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Format the harddisk & install Win95

Posted on 1998-12-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I have a 2.1GB harddisk, 16 MB RAM,Pentium 166MMX.
Its a year old system.Since the system was behaving unpredictably i formatted my harddisk.Now its become worse.i.e. i get unexpected exceptions like VxD errors.
I wish to start afresh, format & load win95 again.
Please let me know the step by step procedure.
How do i format my hard disk with FAT32?

i would greatly appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks
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Question by:sgoms
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by:rosefire
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To use fat32 you need to use a recent version of windows 95, the "a" verson doesn't provide this functionality.  Windows 98, on the other hand, is well equipped to handle FAT32.  The fact that this system changed when you reformatted suggests a hardware conflict and I don't think reloading windows 95 yet again will solve this.  I think you need to troubleshoot the existing setup.
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by:sgoms
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Please let me know the procedure for troubleshooting the existing setup.
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by:rosefire
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Since you asked, here are some step by step instructions for reloading windows 95.

1. This should go without saying, but back up everything you want to keep.  Make an emergency boot disk using the version of windows you want to install.  Windows will want you to do this as part of the install procedure, but you want to be sure your boot disk will allow you to see your CD-ROM drive if you are using it for Windows installation.

2. You don't need (and really don't want) to install windows 95 over DOS or another version of windows such as 3.1.  Do the formatting after booting from a floppy drive on the boot disk created previously.  You probably want to configure the entire drive as one primary DOS partition.
3. Format the partition from the floppy using either FAT32 or FAT, whichever is defaulted to by your version of windows.  After you install you can convert to FAT32 using a utility that comes with windows if your verstion uses FAT32. It won't matter which you use during the installation.

4. Start the Window 95  install after booting from  the floppy disk.  Do not install DOS or earlier versions of windows prior to installing your windows 95.  The config. sys and autoexec.bat files are not desired or necessary in most windows 95 installations.  If you are installing from an upgrade disk, windows will tell you that it sees no previous version of windows on your drive.  In this case you will be asked where this version is.  Put the CD or 1st floppy from your previous version in the appropiate drive and give window the path to that device.
5. Complete the install.
6.  After the install you will have to manually install any device drivers for devices like modems and other devices that windows doesn't recognize.  

If you have been installing over old versions of windows or DOS, you may be having problems with the 16-bit drivers in config.sys and autoexec.bat. This may be the cause of your VxD errors.  These drivers are notorius for causing window to misbehave, even though microsoft says they can be used and leaves them there if you install over DOS.

If you have not been installing over an old DOS or windows installation, , then I suggest you do the install after removing any cards that are not needed to operate your PC.  After the install is complete and you have verified that the system is operating reliably you can add these cards back one at at time to see if you can discern which one of them is causing you problems.

If you do an install on a mimimal hardware configuration as described above and have problems such as the VxD errors, then we need to look at the hardware in more detail.  Let us know if the is the case and we can help you troubleshoot the system.

If you have any questions about the above, let us know.

RoseFire.
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by:rosefire
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There are several schools of thought on this.  If you are conforatble taking boards out of your system this procedure works well.

First, if you have a config.sys and autoexec.bat with 16-bit drivers in them like mscdex you might try renaming the config.sys and autoexec.bat.  This could solve your problem or it may make your CD-ROM or another device inaccessable.  If it does this, then you just reboot from a floppy and restore the names and let us know what happened.

Aside from the above, the procedure for troubleshooting your existing setup can  begin by removing all cards from the PC that is not needed to operate the PC. Usually you need a hard disk contrller and a video card unless this is built into your motherboard.   You want to start with a minimum hardware configuration and then determine which boards may be resulting in a hardware conflict.  If after you have removed these board the system is still having the errors you describe, let us know.  What to do at this point depends on informatin we can gather at that point. If the system seem stable, add back a board, use the system for a while and see if it is still stable.  If it is, add another board.  Repeat until they are all back.  

If you are not comforatable opening the conputer and adding and removing boards, there are other appoaches that can be used to do this troubleshooting.  They are communication intensive and may take a few days to complete.  This approach involves learning as much as possible about your system and systematilcally diagnosing the problem.  If this appoach is used, there is no guarantee that you won't still have to use the other (board removal) appoach if the problem can't be found.

Please advise on what appoach you feel most comfortable with or just proceed and let us know if you run into problems.

RoseFire
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by:sureshmovva
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Procedure for TroubleShooting:
1) Select 'Settings' - 'Control Panel' , Click on 'Systems' icon,
   Select the 'Performance' Tab. Click on 'File System' Button. Select the 'TroubleShooting'    Tab, Select 'Disable all 32-bit protected mode disk drivers'.
2) It might also be that you have installed a 16-bit driver for some/one of your hardware     devices. Try installing the 32-bit driver for the particular device.

Hope this solves your problem
Suresh
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by:rosefire
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sureshmovva, the question you are answering was not even the questioner's original question.  It was one that followed from my suggestions.  Your "answer"  also has no guarantee of working (windows troubleshooter usually don't).

Your second suggestion had already been touched on by me.

Please don't lock questions that don't have pat answers and allow the questioner to decide when and who helped solve the problem.
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by:rmarotta
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sgoms,
Do you still want a step-by-step procedure for a "clean Windows install, and use of FAT32?
Regards,
Ralph
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by:rosefire
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Ralph, is there something wrong with the procedure I posted?
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by:rmarotta
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Two pages, and not a single word about how to format or how to configure a boot floppy to install Windows.........

