Help - can't upgrade 95 ->98 or ME for USB support!

Must (for various reasons) upgrade only (no full install advice please) from win 95 to either 98 version 1 OEM or ME OEM. (I refuse to spend another penny on "upgraded" OSs BTW)

 I only need it for USB support for the new camera I have that only supports serial (WAY too slow) in win95.

Need to have it done by yesterday, and from past experience, could end up spending weeks doing it.

Tried to run setup on both from within win95  but get a SU0168 error dumping me from the upgrade or once got an error saying I had the wrong HD (SU0176?)

Hoping for a quick fix as I've spend years upgrading hardware drivers and the like and I may never find the orig. discs, or DLed files again.

Thanks much for a GREAT service:  

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are you saying upgrade using a full version 98/ME ?
if so in your windows folder rename to anything else (e.g. win.old) then simply run the full version over the top choosing c:\windows (i.e. same as current install directory).
if the SU errors persist I would check for faulty ram.
have you added any ram lately ? if so I'd take it out while you do the install just to be sure.
I would remove all cards except the VGA card.

Load BIOS defaults. Disable USB in the BIOS and then follow the other instructions below, before the upgrade.

In addition Cleanup the startup stuff. In win98/Win ME -  Do a Start - Run - msconfig, startup Tab , or for win95 , NT or win2k,
Download the Startup COP a free pcmag utility from
 Run it and it will show you everything that is listed in all the possible startup
                        places, and allow you to disable things one at a time until the problem is eliminated.
 A lot of probelms are caused by excess old baggage - programs that have not been properly  un-installed. Startup Cop will eliminate leftovers and un-wanted programs that you no longer want.
Older Antivirus programs and Norton Utilities have been known to cause problems
try disabling them also !

BTW :   Msconfig can also be run on Win95,  just copy the msconfig.exe from a Win98 machine.
You should only need systray and explorer in the startup on a win9x machine.

Update and run 2 good, updated antivirus program- Norton, McAffee etc.
 ALso check into getting driver updates for ALL of your hardware, BIOS, VGA, motherboard etc.

Do a Defrag from SAFE mode !

Make sure that each partition has at least 15% free space.

 these are some tools that will benefit anyone trying to solve problems.

I hope this helps !
Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

If this is an older machine - also look into a newer BIOS .

or check the motherboard manufacturers website.
To ID it go to

hardlockAuthor Commented:
Didn't I say "quick"....:) Yes, both 98 & ME are full OEM discs.

No ram added recently. As to the "" rename/delete suggestion, I've read similar problems solved with it, but one mentioned that it wiped his reg. ini. stuff.  This I can't have.

I have a 350->400 mhz AMD w/VIA chipset. Should be pretty current (for it's day) with full win95 B.  It has USB available in the BIOS and when enabled show up in system devices as a "?" but lists it as USB.  Just need drivers maybe?  The camera only has 98 & 2000 drivers, but the 2000 ones worked fine on an ME machine at the office.

I tried to Dl the startup COP from the above URL but "page could not be found" came up once I clicked on the "download" button.

I should be pretty clean anyway since I have nothing in the startup menu, no config.sys, and no autoexec.bat and only my spk & CD wizard (don't know how to turn off without uninstalling) in the tray.

Someone assure me that removing "" won't lose any settings, and I'll try it.
1. Backup.
2. Delete the 'WINDOWS' directory.
3. Insert the Windows 98 "upgrade" CD-ROM.
4. Run 'SETUP' from the CD-ROM.
5. At some point, it will ask you to insert your Windows 95 CD-ROM, as proof that you are eligible to "upgrade".

The same technique applies to using the WIN ME "upgrade" if you have a WIN98 CD-ROM.
Do not mean to be pompous, but if and only if you know what you are doing (and can undo a major system failure without batting an eyelid) then Sean Erwin seems to have the shortcuts.
Startup Cop moved to,,77594,.html

with the new PCmag reorganization.

Registry is the system.dat and user.dat files - back them up.

ALso backup all *.ini files in the \windows dir.

Beyond that you should be OK.

I hope this helps !
hardlockAuthor Commented:
Hum... wonder why ab9758's comment came up a "rejected answer"?

Lot's to chew on in those links, thanks.  I use WRP to backup important system stuff.  I KNOW I'd be in trouble if I delete the windows dir.  Want to install from within win95 to be sure the upgrade "sees"  all my stuff.

