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format-install problem, can't read cd drive

brian41 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hi.  I need to reformat my disk and install win95 from a cd.  I have yet to format the drive, because it appears that I have to format the disk from a floppy, but I cannot access the d drives (cd).  Is it possible that I'm missing files on the setup disk?  Is it possible to erase the c-drive from the d (cd) drive and directly install win95 at that point?  If I reboot from the d drive after reformating the c drive?  Thanks for the help!

The following files are on my setup floppy:
Attrib.       Chkdsk.    Command.dos app, Config.sys, Debug,  drvspace, ebd.sys,  edit, fdisk, format,  himem.sys,   io sys,   msdos.sys,  regedit,  scandisk app,   scandisk,  config   sys,  uninstal

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I'm also loosing my netscape professional additioin with the format.  You wouldn't per chance know if there are files I can save from it and add to the standard addition replacement that I will be adding?

You need two additional files on the boot floppy.

2) A device driver file for your CDROM.

The device driver is a file with a .SYS extension, used by Dos to recognize the CDROM drive.  Let me know what your brand & model number is if you have trouble locating the file.

The autoexec.bat file can contain only one line to configure the CDROM, and config.sys only two.

Let me know if you need help to set it up.



Hi again.  I'm having some difficulty here.  Turns out I have a generic cd and "no driver files are required or loaded for this device".  I moved many *.sys files to the floppy to see what would happen and I checked the msdossetup.txt.  I do have a cdsetup.sys file (3kb) that is probably it.  Otherwise, I can just keep adding *.sys files to the floppy and see what happens.

I'm also having difficulty in changing the the config.sys and autoexec.bat files.  I forget how to get into files and type in dos…is there a file that teaches me the basics?  

Config.sys presently has only one line:  device = himen.sys

Autoexec.bat needs to be totally rewritten.  It presently reads:
Set path=c:\windows\nd\prod
+ stuff on antivirus that needs deleting

I'm a bit thick on this.  
Thanks again,

To start with, we should determine the type of CDROM you have.
Do you know the brand name/model number? (it should be on a label affixed to the drive.)
Perhaps we can find out without entering the computer's case:

When the computer starts up, after the memory check, is there a screen listing the installed components of the system?
(CPU, Hard drive, ports, etc.)

If so, is there any reference to a CDROM displayed?

If not, what is listed under CDROMs in Win95's Device Manager?

Next, editing the startup files is easy in Windows.

Just click Start button and select Run.
Type SYSEDIT on the command line and press enter.
When the program executes, all your system files will be displayed in Notepad-type windows, ready for editing.

For config.sys, the himem.sys line is fine as it is.  Simply add the next line as follows:

(Where CDROM.SYS is the name of your driver file.)

The autoexec.bat file needs to contain only the following line:


You can safely delete everything else in that file.

As I said in my earlier post, those three files are the only ones necessary on the boot floppy for Dos to recognize the CCDROM in preparation for Win95 setup.

Let me know how this goes before we continue.


Hi again!
You're getting me somewhere!  The cdrom is a TW240D.  I found lots of files with tw in them, but perhaps you know where to start looking.

I noticed several files that may be associated with setting up this computer, but have not seen anything that mentions the cdrom.  Is that typical?  Do you know if I should be saving these before formating the disk or are these just files that come with dos and are recommendations.  

Thanks again for all the help!

To save time in solving your problem, it will be helpful to know more about your computer.
Please list the components of your system that might apply.
(Motherboard, CPU, RAM, Hard Drive(s), CD-ROM(s), Soundcard, etc.)
Please post your Win95 version here, also.


Hi Ralph,
Hopefully this is what you need (and not too much more).

The motherboard is a Shuttle Hot 603 (w/ bios 603222q05). I believe the board was placed into the system after the software was on the drive by a shady company that went out of business the week after I bought the computer (& thus my need to reformat). The device manager stated that my system board  (=motherboard?) was a "standard device".  

BIOS is Award v 1.0A (8/26/97)

The system is a Pentium 233MHz MMX /64MB.  I purchased a 4.3gigHD but the computer tells me it is 3.72 Gig with 3,999,727,616 bytes capacity (diagnostics program reads it as 3815MB).