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by:rosefire
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It is necessary to find out what level of detail the user wants.  Sgoms said s/he already formatted and reinstalled  Windows 95 once, so my assumption s/he doesn't need the instructions to be 5 pages of fine detail.  My guess is sgoms is unsure of the overall procedure and wondering if s/he did something wrong in the last clean install.

As you probably know, it is not unusual for people with an upgrade disk to think they have to install DOS and an earlier version of windows and then the upgrade disk.   People also sometimes try to install their DOS drivers after windows is installed with the mistaken idea that they need to.  Both of these can result in an unstable system.
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by:rmarotta
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sgoms,
If the proposed answer hasn't solved your problem, simply reject it, and we'll continue the thread.
We need some feedback from you now.
Ralph
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by:sgoms
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Thanks for the response guys.
I'll be more explicit in what's happening.i've already  formatted my harddisk(low level format)& carried out the procedure u(rosefire) suggested a couple of days back.I haven't changed my Fat.I guess iam using the default one now.
My problem is that some times i get the error "Crosslinked files" when windows runs the scandisk or "Msgsrv ahs performed an illegal operation" or when i open my explorer i get the msg "illegal operation" or when iam running an appliaction a blue screen comes up with unexpected exceptions (VxD error was one of them).All the above errors occur unexpectedly.some times the system operates just fine without giving any trouble.
can u throw any light on that?
Regarding the 16-bit drivers, my cd-rom driver runs a dos setup.does it mean its 16-bit? cud that be a problem?
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by:rmarotta
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Please post your autoexec.bat & config.sys files here.  The Dos driver should not be needed in Win95 if it is an IDE CD-ROM.

If you want to use FAT32, you'll need version Win95B or newer.
If you're using FAT16 on the system now, it will require FDISK & FORMAT again to install FAT32.

Let me know what you want to do.
Regards,
Ralph
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by:rosefire
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The cross-linked files indicate that there has been corruption of the files on your hard drive.  Once this type of corruption has occured, any number of other problems can happen.  Anything from a system that will not start, to blue screens, etc.  The problem is that your files are getting corrupted.

Microsoft has done everything they can to prevent disk file corruption, but it is not foolproof. Whatever is causing this corruption is  probably  the root cause of your problems.  The problem is, that once cross-linked files are found on your system, the damage is usually done. You have no way of knowing if further problelms you are having are the problem that caused the cross-linked files, or the files are actually just corrupted and the errors you are getting are caused by the corrupted files.  You noted that the problem gets worse with time.  This is probably why.  The problems snowball.  More corrupted files, more crashes and more files get corrupted.

If you followed my instructions above for a clean install, you should have no config.sys and autoexec.bat files, or they should have next to nothing in them.  Windows does not need these files and  windows runs best using its native drivers.  The exception is for a few odd devices that have no windows drivers and must be loaded in DOS.

What we need to do now, is figure out why your disk is getting errors and corrupting your files.

First, an assuption.  You will have to tell me if this is not true.  I am assuming that you do not see errors when you format the drive, or when you run DOS applications.  If you have reason to doubt this let me know and we can run a DOS diagnostic on the drive.  We should also look for a hardware IRQ or similar conflict.  You may even have a failed device.

The corruption of you hard disk data is probably the result of a hardware conflict, or hardware that is not working properly under windows.  Begin by removing all the boards from your PC that are not essential.  This may leave you with none, one, or two boards depending on if the motherboad has the video and IDE controllers built in.

Now, follow the procedure I outlined (way) above and re-install windows clean.  You can speed the installation by doing a custom install and selecting not to install windows components that you know are not needed.   If after you do this there is still trouble, STOP.  Don't do anything else.  You will want to want to boot into "safe mode" and collect data to look for the cause of the problem.  We will want to get a list of IRQs look at the boot log,  and other information about how your system is configured.  

Let me know when you reach this point.

RoseFire
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by:rosefire
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By the way, your original quesiton was answered by me on  Tuesday, December 15 1998 - 10:52PM PST and in other posts.  You said you successfully completed those instructions on your last post.    I am more than happy to continue to work with you to troubleshoot the secondary problem of what is causing corruption of your disk, but to avoid "vultures" jumping in with wild guesses hoping to grab some quick points, I would like to post an "answer". It gets very confusing trying to work with several people at one time.  To permit this you will have to reject sureshmovva's answer.

Thanks,
RoseFire
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elc_music earned 70 total points
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Hi sgoms.
on 12-16-98 you said you LOW LEVEL FORMATED ????!!! why ???
1. most or all mnufactures DO NOT give any guarnty fir a low lvl format.
2. also, after the format, did you ran the proper fdisk ? and format ?
3. FAT32 is not recomended for disk smaler than 4 gigs. it uses twicw space as FAT 16 and is SLOWER (32 bit acces).
4. after formatting your HDD, you had to start from 3.5" yah ? did you check it to be VIRUS clean ?
5. just after formatting, did you ran any disk diagnostic pgm to make sure your HDD is 100% ok ?
and one last thing, dont format you hdd toooo many times, especialy, not a LOW level format, it may lead your HDD to a DEAD end !
GoodLuck.
ELC.
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by:rosefire
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sgoms, are you still working on this question?  Apparently this elc_music guy proposed something and you will have to reject it to let me post an answer.  If that is what you want to do.

RoseFire
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by:rosefire
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sgoms, are you still working on this question?  Apparently this elc_music guy proposed something and you will have to reject it to let me post an answer.  If that is what you want to do.

I am still willing to work with you on this question of what is causing corruption on your disk if I hear from you.

RoseFire
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