Start from scratch!!!

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first make sure that you have the Full version of windows95 CD installation disk.  Start up windows normally.  go into Add/remove programs applet n your control panels folder.  There is a tab where you can make a startup disk.  make this disk if you don't already have one.

Place the startup disk and the full version of window into the computer.  Restart the somputer from the floppy with CD-ROM support.  Format you HD using this command at the command prompt

format c:

when the format is complete go to the CD-ROM drive and type setup.  This will install windows 95 all over again from scratch.

If you don't have the full version of windows 95 but an upgrade then just follow the above but use win3.1 installation floppies instead and then just upgrade win3.1 to win95 once win3.1 is installed.
First off, Win95 OSR2 will only install on an empty HD.  You can't reinstall on a disk in use.  If you have a Win95 CD, you can fdisk and start over.  Have you considered purchasing a Win98 upgrade?  It would give you the CD and would probably install over what you have, fixing a lot of the problems in the process.
ok, if you want to start over, the first things to do are these:

1.  make a boot floppy disk that can access your cd rom drive from dos (if you need help with this just ask)
2. round up all your installation cd's and try to find the sites where you downloaded your programs to find the install files there (I find it's easier if I make a list of all the software and drivers on my computer and can check off each one one at a time as I install them)
3. go ahead and clean your drive
4. reinstall everything

Be careful, sometimes computer manufacturers use proprietary drivers which may be difficult to find, so you should check with Acer to be sure you will be able to install all your hardware.  If you have a product recovery cd, I would suggest that you use that, although removing the new hardware you added would be a good idea (the hard drive and monitor should be just fine).

But you should get some input from people with more experience with Acer comps of this vintage before going on; this is just a general guideline to get you started.

Actually, running fdisk and format, then reinstalling your stuff isn't that hard, no more than half a dozen dos commands to know, although getting the correct drivers installed (such as for cd rom and other hardware that might use only proprietary drivers) might be a bit of a problem.

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Couple of questions:  Doesn't W95B come with its own setup disk in addition to the cd for installation, and doesn't that disk already have generic cdrom drivers on it so that you can do the install from that disk without having to install the cdrom in dos or put them onto a separate setup disk?

If you can get access to the cdrom in dos (either with the disk I mentioned or by using the installation disk that came with the cdrom and manually installing it in dos), you can also try deltreeing the Windows folder (directory) in dos and then doing the install without taking anything off your drive.  I just did that with someone else who has W95B and it worked fine.

You would have to reinstall your programs and some hardware, such as printers and such but most of your programs would stay intact in their folders and you could run setup right from the folders again.  His system came out extremely well cleaned up and is running faster than it has in a long time and he didn't have to hunt down alot of installation disks for his programs since they stayed on the drive.  

Make sure that you do save ahead of time, your addressbook, Favorites, email messages, etc. that would normally be located in the Windows folder,

>have no set of restore disks since the purchase 2 years ago.

If by this you mean you have no disks to reinstall the OS, You will have to get some sort of install disks from somewhere.
Dual is right there is a disk that comes with the OEM version off all windows 9* versions that has default cd drivers you can try to get this from someone but if that takes to long you can try the following

Is your cd-rom player working under windows ?? --if not download a default atapidriver (or a program such as CD-GOD) for it and install that driver then copy the new autoexec.bat and config.sys to the sys disk you will have to make. (you can clean it up a bit cause you only need the cd-drivers)
-- if it does you can first try to reinstal windows over the old one you have already running.
1 ) go to start > Run > and type format a: /s (to create a system disk)
(now copy the autoexec.bat and config.sys files to the disk)
2 )use the explorer to find the file called WIN.COM and rename it to win.old
3 ) reboot your machine with the sys disk in its drive
4 ) Reinstal Windows
After this you dont have to reinstall all your hardware and you wont lose your favorites etc.

jmfriesAuthor Commented:
I contacted  the man who sold me the machine and he is out of town til this weekend.  He sold Acer but got a better offer from Catapillar as a Programmer so he sold his business.  I think I will wait for him to get back and get his help.  You guys make it sound simple but as I said, I am not "DOS" smart.  I do have copies of all the hardware that was installed so that would not be a problem.  My major problem is the "DOS" area and doing the things suggested. I also have the CD for Win 95, both a and b version.  If my "man" can't get me going over the weekend,  we will have to do this thing together.  Thanks to all for right now and I will let you know something next week.  Have a good "Super Bowl" weekend.  Denver will win!!!   Thanks for now,  Jim
Since you are not a dos person i'll try to make this as easy as i can and i think you should get a reward for keeping an original install of win95 together for 2 years.