I have no  PCMCIA sockets installed.

I'm replacing my current version of Win95 (4.00.950 B; although a diagnostics program reads 4.00.1111) with version 4.00.1068.

I have the following as listed in my device manager:

Generic ide disk type 46
Generic nec floppy disk (1.44)
Iomega zip 100

Display adapeters:
S3 inc ViRGE/DX/GX/PCI      

Standard Floppy disk contorller

Primary ide controller (single fifo)
Secondary ide controller (single fifo)
Standard dual pci ide controller
Standard ide/esdi hard disk controller

Standard 101/102-key or microsoft natural keyboard
Harmony k56flex pc voice modem (hm 18020.1)

AOC Spectrum 4v,4va, 4Vlr & 4VlrA Monitor

Standard mouse

Dial up Network adapter (MS)

Communications Ports (com1 &2)
Printer port (LPT1)

Sound ect. Controllers
OPTi Plug-N-Play MPU-401 v 1.0.00
OPTi Plug-N-Play Sound syst. v 1.0.00
Wave device for voice modem (Rockwell)

Advanced power mgmt support
AMD-645 CPU to PCI bridge
AMD-645 PCI to ISA bridge
AMD-645 Power mgmt controller
Direct memory acess controller
IO read data prot for ISA plug & play enumerator
IRQ Holder for PCI steering


Okay Brian,
Since you have Win95B you can use FAT32 to partition the hard drive as one large drive.

We must first get the CDROM drive enabled in Dos.  For that, we need a Dos real-mode driver.

I noticed that CDROM was not in your list of components in Device Manager.

1) Is it listed there? (or in "My Computer" or Explorer)

2) Does it currently work in Windows? (I want to be sure it DOES work)

3) In the list of files you referred to above, does one have a name related to the CDROM or IDE with a .SYS extension?

Answer these three and we can proceed.


Hi Ralph!
1. I have a cdrom in mydevice manager listed as TW240D.  

2. It does work, but I recently have not been able to properly reinstall office pro preventing many programs from running.  I can listen to CD's through my monitor but not through my speakers (I'm getting a popping sound) that might be related to the lack of a cd.sys type file.  I actually believed it to be the motherboard problem.

3. No cdrom.sys or ide.sys.  There is a cdromsetup.sys, but it is located in the OPTi931 folder.  

When I use sysedit, I can only edit c-drive files, not a-drive stuff, even if I start-out in a-drive.  Because of this I'm afraid to edit until we are fully ready.  Also sysedit did not let me access config.sys or autoexec.bat.  It appeared as if nothing was in these files.

Once again, thanks for helping!  It is wonderful that you folks do this kind of thing.

To begin with, let me explain about sysedit.  Apparently, your autoexec.bat & config.sys files either don't exist on the hard drive, or they are empty.
If they're empty, no problem.  You can edit them anyway, by adding the lines you want and then saving the new files.
If they don't exist, you can create them with Notepad.
Start Notepad, type in the lines and save the file to the floppy as a:\filename.ext. (substitute the correct filename and extension)

Next, the cdromsetup.sys file is probably a program used for configuring a CDROM port on your soundcard.  I've used similar programs, but it can get tricky for setting up CDROM operation in Dos.

To simplify this setup, I am going to suggest you check the connection of your CDROM to it's IDE port inside the computer.
If the flat, 40-conductor data cable is connected from the rear of the CDROM drive to the motherboard, there is nothing to do.
However, if it goes to the soundcard, we have more work to do.  I'd like you to move it to the unused IDE connector on your motherboard.
There is a colored stripe on the edge of the cable that denotes the pin-1 side of the connector.  Pin-1 of the cable connector plugs onto the pin-1 side of your motherboard's secondary IDE port.
If you follow the data cable from your hard drive to the motherboard, it will be connected to the primary IDE port.
The secondary port should be located right next to the primary.  It is just a double-row of 40 pins that may have a plastic socket.
Find the pin-1 side of the port connector, and plug in the CDROM's data cable.  Pin-1 should be oriented the same way as the cable for the hard drive.

Let me know if you have a problem with this, or if you are uncomfortable with working inside the computer.

