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problems with installing win95 and turning back

petevdb asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16

I recently bought windows 95 for my 486DX computer with 24 MB.

After installing the OS, he crashed on checking the hardware (Checking Plug and play...). I checked with a diagnostic program and indeed there was a problem with the Interupt ID of COM1 and COM2.

I then thought, oh well, I'll live without win95 an reformatted my harddisk, installed DOS again and reinstalled win 3.1.
And guess what : win 3.1 won't boot neither.

I then changed the I/O controller card, rediagnosed the hardware and it seemed fine. But win3.1 won't boot neither.

I am working on this one for about a week now and I am pretty desperate. Can someone help me out ? Has anyone ideas of what I can do (besides buying a new one) ?

Thank you VERY much

Watch Question

What about resetting your bios? Read in your main board manual how to do it. On some boards it is possible to take out the battery for a certain time, on others you must shortcut a jumper on the main board. What you do is to restore the factory settings. But be aware; be sure that you shortcut the right jumper!

Hi Peter!  First things first. You say you have loaded both Win 3.xx and Windows 95 and both have crashed. What type of crash, what kind of errors were reported? Do you have a copy of Dos 6.2 available to you, if so I'll walk you through a process to resolve the problem. If the system worked before, it should work now (unless your system had a boot manager or boot mask installed). What type of computer is it, make and model?
Best regards,



resetting the BIOS is only an options if nothing else works.

First problem : there is a password on it and I don't know it.
Second problem : the manual of the main board is lost, so finding the right jumper is pretty hard and very dangerous.

Removing the battery is an option but I will loose al my hardware settings (harddisk, CDROM, ...) and I find this too dangerous.

Thx anyway.




the WIN95 crash was an error in the MessSrv process (or something like that). The Win 3.1 just doesn't boot. You get a the first startup screen and then nothing happens, only resetting the computer gets you out of this.

The system worked before and I find it very hard to believe that just now there is something wrong with the hardware. I believe that Bill G. can do a lot but damaging my hardware with a piece of software, that I can't believe.

So it must be some kind of setting... With formatting the harddisk I lost all my settings ...

If someone needs the whole hardware specification I can give it the next time. Just drop a comment here.


hi peter,

What kind of bios do you have ? Because maybe some setting in the bios is causing a conflict.
There are much programs on the internet wich can help you to get the password of the bios.



Okay Peter, let's try and nail down where this system stands at the moment. The are the presumptions that I have made based upon your posts.

1. You have a 486 system that had 3.xx running and tried to load Win95 and that failed.

2. The Bios has a password that will not let you access the Bios setup, but it will let you on the system (that's a strange and unusual arrangement).

3. You have formatted the hard drive.

Questions, and please be specific with your answers as it will help us help you.

1. How did you bypass the Bios/Cmos password to get on the system?

2. When you formatted the hard drive, did you reload 3.xx? If yes, why didn't you just load Win95?

3. Do you have a bootable Dos floppy that you can use to boot the system and edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat files?

I'll wait for your posts!

Try two things :
open your computer and remove the battery. wait 30 minutes. re-insert the battery. your bios-password should be removed. but all bios-settings must be entered again. if your battery is not removable then look for a jumper 'clear cmos' or something like that. set jumper, turn on power for 10 seconds, turn off power, remove jumper. turn on computer again, goto bios, load BIOS-DEFAULTS, save that and boot again to bios. enter correct values in all bios menus.
if this does not fix your problem please tell me the complete hardware of your computer. i must know the chipset of your board. is it ISA, PCI, VL-BUS and what kind of chipset is mounted. Does it use EProm or FlashProm (EEProm). Tell me the screen your bios shows at boot-up (all !).


1. If your Bios has a password that you didn't set, it's usually AMI (if you have an AMI motherboard ofcourse). If you set one and forgot it, remove your battery like a day or so (30 min won't do).

