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How to uninstall and reinstall Windows 95

Posted on 1999-01-13
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How do I uninstall and reinstall Windows 95, while not losing anything else on my hard drive. I will need access to the CDROM to reinstall it.

Thanks, Anthony
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Question by:AButcher
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1761205
AButcher,
If you're having problems with an unstable system, a "clean" install might be the best or only solution.
If not, what are you wanting to accomplish?
Regards,
Ralph
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by:AButcher
ID: 1761206
Adjusted points to 100
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by:AButcher
ID: 1761207
Isn't unistalling it a clean install? My registry is corrupt, I tried deleting the system.dat, reinstalling Windows over the current, but no luck. I want to remove Windows, then reinstall it, new registry and all.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1761208
Do you have the upgrade or the full version of Win95?
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761209
You probably want to either use the deltree command and deltree the Windows directory and reinstall or you can use format c: /q for a quick format of the hard drive and start from scratch altogether. Both will work fine. The format is quicker than the deltree command. Just make sure that you make copies of all of your documents or files first before you do either.

Good Luck!

Mike
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1761210
Mike,

Format?

Don't forget he doesn't "want to lose anything else on the hard drive".

Ralph
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761211
Ralph,
If he wants a whole new clean registry then he's really got a problem. If you install overtop of a poorly functioning existing installation your going to take that past into the future. I've learned over and over and over again that installing overtop of the existing installation creates as many problems as what it's worth. If he really wants to do all of this without formatting, he's going to have to kill the Windows directory with Deltree and then reinstall Windows. He will then have to meticulously reinstall every program back onto his computer and most of his original program settings for his other programs should remain intact. I don't like to format either if I don't have to but I would rather spend an hour reinstalling everything from scratch compared to spending days figuring out what the heck is the matter. Deltreeing the Windows directory is probably going to be his only option from the looks of it.

Abutcher:
One thing for you, what is the reason that you so desperately need to reinstall Windows? Some things can be fixed without reinstallation.

Mike
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by:AButcher
ID: 1761212
Thanks, I do have the full version. Is the deltree command just a delete with subdirectories? What about the files on the root c drive? Which ones there do I delete?
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761213
You don't need to delete any on the root. Use the following command without any parameters and the Windows directory and all of it's subdirectories will disapear.

deltree c:\windows

Why do you need to really go to this extreme anyway?

Mike
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by:jcarlo
ID: 1761214
By the way, you should back up all your important data to another partition, to floppies, or to another drive before doing this - if your registry and other system files do not jive with what the rest of the drive has to say, you comp can go south really fast.  I would suggest that you either install over the current installation, or do a format, although I'm curious as to how deltreeing the Windows directory will work.  By the way, if you deltree Windows, you will not need the CD.  There should be a directory on your hard drive called "Win95.ins." It contains all the Windows setup files, and you can run setup from that directory.

Regards,
Jeremy
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Author Comment

by:AButcher
ID: 1761215
My registry is coorupt, I think from a driver that installed/uninstalled. I can see it in regedit, but it won't let me del the line. The file/s it is looking for is gone. I tried delteled the system.dat, but no luck. I've had the corrupt registry for a couple months now, and now I am trying to install a scanner, and it won't take. I think it is the registry. I tried the registry cleaner from MS, but it doesn't fix it either. i am sick of trying fix the registry, I just want a definite fix. If I do format my C drive, can I keep my d drive, a physically seperate drive? What about the applications on that drive, will WIndows see them?
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by:AButcher
ID: 1761216
My registry is coorupt, I think from a driver that installed/uninstalled. I can see it in regedit, but it won't let me del the line. The file/s it is looking for is gone. I tried delteled the system.dat, but no luck. I've had the corrupt registry for a couple months now, and now I am trying to install a scanner, and it won't take. I think it is the registry. I tried the registry cleaner from MS, but it doesn't fix it either. i am sick of trying fix the registry, I just want a definite fix. If I do format my C drive, can I keep my d drive, a physically seperate drive? What about the applications on that drive, will WIndows see them?
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1761217
You can copy off your important information to the D: drive, then format the C: drive.  Plan to reinstall all programs that integrate themselves into Windows.  Some older programs do not do this, (older 16 bit programs, and some games) and won't need to be reinstalled.