I gather you have files on your computer that can't be backed up so i won't give you the intructions on reformatting your drive.

We can't bypass dos all together but do this.
1.Make an emergency startup disk.
2. To this disk copy with explorer a file named "deltree.exe" from the c:\windows\command  dir.
3. Load the win95 cdrom and copy the the dir "win95" to the harddrive.
4. Create a Dir on the harddrive called "drivers" and copy all the drivers(unarchived) from your 3rd party hardware to thier own name dir's within "drivers".

5. Create a Dir called "install" and copy all the programs you wish to use to it and these may include IE4, directX or whatever.

6. Clean off as many programs and you can by uninstalling.

Now the fun part.
I would suggest you print this out first.

Reboot your machine with the Floppy in the drive.

If the floppy doesn't boot you will have to go into the bios and alter the order of boot so that a: starts first.

If the floppy runs and you end up with a dos prompt, do this.
deltree windows

After upto 15 mins of hard disk thrashing windows will be gone.
Next To complete the job we have to get rid of the other half of windows in "program Files". At the dos prompt type:

deltree progra~1

This gets rid of the program files dir as seen in dos 8 letter format. You can verify the name by typing in
dir /p
Keep pressing return until the scrolling of the window stops.

To see whats left on the hd and use the deltree command to kill dir's and use
del <filename>
to kill files that you want to remove.

The last thing is to del the autoexec.bat and config.sys from c:drive.

If you think you need these you can optionally type:
ren autoexec.bat
ren config.sys
They will be renamed instead

There are other ways to just install windows but i have suggested a complete clean of everything with no old remnamnts left behind to interfere with your new install.

Reboot and load the dos disk.
cd win95

Remove the floppy.

And off you go without having to worry if the cdrom will be found windows will setup. If you know how to add the drivers you have placed, its just a matter of following the windows prompts and rebooting many times until all is as you would like it.

If the cdrom is found you can delete the "win95" and other dir's I suggested from your harddrive after you install everything to get space back.

One other nice thing will be that windows will go like rocket compared to that 2 year old installation.


Netmage:  Excellent response and advice.  I am also printing it so that some of your advice will be handy for me because there are some ideas there that wouldn't normally occur to someone, such as the drivers and install folders.  Thanks.

Netmage's method will work perfectly.  However, BEFORE starting it, you will need the CD key to install Windows 95.  If you have the original CD jewel case, the key will be printed on a sticker on the back of the jewel case.  However, if you DON'T have the jewel case, you need to copy the number from your present Win95 installation.  From the desktop, right-click on My Computer and select Properties.  There will be one or more serial numbers listed under the words Registered to.  Write all of them down.  The top number is the Win95 CDkey.  The other numbers are for other apps and you'll probably need them, too.
I assumed you had the serial numbers handy but Kaytons idea with making sure you have the serial numbers available is very important. Thanks.

I'll look forward to seeing how your reinstall goes and look forward to adding any extra info before offering answer your question.


Kayton--Will this work with the final release of Win95?  I was always told it was necessary to format and reinstall.
YES it will work with ANY version of Win95.  I've done it jillions of times.  You never need to reformat to reinstall any type of Windows operating system.  
OSR2 hadn't been released 2 years ago. Make sure you annotate all of the device settings.  Ie what IRQ, IO, and Mem, settings your devices are using before you start from scratch.  Then You need to copy the CD_ROM drivers over to a floppy drive as well as MSCDEX.EXE and EDIT.COM.  After doing that Just type:
Format C: /S
The /s Makes it bootable.
Once it is done formatting restart your computer.
After it comes up with the dos prompt copy your CD ROM driver to your hard drive.
Copy a:\CDROM Driver Name c:
Copy a:\mscdex.exe c:
then you'll want to edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat
edit config.sys
Type this line in the config.sys
Device=CDROM Driver /d:mscd001
exit and answer yes when it asks if you want to save it
now edit the autoexec.bat
edit Autoexec.bat
C:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd001
exit and answer yes when it asks if you want to save.
Now take out the floppy and reboot.
The last line it writes after rebooting should say that it mapped your CD ROM drive to D:
Switch to the CD ROM Drive
Change Directory to the Win95 directory
 cd win95
Now you're going to run the setup program for 95
 Setup /is
You use the is switch because we didn't bother loading himem.sys
and it'll by pass the scandisk.
If you're fairly comfortable with windows the rest of it should be self explanitory for you.  
Frankie_Muccio-  I bought a new computer in April or May of 1997.  It had an OEM version of OSR2 installed.  I don't know exactly when OSR2 was released, but it was by then.  About two years ago.
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