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Setup locks up detecting hardware.

Posted on 1998-06-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I'm installing Windows 95 onto a 486sx system that was running Windows 3.11 for workgroups.  During the hardware detect portion the computer locks up and has to be rebooted.  I choose "safe"  mode when prompted and it gets 1% further in the detect screen.  Then I do it again.  After hours of this, Windows 95 is installed.  But when I check the performance tab for the system it tells me that my IDE drive is forcing windows into DOS compatibility mode, degrading performance.   How do I fix this?
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Question by:fly64d
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tchris earned 150 total points
ID: 1756406
The hardware detection phase of Windows 95 setup probes each and every nook and cranny of your system.  Some of these activites can cause a hardware lockup.  (Note that when the setup wizard says "...if there is no disk activity for a long time..." it means a LONG time!  The hardware detection phase can take more than 10 minutes without noticeable signs of life.  Try letting it sit longer before rebooting.)

While performing the detection, a log file is created.  When you reboot following a hardware lockup, Windows sees the log file, looks for the last entry, and skips that device on the next pass IF, and only IF, you choose "Safe Recovery" when asked to do so.  Note that this is NOT the same as starting Windows in "Safe Mode".  If you don't choose "Safe Recovery" it will hit the same hangups repeatedly.  Perhaps "Safe Recovery" is what you meant in your question?

Another consideration:  Win95 uses clues it finds in your old configuration files (CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI) for hardware configuration.  If any of those settings are incorrect, they may be carried into Win95 incorrectly too.

Try temporarily renaming these files before performing the upgrade, then create a minimal CONFIG.SYS that only has DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS in it and your CD-ROM driver.  The AUTOEXEC.BAT file can get away with only the MSCDEX.EXE line for your CD-ROM drive, and SMARTDRV.EXE for disk caching.  It is usually best to make Win95 figure out all the hardware by itself this way.

Terry
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by:fly64d
ID: 1756407
I gave up and upgraded to a Pentuim.  System now running well.  Thanks.
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