utility will not show files with Attributes set to Archive, Hidden, Read-only, or System. You can overcome this problem by using Ben Walbeehm's utility • ListQFE.

If you happen to have miss-matched files, or an updated version is missing, you can have substantial problems. Just use this utility to do a routine check.

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CAB FILES

Cab Files

Windows 95 Cab folders: You can both view, and extract, any file contained in a Windows 95 " .cab " folder with a small program from Microsoft called PowerToys.

Inside PowerToys is a file called cabveiw.inf. Right-click on this file, and then click install. In future you can double-click on any cab folder, view individual files, and drag the file you want to the desktop or into any folder in Windows Explorer.

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VERSIONS OF WINDOWS 9x


Release                     Version                      File dates
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windows 95 retail, OEM      4.00.950                     7/11/95
Windows 95A retail SP1      4.00.950A                    7/11/95-12/31/95
Windows 95B OSR2, OEM       4.00.1111 (4.00.950B)        8/24/96
Windows 95B OSR2.1, OEM     4.03.1212-1214 (4.00.950B)   8/24/96-8/27/97
Windows 95C OSR2.5, OEM     4.03.1214 (4.00.950C)        8/24/96-11/18/97
Windows 98 retail, OEM      4.10.1998                    5/11/98
Windows 98 Second Edition   4.10.2222A                   4/23/99
Windows Me                  4.90.3000                    6/08/00

 

To see which version you have

Right-click My Computer, click on Properties and your version should be under System

If it does not show then go to a DOS Prompt, type in ver and hit Enter.
Doing so will return 4.00.950 for the original release of Windows 95, 4.00.1111 (for OSR2), or 4.00.1212 (or higher) for updates to OSR 2, such as OSR 2.1
Typing in ver /R will display the revisions e.g. Revision A for OSR1

Better still is to use the utility Win9xNTVer (freeware, 36Kb)
Get itWin9xNTVer

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To determine whether you have an OEM installation of Windows

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. Locate the Product ID number under the "Registered To" heading. This number typically contains 20 digits. If digits 6, 7, and 8 contain the letters "OEM", you have an OEM installation of Windows. For example, the following sample Product ID number indicates an OEM installation:

    12345-OEM-6789098-76543

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LANGUAGE VERSION ID

To determine the language version of Windows 9x you are using

  1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type winver.exe, and then click Find Now.
  3. When the file is located, right-click the file, and then click Properties on the menu that appears.
  4. Click the Version tab.
  5. In the Item Name box, click Language. The language version is then displayed in the Value box.

Additional Information

For additional information about the specific contents of an OSR version or service pack, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

146449 Description of Microsoft Windows 95 Service Pack 1 Components
143003 Description of Microsoft Windows 95 Service Pack 1 Updates
148761 Description of Windows 95 OEM Service Release 1
155003 Description of Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2
181661 Files Included with the USB Supplement in OSR2.1 and OSR2.5
178972 Description of Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2.5
234762 Description of Windows 98 Second Edition
239937 Availability of Microsoft Windows 98 Customer Service Pack
232972 Contents of the Microsoft Windows 98 System Update
161020 Implementing Windows 95 Updates

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CREATING OSR2

Transforming Window 95a into Windows OSR2

The original version of Windows 95 can be made very similar to Windows 95b (OSR2).

If you have a OSR2 version (4.00.950B or C) of Windows 95, then you already have OSR1 and also the important updates and fixes for the original. There are only a small number of updates which you will get below, or with the online Microsoft Download Wizard.

If you have OSR2 and also have a 4.x version of Internet Explorer, then you you have a system very similar to Windows 98, especially if you have OSR2.5 which has FAT32.

If you don't already have OSR2 installed, you can closely approximate it with Microsoft's OSR2 Downloadable Components. With these, and IE 4.x, you will have a system that is even quite like Windows 98. First get the OSR1 and other important updates (like Kernel32 and Oleupd). Then download the OSR2 updates that Microsoft has labelled as suitable for non-OSR2 versions - there are lots of them. Enjoy!


Those with the original version will not be able to get FAT32, some networking components, and hardware support that come with OSR2.5 (and Windows 98).

To learn more about what you can, and can not, download,
try Microsoft's Windows 95 OSR2 page ,
or the downloads may still be available
at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pr/win95osr.htm#Internet

Note: Users of the original Windows 95 must FIRST get OSR1 and other fixes, THEN get the available OSR2 items.

Note: As stated above, you can also visit http://www.soton.ac.uk/~rjww195 and download Memphis (free, 335KB Zip file) - this will give you many of the visual enhancements that come with Windows 98.
! Please note: If Memphis is installed then games, or programs, that use DirectX will not work! - Memphis can be uninstalled by running the install/uninstall file in _\Windows\System\Memphis\setup.exe

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

Copyright © LarryM 1998-2015 thpc@mail.com