Next, go here to download the driver for your CDROM:


Download the file called USDIDE.EXE and check the instructions on that page for more info.

We can finish this when I hear back from you.


Hi Ralph,
The CDROM is now on the same cable as the hard drive (IDE1) and the zip is in the IDE2 port.  Should I reverse the zip and CDROM cables?  If so dos the cdrom driver need to be modified?
Thanks for working on this ever-expanding project!

No, it's connected fine Brian.  I overlooked that zip drive before, but it won't interfere with the cdrom booting from your floppy disk.

Just substitute the name of the driver file for CDROM.SYS as I outlined previously, and then boot from the floppy.

You should see the driver load and then mscdex assign the drive letter on the screen at startup.

Insert a CD and get a directory from it to be sure it's working.

All that is left is to format the hard drive, then change to the \Win95 directory on the Windows95 CD and type setup.

Let me know how it goes......


Hi Ralph,
More problems. I booted with the floppy and formated from the floppy. The result was the same as when I later formated from d:\win95: using the formate c: comand (it partitioned as 1 drive).  Each time when I entered setup, the following events occurred:  (1) scandisc, (2) I OK'd the license agreement, (3) the computer started to open the appropriate files but locked up, yet (4) 700+MB of Win95 was copied to c each time.  Each time immediately prior to lock-up it went to the a:drive, and locked up whether or not the floppy was in the drive.  One time I left it sit for 3 hours without luck.  

I just thought of a possible reason.  I changed the config.sys or autoexec.bat files where it read something to the effect of "device=cdrom" to device="soure" where source was the company's name for the device.  I changed to this in order to bootup the D drive since "cdrom" did not.  I did notice that somewhere in bios(?) d is called cdrom and not the name I gave it.  perhaps another line has to get modified in bios or…?

Anyway, it is now dead.  I will not be able to do anything with it on Thur, since a family emerg. has occurred, but I can work on it on Friday.

Another problem may be associated with it.  It seems like I'm getting a fluctuations in my cpu or somewhere.  The screen is flickering every 10 or so seconds.  Perhaps that is affecting everything.  

Thanks again for assisiting me get through this mess,

Oh Boy!
Sorry to hear about the family problems.
As long as you have mscdex.exe and the driver file for that CDROM somewhere, we'll get that computer running again.
Just extract the driver file from the download I gave you, (usdide.sys) and substitue it for CDROM.SYS in my example config.sys, above.
Then boot from the floppy to see if you can access thr CDROM as your D: drive.  Forget about drive C: for now, as we must have access to the CDROM in order to install Win95.
Let me know if you need more.

Another option may be to copy the WIN95 folder from the CD onto a ZIP disk (on a system that can see both a ZIP drive and the CD (a nearby friend, or such).  Then, you only need a boot floppy with the DOS ZIP drivers, which is pretty easy to create (I can mail you one).  If you boot with that diskette, and put the ZIP disk with the WIN95 folder into your ZIP drive, you can jump right to the WIN95 folder and run setup.

This will bypass having to run around trying to get the CD Rom drive recognized in DOS mode, which you will probably never use again.  Once your machine boots into Win 95 setup, it should recognize your CD using the enhanced drivers.

If you feel confident about what you are doing now, don't change your plans.  However, if you want to follow up on this option, let me know and I can go into more detail.

PS:  I stopped using the Win 95 CD quite a while ago.  Many systems have different CD ROM drives (or none at all), but all had a parallel port for my trusty external ZIP drive and boot floppy.


Hi Ralph,
my config sys has been modified to read:

I wonder if the cd is bad.  The cd did copy the win95 files to the C-drive, but setup froze-up immediately afterwards.  I can read the c-drive, but not boot from it.  
Perhaps it is a problem with the surge (screen flickering) that I've noticed?  
Any ideas?



I've gotten very good advice.  It is just that this seems to be a unique problem that may involve several non-related problems with my computer.

Brian go back to your Sunday, August 23 1998 - 11:07AM comment.

In the second config.sys statement: (device=usdide.sys/d:cdromdevice=himen.sys)
Delete all after the "m" in cdrom.

Can you boot successfully now from the floppy and then access the CDROM?



