Upgrading from Win3.1 to Win 95

Posted on 2000-03-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I am attempting to upgrade from win3.1 to win95 and doing so I get the message "reduce program information files and try again".  How do I do this and please give step by step instructions.  That message is "reduce PIF files required"
Question by:DonI
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +4

Expert Comment

ID: 2607136
Don - did you buy the Upgrade version of win95 or the full version of win 95??

Author Comment

ID: 2607152
This is the upgrade version.

Expert Comment

ID: 2607160
Sorry - I can't help then - If you had to full version I would have suggested a reformat and start from scratch. I have to be honest I wasn't very impressed with the upgrade version - I found it very buggy - We acrually trashed a copy at work an bought the full version.

Good Luck :)

Ps maybe try posting this in the Win 95 setup - it gets more attention - and it is more related.
Simple, centralized multimedia control

Watch and learn to see how ATEN provided an easy and effective way for three jointly-owned pubs to control the 60 televisions located across their three venues utilizing the ATEN Control System, Modular Matrix Switch and HDBaseT extenders.

LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 2612054
Have you tried temporarily renaming you PIF files and then installing 95??  Also, don't do ANYTHING unless you've taken a backup and can recover your 3.1 system...


Expert Comment

ID: 2612810
Here is some info that may be helpful:
PSS ID Number: Q83963
Article last modified on 09-27-1999

The information in this article applies to:
 - Microsoft Windows versions 3.1, 3.11
If you run the Microsoft Windows operating system version 3.1 in 386 enhanced
mode, Windows cannot run a 640K MS-DOS prompt on a machine with only 2 MB of
memory. If you attempt to do this, Windows generates the following error
   Insufficient memory for application requested space, decrease PIF KB required
   and try again.
You can either reduce the memory requirements in the program information file
(DOSPRMPT.PIF), add more memory, or create a permanent swap file that is at
least 1 MB in size and enable 32-bit disk access.
Note: Some machines cannot create permanent swap files and enable 32-bit disk
access because of hardware limitations. On machines with these limitations, you
must add more memory or reduce the memory requirements for the virtual machines
Reducing the Memory Requirements in DOSPRMPT.PIF
DOSPRMPT.PIF has the KB Required and the KB Desired values set to -1 by default.
This tells Windows the VM must be as large as possible. If there is insufficient
memory available to create a 640K VM, Windows returns the aforementioned error
In Windows 3.0, the equivalent program information file (PIF) has settings of 384
for KB Required and 640 for KB Desired. These settings allow a VM with less than
640K of conventional memory.
If you choose to reduce the memory settings for the MS-DOS prompt in Windows 3.1,
change the value for KB Required to 128 and the value for KB Desired to 640
using the PIF Editor.
Reducing Memory Requirements for All MS-DOS Applications
You can reduce the memory requirements for all MS-DOS applications that you run
in Windows 3.1 with the use of the WindowsKBRequired and WindowMemSize settings
in the [386 Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file. Use equal settings for these
two settings to ensure that Windows accepts the values as valid. Settings of 400
should allow a VM to be run in Windows 3.1 on a 2-MB machine, even if a PIF has
a -1 setting for KB Desired and KB Required. The following section is taken from
the Windows Resource Kit (WRK) SYSINI.WRI file:
   Default:  256
   Purpose:  Specifies how much conventional memory (in
             kilobytes) must be free in order to start Windows.
   To change:  Use Notepad to edit the SYSTEM.INI file.
   Default:  -1
   Purpose:  Limits the amount of conventional memory Windows
             can use for itself. The default value (-1)
             indicates that Windows can use as much
             conventional memory as it needs. If there is not
             enough memory to run Windows in 386 enhanced mode,
             try entering a positive value less than 640.
   To change:  Use Notepad to edit the SYSTEM.INI file.
KBCategory: kbhw kberrmsg kbtool
KBSubcategory: winmem win31
Additional query words: 3.10 3.11 err msg
Keywords          :  
Version           : WINDOWS:3.1,3.11
Platform          : WINDOWS
Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1999.