2. The only thing I can think of concerning your problem is this: you might have formatted your drive in Win95 using FAT32. You should:

- find a boot floppy with DOS (command.com). The boot floppy that should have come - :) - with your Win95 will do fine.
- boot from the floppy, do NOT setup win95 (break and go to DOS) and run fdisk.
- check if you have an empty partition, formatted using FAT16. FAT32 will NOT do for DOS. If needed, delete all partitions, create one new partition that uses 100% of your disk and format it with FAT16 (the old filesystem).
- install DOS. DOS will offer to format your drive - accept.
- install 3.11.
- have fun
- Reconsider going to '95. It's great :)


BillyG, you must be new here huh?



I did not format the hard disk under FAT32.

I am using the startup disks for DOS 6.22 (original ones :) )
and format from there.
Besides if you read my question good, you will see that I reinstalled DOS and then Win 3.1.
It is there that things go wrong. Win3.1 won't boot neither.

Anyway I'll check if the partition is formatted FAT16, but I am quite sure of it. Installing DOS works OK.

For the other comments : I will add all the comments on the startup screen. I can't do that for the moment : I am using two computers with one screen. So I'll have to turn off this one, starting up the other one and come back.

So c u in a little hour.



All right : new information.

First I succeeded in installing win 3.1 ! the solution was in the videocard !

I first had to startup with win /s (standard mode) and then installing the videocard.
So probably this videocard is not win95 compatible or something like that.

Now I tried again to install windows 95, but this time as an upgrade from win3.1 (with the right driver already installed).
I tought he will be smart enought to use the same driver under windows 95. It isn't.

So the question changes a little bit :
how can I install windows 95 without him trying to check the plug and play hardware. I probably have to install the videocard before he installs windows 95.

The videocard is a
Trident TVGA Bios A5.1 (55)
1024K 32bit Bus DRAM VGA Mode

with as chipnumber TGUI9440.

The message he gives when he crashes on checking the hardware is in the mrgsrv2 process. (process caused an error. Close it or ignore it...)


If it is only your video card causing you trouble, you may be able to get a newer driver that is specific for that video card from the video card manufactures web page, or you can try http://www.drivershq.com/ to see if it's listed there.

Pete: The Trident card is a default in Windows 95, are you getting to the screen that shows keyboard, video card etc etc?
If so, you can specifically change Windows 95 at that point to install a Trident driver. If you can't get there, try this:

When running setup, type this as the command line: (this presumes that your cd rom drive is drive "D")

D:\SETUP /p b

This will enable you to step through each detection step.

Let me know how you make out. If you get an error or a failure at any point, let me know and note exactly where it occurs!




thanks for the tip. Here are the results.

This option does let you choose the hardware that he detects. You can also do this when you just do setup and let him not detect the hardware.
This is eventually what I let him install :

A standard-PC with standard VGA screen adapter. 2 serial ports, 1 parallel port and the some definitions of the language and the keyboard.

(I tried several times, with soundcard, with SCSI card, ... same things)

But still : in the first session after installing win95 he checks the plug and play hardware. And there he crashes :
There is an error in the MsgSrv32 process. Close or ignore and then the protection fault : 0E in address 0137:BFF9A07C.

Here is the hardware the BIOS detects at startup :
AmiBios System Configuration (C) 1985-1994, American Megatrends Inc.

Main CPU: i486DX2
Numeric Processor : built-in
Floppy A: 1.44Mb 3 1/2"
Floppy B: None
Display : VGA/EGA
Amibios Date : 07/25/94
Base Memory : 640 Kb
Extended Mem : 23552 Kb
Primary Master Type : 47
Primary Slave Type : None
Serial : 3F8, 2F8
Parallel : 378

256K External Cache Memory.

When I boot in the first session in Safe Mode : he crashes in nearly every program I startup:
configuration screen, search files, sometimes even opening a window.

I would like win95 to startup without him having checking the hardware. Isn't there a trick for that ???? Normally he would be able to work : motherboard, harddisk, floppy, keyboard and mouse are functioning. I can always install CD-ROM, Soundcard, SCSI-card and the right VGA driver later.