When I try to copy my cd to c:, I only get a couple files and none of the directories.  Short of copying all the directories and subdirectories by hand is their a dos command that copies all of them in one swoop?


The CD-ROM drive should be accompanied with a disk containing the necessary drivers and a readme file explaining how to use them.


Jason: I did read the comments, and nobody told where to find the correct drivers. The first time I reinstalled Windows, I used a driver I found on the hard disk, and it took 5 hours. When I used the correct drivers it took 30 minutes.



Ralph and Jason were very helpful in solving the problem (getting to D drive etc.).  I managed to get Windows installed after checking the BIOS and finding a virus detection clause.  The recent problem was apparenetly b/c Windows was viewed as a virus.  When it was removed, I was able to install it w/o a problem.  

How do I split these points to the appropriate people?

You are right brian41. The moment windows95 setup is trying to modify the bootsector (is a place on your harddisk that windows95 is using to startup) of your harddisk. The BIOS thinks it's a bootsector virus and hangs the machine.

About the points. I'd say: give them to rmarotta. Both him and Jason_Shulenberger showed a lot of knowledge, but rmarotta was there first to help you with very detailed answers (sorry Jason_Shulenberger).

The Jury

Comment for rmarotta:

Sometimes the config.dos and autoexec.dos files maintain the CD Driver for use in DOS mode. It is worth a quick look.



I'd like to give at least some to Jason, but I still don't know how to give any points unless if one of them comments last.
Thanks again based on the mess I'm making with my computer, I'll be back soon!

rmarotta:  gets the points in my opinion
When you buy new hardware remember to ALWAYS, repeat.. ALWAYS ask the device drivers of it:
your cdrom normally has an installation disk : this will copy the cdrom driver (sys) to your hardisk
and make a line in the config.sys .. to load your cdrom you will need to use MSCDEX
(do: mscdex /? to get more information about this...)

HoW you have to do this when you DON'T have this disk: I don't know..
try to visit the page of the factory of your cdrom ... normally they have
the drivers on their sites and the installation guidetrough ...


DEVICE=C:\yourdriver.SYS /D:MSCD001  /V

OR : if you don't have edit.com:
c:\>copy con c:\config.sys
DEVICE=C:\yourdriver.SYS /D:MSCD001  /V

{^Z : do this by holding CTRL and pressing Z)

How i did the mscdex call:
I made a cdrom.bat file:
C:\>copy con cdrom.bat

{why: windows32 does not require to load mscdex in the autoexec.bat
the installation of windows will disable this line ...}

bat files: a textfile, every line will be executed automaticly in dos
              usage: C:\>cdrom.bat [enter]
yourdriver.sys : your cdrom driver
mscdex : the dos program to load your cdrom
config.sys : somekinda system setting file for dos
autoexec.bat : this will be autoexecuted at dos startup

COPY CON : a copy parameter is dos that creates a new file,
                   you will have to type some text and when you are
                   finished you have to press CTRL + Z (at last empty line)


The proposed answer from skatan187 will be auto-graded, and your points awarded to him if you do not respond.
Please re-open the question and let us know what you want to do.

Sorry if I am restating something that others have already said or if I missed anything about not being able to boot.  I skipped to the end to put this out.  If you happen to know anyone who owns Win98 ask them to make a startup disk for you.  This disk will have a database on generic CDROM drivers that should work on boot up (it's worked on the last 7 computers I tried this trick on) if you can see the files on your Win95 CDROM under this boot then you can format and reinstall from the CDROM's commands (to keep the correct versions).  As for the Netscape you are safer just reinstalling it IMHO.

Good Luck!


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I've answered the question you have posted for me at Customer Service.
You should go there again and ask Linda to remove this one since it seems nobody reads this thread before jumping in with an answer.

Well if its netscape 4.0 or higher I am pretty sure that you can just copy the entire user directory over to a floppy disk (minus the cache)and then once its reinstalled copy it back.

I Agree!

Evidently the qualifying requirements for "Expert" have been relaxed!
A lot of the answers I have seen lately are nothing more than
guesswork and a blatant play for points. There is no attempt to
"honestly" help someone with a problem.

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