Reinstall: format C:, install from CD-ROM

My system got somewhat messy all over (Windows 95 OSR/2 OEM) and I am contemplating to format the bootable C: drive and re-install it from scratch. The problem is that I will be sitting there with the C: prompt blinking at me  in the DOS 7.1

I checked the situation by booting up in DOS (as they say command mode) but the system does not recognize neither of my two CD-ROM drives to say nothing about the Zip drive. My OEM version of Windows is on CD disk.
I know that there must be a way to make it but I kind of forgotten about it.

Thanks for your help.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Nick, not a problem! I do this everyday each week. What I would like you to do is while your here visiting this page, click Start, Run and type in Sysedit. This will bring up your setup files beginning with Autoexec.bat and then config.sys. Use the edit function and copy and paste both of them here. When you've done that, I'll spell out a step by step procedure for you to completely reload your system, starting with basic setup disks right through configuration. Also, if you can, tell me the type of motherboard, memory and CPU at the same time.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
olemuleAuthor Commented:
Hi Dennis,

That what I thought but wasn't certain. Here we go:

@REM Added by Norton Utilities
rem - By Windows Setup - MSCDEX.EXE /D:OEMCD001 /L:D
REM C:\WINDOWS\Alps\Amouse\

device=C:\SAMPLE.SYS /D:OEMCD001

That's all. Completely skipped my mind, used to write much more complex in old DOS.
I have Iwill motherboard with 166MHz MMX CPU and 64MB RAM. Two physical HD and 4 logical discs, CD-ROM as I: IDE slave, CD-ROM R as H: SCSI and Iomega Zip Drive as G:

Thanks and looking forward to your further help.

That's okay Nick, I have mind blocks too occassionally. In any event, this should help you.

1. Make a Windows 95 startup disk from within Windows 95 so that you can format drive "C", just remember to make sure to transfer the operating system to drive “C” when you format (format c:/s).

2. Make sure you have drivers disks for the peripherals that will be installed, such as modem, cd rom drive, SCSI devices, sound card and USB/PCI supplement etc. If you do not know where to find this supplement, let me know. Same for your hard disk controller drivers. (see below)

3. Now you will need to build your config.sys and autoexec.bat files, as well as transfer your cd rom driver, the dos cd rom device driver (Mscdex.exe) and Himem.sys to drive “C”. You should only need basic files at this time. In config.sys, make sure that Himem.sys loads first in all cases, that your have created the device line for the cd rom device installed, that you don’t specify a drive letter with the “/L:” switch and that there is a line present “Lastdrive=z”. At minimum your autoexec.bat file should need a calling line for the cd rom device. Test these files on a floppy and reboot the system and make sure that your cd rom device works and that you can access it before formatting drive "C". These files should look like this:

Prompt $p$g

device=C:\SAMPLE.SYS /D:OEMCD001

Note: After formatting the hard drive and transferring the system files, make sure these files are in the root of drive "C". Himem.sys and Mscdex.exe should be taken from the C:\windows\command directory.

Sample.sys (or what ever cd rom driver you are using)

4. If you have everything you need and you've checked your config.sys and autoexec.bat to insure that you can access the cd rom drive from the Msdos prompt, your ready to go. Insert the Win95 Startup disk in the floppy drive and reboot the system. From the Msdos prompt, format drive "C" by using the command

 A:\>format c:/s

5. Insert the Windows 95 OSR2 CD in the drive, and from the dos prompt C:\>  type  D:\Setup and touch enter to install the OS. As you move through the setup, choose custom rather than typical and then choose each component in each area that you need.

6. As you begin the completion process of the install, windows may look for drivers for your various peripherals. If so,  and the peripherals have been available for some time (prior to 8/96) in all possibility they will be on the Win95 cd rom disk. If they were released later, you will need to use those that you set aside early in the beginning of this install. Do Not install these drivers yet!, and when you do, only use the newest approved Windows 95 drivers issued by the manufacturer.

7. Windows will no doubt find the motherboards **X chipset if it has on (should be HX or TX etc), but will probably configure it incorrectly. Install the chipset drivers that you set aside earlier. If you do not know which drivers you need, tell me which chipset you have, eg: Intel HX or TX etc and I'll tell you where to find them, make sure you know who's *X chipset it is though, Intel or someone else's)

8. You will need these drivers before trying to clear the PCI device errors on the hard disk controller. When your ready, install the bus mastering drivers, and before restarting the system, go into Device Manager and expand the hard drive controller area and remove all of the entries. Now restart the system. Windows should find the PCI bus itself, then Primary Bus. Windows may hang at this point. Restart the system again and make sure the Secondary bus is installed.

9. Now is the time to apply the supplement to Windows 95 OSR2 and install, among other things, USB support if the motherboard supports USB. Restart the system and resolve any conflicts in device manager. Once these are resolved, you can go on.

10. Now load your SCSI device drivers if Windows has not already done so. You may want to use the latest drivers available from Adaptec or whomever.

11. Now load and install your video card drivers, again clearing up any device conflicts.

12. Now load the sound card drivers.

13. Now you should be able to load your modem drivers and make sure to resolve any conflicts before going on. Make sure that you can verify modem operation by going into the modem area within control panel and run the modem diagnostic.

14. Add your SCSI devices one at a time, making sure that the SCSI card and the attached devices have had the addresses appropriately applied and as well as any necessary terminations. Add any drivers that you may need and then check for device conflicts again.

15. Your now free to load software as needed.

As always, should there be any questions, let me know!
olemuleAuthor Commented:
Thanks, appreciate it very much.

Insert the grey cd that comes with Win95 into the floppy drive.
From the c prompt type       copy a:\mscdex.exe c:
(A message will appear - one file transfered)
Insert the cdrom driver into the floppy drive.
Change to the A prompt and run the program to install your cd-rom driver. (It is ,install or setup or setupd - look in the directory)
Reset the machine when this is completed.
You will have a D prompt available.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.