Before formatting the drive, copy your Win95 directory off of your Windows 95 CD to your D: drive.  Then you can install from there after you format the drive.  This way you dont need to load the CD-ROM drivers.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761218
First of all the D will stay intact. Second, deltreeing the Windows directory removes your headaches by just deleting the Windows directory and nothing else. If you have copies of all of your programs then all you need to do is move your data to the D: drive just to be on the safe side and then from within Windows, copy all of the cab files from the cdrom to a directory that you make on your c: drive. You can call it Win95 if you like. You only need to copy everything fromt he Win95 directory on the cdrom to the directory on your hard drive that you created. Next you deltree the Windows directory and when it is finished, you turn right around and run setup from the directory that you copied all of the files from the cd to. You will get a fresh installation of Windows 95 without losing any data that exists on your hard drive. Next, you need to reinstall all of your programs, even the ones on your d: drive. While reinstalling they should pick up all of the settings that you have in them and transfer them to your new installation without a problem. Your registry will be updated to reflect everything anew and all programs should work with all settings an data intact. It can be a little time consuming this way but you won't have any more problems with the registry.

Mike
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by:spenner
ID: 1761219
If you want to install a clean registry - move user.dat and system.dat out of the windows directory, and then reinstall windows over top of the old one - this will create a new registry.  Then backup the new user.dat and system.dat so that if something goes wrong you can just recopy them
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by:mark2150
ID: 1761220
If you corrupted your registry files on an install and *noticed it immediately* you can recover by reverting to the old, .DA0 versions of the files! Boot with a DOS disk with ATTRIB on it. Go into windows directory and:

ATTRIB USER.* -S -R -H
ATTRIB SYSTEM.* -S -R -H

then:

RENAME USER.DAT *.BAD
RENAME SYSTEM.DAT *.BAD
COPY USER.DA0 *.DAT
COPY SYSTEM.DA0 *.DAT

and reboot.

Your system should come back to life.

This is core of good tip: Backup your registry *BEFORE* installing new apps!

M

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by:Jason_S
ID: 1761221
Unfortunately that "Answer" won't work for AButcher.  If you would read the thread before answering, you would know that.  Good information, just should be a "Comment" not an "Answer.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1761222
That's really not an "answer" since the problem happened months ago.  You only get one chance using that method. (Looong gone!)

Somebody said 'bite the bullet'.
In this case, I think a clean install will be the quickest way in the long run......
The only 'guaranteed' way to a stable system.
Let us know if you want help with it.
Ralph
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by:spenner
ID: 1761223
What's wrong with just removing the user.dat and system.dat files and then reinstalling windows over top? I've done it many times, and all you lose are the custom settings you've done for your programs - you don't lose the programs themselves.
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by:spenner
ID: 1761224
What's wrong with just removing the user.dat and system.dat files and then reinstalling windows over top? I've done it many times, and all you lose are the custom settings you've done for your programs - you don't lose the programs themselves.
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by:jcarlo
ID: 1761225
The problem is,

Just about every damn piece of software out there makes modifications to the registry and other system files.  If you bring back a clean, original registry, there will be no entries for stuff that has been installed.  For hardware this is not much of a problem, as it can be detected and configured automatically, more or less.  But software should be reinstalled after Windows is reinstalled in this case to ensure proper system behavior.  I don't really know, the system might work fine more or less, which is why I'm interested in the result here.  But it would still probably be less work (and result in a cleaner, more efficient system) if the hard drive were simply formatted.  With an empty partition to use, formatting can be really easy, if you save most of the downloaded install files.  I have formatted many drives like this in the past and found the setup fairly easy.

Regards,
JPC
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761226
All you guys believe in what I'm telling him then. The best way to do it is a clean install. Unless you work for Microsoft and helped create Windows, there are no "quick fixes."