Expert Comment

ID: 2626096
Hello this is Wayne from sydney even If I can,t completely answer your question I will give you some tips for installing win95 .I would guess you are trying to install from win 3.1 .My advice is do a fresh install i would not advise trying to install over win 3.1.Boot into dos with your cdrom working properly.Here is one of my tips.Copy the win95 folder which is about 30meg on win95 upgrade cd and copy it to the hard drive. Then all you have to do is change to the win95 directory type setup and away you go.The speed that win95 installs from the hard drive compared to the cdrom is like chalk and cheese.Just a few things more. if for some reason you want to keep you old win 3.1 you didn,t say you did, when you get the option for the windows default directoy during installation choose any other option than c:\win95 directory that way you can use the dual booting option.Unless you really want to use win 3.1 programs do a fresh installation.Just a few more things.The difference between the upgrade and the full version of win95 is that when you install the upgrade version it looks for older version of windows on the hard drive.If you do a fresh installation and delete your c:\windows directory you need your no1 windows 3.1 installation floppy it asks for it when it dos'nt find and old version on the hard drive.I hope I could be of some help.Ps when you get win95 running properly keep that win95 folder on the hard drive make a boot disk in control panel.So in future when your last resort is reinstalling windows you can boot to dos without worrying about your cdrom and reinstall again.regards wayne.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 2641514
Yon *can* do a fresh install of Windows 95.  Make a file called win.cn_ on a floppy.  Put anything you want in it, save it to the floppy. Format the hard drive, when Windows 95 looks for a licensed upgrade, point it to the floppy! =)

Expert Comment

ID: 2708566
Are you out there ?
Please reject the proposed answer if it did not help you and I will post the solution to your problem.  I am surprised that no-one else has spotted the obvious.

Author Comment

ID: 2709650
Yes I am here and nothing has helped as of now.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 2710150
I guess the "obvious" answer is of course to delete every PIF file on your hard drive.  But a format C: and a hack of the Windows 95 install will accomplish the same thing.

Expert Comment

ID: 2711044
IF "nothing has helped as of now."

Please reject the proposed answer if it did not help you and I will post the solution to your problem.

Author Comment

ID: 2714357
I do not have the expertise to format my hard drive.

Accepted Solution

pwoolford earned 50 total points
ID: 2715210
The reason you are getting these errors is that you are running the upgrade from within Windows 3.11.
You can only run the upgrade from DOS.  You will be given the option of a directory to install to.  Use the existing one to upgrade and keep all your icons folders etc. or a new one to create a scratch install.

Expert Comment

ID: 2717825
I don,t mind you rejecting my answer if you have tried what i said and it did not work.Tell me what you want to do if you want to do a fresh install.If you do not have the expertise to do what i said that is fair enough.But if my advise did not help tell me .But please don,t reject my answer because pwoolford says so.He said the answer is obvious i advised you to install from dos and you won't get those pif file errors so ask him what the abvious answer is.I want to help but just keep us informed.To say you can,t upgrade from dos only  is rubbish .I have done it heaps of times but only when i wanted to keep my old version of win 3.1.

Featured Post

Secure Your WordPress Site: 5 Essential Approaches

WordPress is the web's most popular CMS, but its dominance also makes it a target for attackers. Our eBook will show you how to:

Prevent costly exploits of core and plugin vulnerabilities
Repel automated attacks
Lock down your dashboard, secure your code, and protect your users

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article is a collection of issues that people face from time to time and possible solutions to those issues. I hope you enjoy reading it.
This article helps those who get the 0xc004d307 error when trying to rearm (reset the license) Office 2013 in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and/or those trying to prep the master image for Microsoft Key Management (KMS) activation. (i.e.- C…
This video Micro Tutorial explains how to clone a hard drive using a commercial software product for Windows systems called Casper from Future Systems Solutions (FSS). Cloning makes an exact, complete copy of one hard disk drive (HDD) onto another d…
In this video, we discuss why the need for additional vertical screen space has become more important in recent years, namely, due to the transition in the marketplace of 4x3 computer screens to 16x9 and 16x10 screens (so-called widescreen format). …

628 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question