Will win95 startup in safe mode?  If so, try to disable the pnp setting under device manager - system devices.  Might help.

PS master password for ami bios is AMI_SW and for award bios is AWARD_SW  I've tried them both and they work.  Good luck mate.

In all of this I do not see anyplace where you formatted with /S to install the boot system files.  Was it just implied or did I miss something.

Phoenix, how about reading the posts! He wouldn't be able to attempt the loading of windows 95 without being able to boot the the hard drive!

PHOENIX, all your answers are QUESTIONS.
Tou're all over the board with question marked as answers.Look to the left, there's a comment box.

Most of the time, this type of error is caused by a conflict
between a program, (usually games or other graphic intensive
software) and the accelerator chip of the video card.

First, you should check the Web site of your video card manufacturer for the latest drivers and
information. If there is no relief there, the workaround is often to disable the accelerator chip
on the video card. Look in your video card's utility software for an option to disable it. Then
disable it through Windows by opening Control Panel, click on "System", click on "Performance",
click on "Graphics".
There you will see a slider labeled "Hardware Acceleration". Drag it all the way
to the Left to disable it. Click OK. You will probably need to reboot for it to take effect.
Please let me know how that works.


You missed the implied things.

Here is again the things that happen :

1. Boot from a bootable floppy that installs the CD-ROM. This can be a DOS diskette or even a win95 one.
1b. To be sure to start with a clean system you can format the harddisk (format c: /u/s)
2. Go to the D-drive (CD-ROM)
3. Type "setup"
4. The computer sets up win95, detects the hardware, copy the files, ...
5. The setup procedure makes you to reboot the computer, for preparing the first session of win95.
6. When you reboot, he gives a message : processing the win95 setup configuration files (or something like that, I have a Dutch version). (Implication : the harddisk is bootable !)
7. He goes to win95, where he probably loads the drivers that you have installed in the previous procedure. At this point you get in big letters at the bottom of the screen : 'The first session of windows 95'
8. You mouse cursor changes and in the middle of the screen you get a window that says : 'Windows 95 is checking the plug and play hardware' with a little computer drawn by it that is searched by a magnifying glass.
9. And then suddenly : The application MrgSrv32 causes an error. Close the application or ignore the fault !!!!!

I think Smeebud is right and that some hardware conflicts with eachother in some way. The only thing is that I cannot interfere to install the right driver, which I btw have already downloaded.
Even in safe mode there are a lot of programs that don't work. (I'll have to check if the device manager works...)

Has anyone heard of there kind of conflicts. It is not a conflict between a program and the hardware because there aren't any programs installed.
And what does this mrgsrv32 process does ?

Thank you for any hints and tips.


Check your video card for jumper: enable/disable usage of IRQ for
video and disable it.
Second, if you don't bother reinstall Win95 from scratch, issue
the following command before all:
Third, check for VIRUS. Take something DOS-based. I prefer F-PROT

Pete: Some questions!

1. Are you using a hard drive larger than 540MB?

2. If you are using a hard driver larger than 540MB, are you using any form of disk manager or masking device from the hard drive manufacturer?

do you to dos? and DO you use c:\dos\himem.sys and c:\dos\emm386.exe NOEMS in your config.sys and you start windows by cd windows win if yes what kind of error mesage you get

JBURGHARDT ... Is this an answer ?


All right, guys, read the posts !!

Jburghart, win 3.1 boots already. I found the problem there with starting up in win/s and installing the videocard.

The problem is now : installing windows 95.


the drive is 420Mb. So no problems there.


what is this 'fdisk /mbr' ?? On the original disk indeed was a virus (Sampo), but I formatted it so there can't be any problems there.

I will check the VGA-card for that disable/enable IRQ jumper.
I will also see if the setup works with another videocard. I read somewhere that a lot of setup problems originate from there.

Thx for the suggestions anyway.


g=<n> - This switch specifies the verbose level, where <n> is 0 to 3.