Mike
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1761227
The NTFS partition would not be seen when booting to DOS mode.  However, you will still have a D: drive.  The first partition on the second hard drive will be seen as D:.

edvardr:  We need some feedback from you.  Im confident that TweakUI will fix this for you.
Post the results of "fdisk /status" from the prompt.  This will shed some light on the situation as well.
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Author Comment

by:AButcher
ID: 1761228
I tried this, recovering the backup registry files, but this happened a few monthas ago, and they have the same problem. I am a little leary now about this, with the possiblity of not being able to launh my Windows based programs without reinstalling them.
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by:jcarlo
ID: 1761229
Just go for the complete format and reinstall; it will end up being simpler than trying to salvage some of your stuff and end up doing a half-assed job of reinstalling WIndows.

-JPC
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1761230
Sorry all, My last post was from another thread.  I don't know how it got here.

spenner:  As indicated above, this method was already tried.

AButcher:  Unfortunately it sounds like either fix the registry, (which is unlikely) or reinstall Windows, and all your programs.  Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet.  (I hate it when Microsoft wins!) : (
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by:spenner
ID: 1761231
Actually - my solution has not been tried.  If you read AButcher's post, it says that he only removed system.dat.  He needs to remove user.dat as well.
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Expert Comment

by:Tinkerer
ID: 1761232
Spenner is right in one sense.. but it will just rebuild from the backups system.da0 and user.da0 so I would wonder if the backup is corupted... also, to reinstall the full ver of win95B at least, he will have to deltree the windows dir as well as delete the system files from the root, else it thinks there is already an OS and it will say it is not an upgrade...
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ho_yin_leung earned 100 total points
ID: 1761233
You can use Boot Floppy to DOS with CD-Rom driver, and then install the Win95 OVER your one, nothing will be erase.
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by:jcarlo
ID: 1761234
Ho Yin,

Installing over the current install has already been done, to no avail.  It appears that the registry and perhaps other system files are corrupted, and they cannot simply be overwritten or replaced with an old backup.

-JPC
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1761235
Even if you delete the registry, and backup registry (system.dat, system.da0, user.dat, user.da0) then reinstall 95, most programs will still need to be reloaded so they integrate themselves into the registry.  On the bright side, most of the settings in INI files, and such will still be there, and may stay intact depending on the instalation software.

I still feel the cleanest and best way to do it is as I posted above.  (January 13 1999 - 10:33AM PST)
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by:spenner
ID: 1761236
While it is true that programs will need to reintegrate themselves into the registry - all microsoft programs I've used do that automatically, and most well written programs also do it since the registry is usually only used to store customized settings.  (Note: There are exceptions - but not many)
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by:ho_yin_leung
ID: 1761237
OK,jcarlo, you have device to back up files? Backup all the Doocument and important folders (windows\Favorite; windows\Application Data).
Clear up the system some time could lead your system go a bit faster.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1761238
Anthony,

Have you made any progress with this?

If you're going to keep your present installation, you may need some additional directions for using the full version of Win95.
We need some feedback from you.

Regards,
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:AButcher
ID: 1761239
Sorry I haven't gotten back. I had to go out of town for a few days, and I won't be able to try much till this weekend. If I do, I'll let you know. I will try to remove the user.dat and the system.dat,  hopefully tonight.

Thanks everyone!
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Author Comment

by:AButcher
ID: 1761240
From what I've read, I tried the least headache resolution first.

Spenner suggested that I move the system.dat and the user.dat, so I moved all the system.* and user.* files to a temp directory. When I rebooted, Windows then would not load up, it jus kept trying to restore the backup registry.

I then booted to command prompt only, got my cd drive running, and ran setup of Windows. It looks like it did a clean install, and now I no longer get any registry errors!

I would give Spenner's answer an excellent rating, not ho_yin_leung's.

Thanks a million Spenner and to everyone who contributed!
 

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by:Jason_S
ID: 1761241
>I would give Spenner's answer an excellent rating, not ho_yin_leung's.
No offence, but why did you then accept ho_yin_leung's answer?  you should have rejected it, and asked Spenner to submit an answer.

I can take a while to learn how this board works, so no harm done.  Just remember that for next time.  : )
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