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I'm planning on building a new system.

jdanddog asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I'm contemplating building a new system on my own.  What I plan to do is to buy a Motherboard, CPU and case and then canibleize my current system for the remaining parts.  My question is this:
If I install my hardrive into the new system will the new system boot?  My hardrive has the upgrade from Win3.1 to Win95 and of course my application software.
What problems could I encounter if I attempt this?
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Idially, if you wanted to do this, you'd want to keep the same video card, the same sound card, and the same controller card if you are using SCSI. Do this at least to start with. Your system should boot with not much trouble then. It will recognize the new BIOS, chipset, etc... Then take care of the video card. Windows 95 hates this, and you might have to go to safe mode a couple of times before you get it right. Before you cahnge the video card physically, you should start changing the setting within Windows 95 to a generic VGA 16 colors 640x480 video card and mode. That'll be easier then to add the new video card. Then you can change the rest.

You might want to check my site (still under construction) for mode info about building your computer: http://www.chez.com/johnt/teaching/buildcmp.htm

More info if needed

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I have an older Packard/Bell 60/66Mhz system that incorporated the video card on the mobo.  So that idea is not an option.  I guess that I'm going to have to install a new video card right from the start.  What problems will Win95 give me?
The worst thing that could have is to have to reinstall 95 from scratch. But if you do as I said above, you can most probably avoid this. Make sure also that the version of Windows 95 you have is not a Packard Bell version. If it is, you should forget about keeping it on another computer. You could try, but even if it worked, it probably would crash after a while.


The current OS is the upgraded version of Win95 from Win3.1 which  I upgraded myself.
If I installed the new video card into my current system and configured it properly and then moved it to the new system, would that help?


Also, since I have the upgrade version of Win95 how can I reinstall from scratch if I have to.  The upgrade from Win3.1 to Win95 does not have a setup.exe file included with it.
First question: Yes, it would help. That is, if you can disable the on-board video card first. There'd be conflicts otherwise. But doing as I said before, you shouldn't have much trouble.
Second question: You'd need to install Win 3.1 first to install an upgrade. Or at least have some of the most important (or significative) Windows 3.1 files on HD. One way to do this would be to get a WIN.COM in the C:\Windows directory. It'd be safer to install Win 3.1, though

Jdanddog: You do not have to install 3.xx first on the new system that you build. Frankly, a clean start in a new system with a new motherboard, Bios and CPU will be better in the long run than trying to patch the system together. In order for you to install windows 95 onto the hard drive after you have put your system together, try this:

1. Format a clean floppy and make it bootable.

2. Transfer the following files to the bootable floppy:

********.sys (your cd rom driver)

3. Using the dos edit command, edit the config.sys file to load only *Himem.sys* and *your cd-rom driver/mscdex.exe* .

4. As was the case for config.sys, edit your autoexec.bat file to show only the path statement as C:\  as well as the cd rom driver.

5. Test the bootable floppy to make sure it loads Himem.sys (needed by Windows 95 to run scandisk) as well as your cd rom driver. Check and verify that after booting from the floppy that you can access your cd rom drive. This is a must.

6. When you re-load windows 95, it will need to verify that win 3.xx exists somewhere. If you format your hard drive (you should) windows will search and not find anything and then ask you for verification. Point it to the bootable floppy that you have with win.com on it and it will be accepted.

7. Install you motherboard, CPU, memory and other components and then, when your ready, boot the system using the floppy but setup the bios on the motherboard first, making sure that you use the motherboards hard drive autodetect feature. Verify that the info the bios detects for the hard drive actually matches the hard drive parameters. Once verified, and the other Bios parameters have been set, let the system boot through using the floppy.

8. Using fdisk from the floppy, run fidsk on your hard drive, removing the primary dos partition, then follow the on-screen dialogue and setup a new partition and make it active.

9. Format the hard drive using the format command from the floppy, as this will be the windows 95 compatible format command. The command syntax, from the "A:\" prompt

         A:\FORMAT C:/S

This will format the hard drive and transfer your system files.

10. Transfer your config.sys, autoexec.bat, himem.sys, mscdex.ese, ********.sys (cd rom driver) to your C drive and then reboot your system. You should not have access to your cd rom drive.

11. At the C:\ prompt, type D:\setup, presuming that your cd rom drive is drive "D". If it's something else, than change the "D" to whatever you require it to be.

This will give you a clean install without all that windows 3.xx clutter to worry about.

Best regards,

Absolutely, a new motherboard will make your old installation go NUTS. You might be the exception that makes the rules, but a clean start is the best comment here.
Dew: That's right, he doesn't need to install Windows 3.x first. I forgot about that part. My mistake.
But for the rest, There's not much to risk to try to keep the old system with the new motherboard. If it works, perfect. If it doesn't.. well... Let's get back to your solution. But the question was stating that jdanddog wanted to keep his old system

I guess you guys are right, my response should have been:

If I install my hardrive into the new system will the new system boot?  Maybe and Maybe not! Windows takes a snapsot of the Bios/CMOS during the install. It now will be confronted with parameters it doesn't understand and may crash.

My hardrive has the upgrade from Win3.1 to Win95 and of course my application software. What problems could I encounter if I attempt this?

You could encounter anything from the destruction of the hard drive's master boot record through to a successful restart.

Best regards,
I doubt there'd be a destruction of the mbr. May a Windows 95 total crash, for the worst, but that's about it, in my humble opinion.


Both johnt's and dew_associates answers were very helpfull so I'll leave it up to Experts Exchange to divy-up the points.
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