This switch controls how verbose the built-in progress bar is. At
maximum level (3), it shows all the resources of the detected
devices along with the progress bar. This switch can help to
identify which detection module causes a certain problem. For
example, if your mouse stops responding (hangs) during detection
but the system continues, there is no way to determine from the
log files which module hung the mouse. By turning this option on
and constantly moving the mouse during Setup, you can determine
which module is running when the mouse hangs.

The default is disabled (0).

Example: setup /p g=3

Before you upgrade your existing version of Windows
or Windows for Workgroups to Windows 95, you should
perform the following steps:

Make sure that your computer is not infected with a
virus. To do so, run an anti-virus program with the
latest virus signatures and allow the program to remove
any viruses that it finds. Close any programs that run
automatically, including anti-virus programs, screen
savers, and third-party memory managers and shells. Back
up all critical data on your hard disk. While it is
unlikely that you will encounter a serious problem
installing Windows 95, it is always a good idea to perform
a complete system backup before installing a new operating
system. When you upgrade your computer's operating system,
it is possible that an error could occur (such as a problem
due to incompatible hardware or a power failure) that could
temporarily or permanently prevent access to the data on
your hard disk. Make sure that any network software installed
on your computer is functioning properly. The settings from
your existing network configuration may not be successfully
transferred to Windows 95 if the network software is not
functioning properly.

Installing Windows 95

After performing the steps in the previous section,
install Windows 95 on your computer by following
these steps:

1.Insert the Windows 95 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive,
or insert Windows 95 disk 1 in the appropriate floppy
disk drive.

2.In File Manager or Program Manager, click Run on
the File menu.

3.In the Command Line box, type the following line and
then click OK


where <drive> is the drive letter of the CD-ROM drive
or the floppy disk drive containing Windows 95 disk 1.

4.Follow the instructions on the screen.

If you are installing Windows 95 from a command prompt,
follow these steps:

1.Insert the Windows 95 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive, or
insert Windows 95 disk 1 in the appropriate floppy disk

2.Change to the drive containing the Windows 95 CD-ROM or
Windows 95 disk 1, type the following line, and then press


NOTE: If you are upgrading Windows or Windows for Workgroups
version 3.1 or later, you should run Setup from your existing
installation of Windows or Windows for Workgroups. If you
are upgrading Windows version 3.0, you must run Setup from
a command prompt.

Get "WW1247.EXE" From, ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/Softlib/MSLFILES/ 
This application performs a Pre-Installation Systems check on your
computer. It does not install or write to your computer. It is intended
only for Win95 compatibility.
Are you using [forfive me if you've answer this] floppies or a CD rom? if floppies see http://www.microsoft.com/windows/support/disktwo.htm
Valid Detection Switches:

a - This switch enables safe detection. It tells each detection module

to try safer detection methods. Safer detection methods may not
detect devices correctly.
The default during Setup is enabled. The default in other cases is disabled.
Example: setup /p a
b - This switch enables Prompt Before mode. It prompts you before a detection module is called so that you can step through each
detection module manually and decide if you want to skip it.
The default is disabled.
Example: setup /p b
c- - Setup /p c- disables safe class detection. For example, this switch tells Setup to always search on all network adapter cards, sound cards, and CD-ROM drives.
Example: setup /p c-
Be sure in your bios that virus detection is OFF/DISABLED.

Remove your soundcard before setup. Soundcards seem to be the culprit with the "msgsrv32 not responding" message.
Function of the Windows 95 32-Bit Message Server

Last reviewed: October 30, 1995
Article ID: Q138708
The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 95


This article describes the purpose of the Windows 95
32-bit message server (Msgsrv32.exe).


Msgsrv32.exe is a program that runs invisibly on the
Windows 95 desktop and performs several background
functions necessary for Windows 95 operation. These
functions include:

Mediate Plug and Play messages among various parts
of the operating system.
Coordinate automatic responses to Setup programs.
This includes checking whether a Setup program has
improperly overwritten Windows 95 files, and optionally
restoring the Windows 95 versions of those
Display the initial logon dialog box if networking is
Play the system startup and shutdown sounds.
Load installable Windows drivers at startup and unload
them at shutdown.
Run the shell program (usually Explorer.exe) and re-run
the shell if it fails to respond.

Bud, normally I would agree, however the 486DX is probably pre-Plug N Play, therefore the mediation shouldn't be taking place unless the Bios has been upgraded to Plug N Play aware, which I doubt.

FDISK /MBR : Builds MBR (Master Boot Record) from scratch. This
step absolutely required if you want to delete Win95 (or Linux)
from HD, or MBR was damaged by virus. I'm urge you to make virus
check again on your startut floppy with DOS 6.22 and HD.

Yow guys,

the problem is not lying in the seup procedure.
Bud and Dennis : read what I posted last time : the whole procedure that you describe is what I followed.

The problem is in windows 95 itself when he checks the hardware.

Some new information :
if I run the setup procedure without the soundcard : same thing.
If I run the setup procedure with another videocard : he gets through this proces of checking the hardware but when the window closes (the one with the message checking plug and play...) nothing happens. If you press CTRL-ALT-DEL you get the taskmanager with no processes running... If you restart : same as before with the fatal exception in the Mrgsrv32 process on the same place.

When nosing aroung in safe mode:
I got not enough memory for wordpad (despite 24 Mb)

I do not find the device manager in safe mode. Opening configuration window crashes. Can someone tell me which program I have to startup directly from the harddisk ? Or with the run command ?
Regedit works but exporting it : crash.

Best wishes for xmas and greeting from a "all hope flying away",


PS: working with windows 3.1 is not that bad, is it ?  :)


This has got confusing.
Are you know running 95 but getting a Mrgsrv32 error.
That's what I'm understanding. In that case:
Extract all these files from your 95 CD to windows\system.
DLL Show - MSGSRV32.EXE Module Dependency List

ADVAPI32.DLL     c:\windows\system\
GDI32.DLL           c:\windows\system\
KERNEL32.DLL   c:\windows\system\
MPR.DLL             c:\windows\system\
USER32.DLL       c:\windows\system\
To extract from CD, 1st Change Directories to the X:\WIN95> prompt, where X is your CD-ROM's drive letter. Then type the following:
EXTRACT /A /L C:\Windows\System PRECOPY1.CAB [filename]
/A tells your computer to start looking for file at the beginning; PRECOPY1.CAB.
/L tells it what location you want the file to go.
==========INFO ON Msgsrv32.exe
Msgsrv32.exe is a program that runs invisibly on the
Windows 95 desktop and performs several background
functions necessary for Windows 95 operation. These
functions include:

1. Mediate Plug and Play messages among various parts
of the operating system.
2. Coordinate automatic responses to Setup programs.
[This includes checking whether a Setup program has
improperly overwritten Windows 95 files, and optionally  
restoring the Windows 95 versions of those files.
3. Display the initial logon dialog box if networking
is enabled.
4. Play the system startup and shutdown sounds.
5. Load installable Windows drivers at startup and unload
them at shutdown.
6. Run the shell program (usually Explorer.exe) and re-run
the shell if it fails to respond.

Peter, given your last post, my suggested rload of windows 95, using the exact method as noted stands as written!

I'm too lazy to scroll and read all messages, but if you got problems
like this, do the following:
1) Strip the hardware to bare minimum, e.g. pull out all cards:
 sound, modem, network, SCSI ...
2) Format HD: Don't forget FDISK /MBR. Create partitions. Make
 primary active. Format each (if you created extended and logical
 drives). IMPORTANT: make sure that in BIOS setup, Virus protection
3) Install Win95.

Now. If you installed it successefully, you can: shut down, insert
pulled out card, boot Win95. Repeat process until you'll found

If BARE stripped system still refuses to boot normally, then need
to search problem either in video card, or BIOS setups, or bad
CD-ROM. Also this is maybe faulty RAM chip (your message about
'not enough memory' in Safe Mode gave me this idea).

Here is my suggestion. This is only because there are too many "EXPERTS" involved and things are getting messy.
1. Reject my answer and request that Dennis post an answer.
2. When he does, accecpt it an grade it high.
That way you and he will be able to have a one on one dialog.
by grading his answer you will effectively lock out others as they will have to pay to get in on the conversation, and most likely they won't.

3. Don't worry about grading an being forgotten. Dennis alway stay with you until the problem is fixed and this mess will be much less confusing.


Peter: I agree with Bud, however whichever you choose, he or I, it will be much less confusing! It's difficult developing the problem as well as a course of action this way.

I've recieved a lot of points on your coat tails Dennis.
I really think Peter should ask for your answer.

Thanks Bud!

All right for me.

Here is some more information for Bud :
1. All the files you have mentioned are already in the system directory.
2. When extract them again from precopy1.cab : he says "no matching files".
3. Nothing changes. Same symptoms.

For Dennis :
1. What is the difference between your method and the one I described. Apart from that I boot from a windows 95 diskette directly ??? I did what you described for about five times. Each with different hardware.

For busuka : I did that. Even changed the videocard. Nothing helps. And if the problem is in the BIOS : we have a real problem because I cannot go in there because there is a password on.

So Dennis, answer something. I'll grade you the points.
If you have any questions about Oracle : just ask them there. I have been answering questions there.

Thanks for everything.


PS: there is another little problem : I think I will have to return the computer to my friend (I am actually trying to solve the problem for my friend who unfortunatly doesn't know much about computers. I don't know how long he can miss it). So we only have time till tuesday, I guess.


    I hope help you.
    I think you have a problem with the memory. Anything else is aparantly probed.

    Here is what I do in your case

1) Try to install with none hardware except video and IDE controler.

2) Change the IO controller. FDD, HDD, serial and parrallel Port.

3) Remove the memory, clean the contacts VERY CARREFULLY. Reassemble in another order.

4) Maybe try with only 4 megs.

   I absolutly convenced that is the IO controler, if already chenged it do it again, in other slot.


5) I don't thing BIOS was the problem, but I have a little program that erase all settings in BIOS, including the pass, If you want it send me a mail to fsimo@computer.org.

We Peter, I would have answered the question, but Fsimo apparently didn't bother to read your post. Reject it please. I will continue with your problem as long as it takes to set it up!

All is already done.

Problem in memory is very unlikely. I tested it with diagnostic software and it was allright.




    Sorry, I have a problem with msgsrv32 too, my solution in this 486dx2 50 was the IO controller.


peter, you MUST enter to BIOS, there are several progz :) on 'net
that show BIOS password (AMI and AWARD)

Peter, give me the motherboard name and Bios and I'll set out the procedure to remove the Bios password. Then we can proceed to set this up correctly.
Name of the motherboard : unknown.
BIOS : Ami, version like described in the posts but protected with an unknown password.

But Dennis : My friend asked his computer back. I cannot work on it no more.

He will install windows 3.1 on it and sell his computer and buy a new one. So maybe in a couple of months, you will hear of the same problem, but now from the buyer of his computer :).

However, tell me your ideas what you like to check.
It is probably a problem on the motherboard. It would be a good idea to move the harddisk to another computer and see what happens.


PS: you can mail me at petevdb@innet.be

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Peter: As a method to diagnose the problem (presuming that we could have gotten around the Bios password, which we could have by shorting the Bios default set pins) I would stripped the system down to the very basics, a hard drive, floppy and video card. Before going further, I would pull the memory modules, clean them and put them back in opposite order (this will cause the modules to come up with an error id there's a problem) From here I would load Windows in custom mode and just load the bare essentials. If I were able to get a good load-in, then I would begin adding back peripherals such as modem, sound card etc. and let windows sort it out as I go. I would probably start with sound and move on from there.
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