What about setup switches to bypass the upgrade error? yet retain my setting?.  I have a copy of them all, but it's all "geek" to me.  I know my way around under the covers pretty well and have edited the reg., sysex stuff, etc.  
I think there is an option to

1) Ignore memory detection

2) Ignore hardware

3) Ignore PNP

 could you post the setup option command switches .

I think  the  /nd  switch may help may help .

What's SU0168 Mean? 

and, more importantly, four different bypasses.
hardlockAuthor Commented:
Update - I tried renaming the, and setupx.dll, run setup from dos prompt, used the switches: na3 (recommended in a prior post) but all I get trying to install ME is error SU0173 . Something about not being able to use this version of ME and to contact the vendor.  Going to try the same procedure for 98 and see if it's different.

possibly because link is to site that shows you how to workaround Win upgrade/OEM/Full installs. Did you hardlock reject it or a 'supervisor'?
SU0173 -- see:

though this is getting into a "gray" area within E-E;
do you have a "pirated" version of Windows ME ?
It seems that you shouldn't have problems like this if you purchased the correct version ("full" or "upgrade" or "upgrade-only-from-Windows98") of Windows ME.
hardlockAuthor Commented:
As to the reject - I didn't do it, logged on and saw it that way.

As to "gray" area.  All 3 OS's (95,98,ME) I have are full OEM versions that came with factory systems I purchased. All have codes and I'm not trying to pull anything.

I found a link to a USB driver for win95 I thought I'd try before upgrading the system OS.
I requires OSR2 (which I have)  Almost had it installed but the system hung during the install and I had to bail.  Now I've lost my CP system! (icon is there, but nothing happens when I doubleclick.)  Also, no "windows programs" tab anymove in add/remove programs.  Any clue to recovering from this outside of reinstalling 95?

One of the workaround upgrade links above said to place setupx.dll in windows/system folder if I didn't have it then rename it.  I copied the one from my 95 cd and starting getting some weird errors so I took it out.  I've upgraded service packs since original install and many drivers and am afraid I'm going to end up with a mess if I have to reinstall 95.....
Not a pretty picture.

First, make sure all your important data is backed up, in case something else gets messed up.

2) copy the *.cpl files from a working system for control panel.

3) I would try to get hold of a 2 to 4 GB Hard drive  ( even temporarily ! ) and do a fresh install, and then see about transferring your programs.,,001HEA,.html
ZDNet COA version 2 COA2 Change of address, program transfer to new location.,6755,2669987,00.html
Software migration programs
Desktop DNA,Utilities,
PC Transplant Pro,Utilities
,Personality Tranxport Professional PC transplant
.,,Miramar Systems, Inc.,
,Tranxition Corp.,

I hope ths this helps !
Ok, let's try to explain this thoroughly.

First, Otta's link to 

is unfortunately only useflu when upgrading from Win 3.x to Win 95.

Secondly the OEM-version of windows is only to be supplied with a new computer, that is, when you buy a new computer and get windows with it, it is an OEM-version which is cheaper for the computer-manufacturer to buy and therefore you don't have to pay so much for the computer. The idea here is that you're only supposed to use this version on the computer that it came with, an dit should be preinstalled when you pack up the computer. The CD is only if you're computer crashes and isn't supposed to be used on another computer.

So what you're saying
"As to "gray" area.  All 3 OS's (95,98,ME) I have are full OEM versions that came with factory systems
I purchased. All have codes and I'm not trying to pull anything. "
Is only valid when you use it on the "factory systems" it came with. In order to prevent people who buys a new computer with windows 98 to simply copy this to their old computer wiht win95. MS has put in check that makes it impossible to use an OEM-version to upgrade. So, if you want to make an installation of your, windows 98 OEM on your WIn 98 (this is very "gray...) you would have to delete the "windows" catalog, and all the hidden .com, .dat, and .sys files in the c:\-dir. then you make a startup-disk on your new computer (which is running 98-or-ME) and put in both the floppy and the CD in the old computer and reboot. Then you can install.

Besides, If you upgrade to ME, (almost) none of your old drivers will work, but that really doesn't matter much, because ME comes with alot of drivers on the CD, for most old hardware. (Check the HCL if your hardware is compatible with ME first.)

AND! don't forget to backup everything on you're desktop and in "my Documents" and Outlook-mails and so on.

Sorry, but this is the way it works. If you want to install Win98 or ME legally and easy you'll have to get an upgrade-or full version (as I probably said three times OEM is NOT a full version and is only for the computer it came with).

Hope I told you everything you need to know.

PS. You'll ALWAYS get a much faster installation if you remove your old Windows-dir first. DS.
hardlockAuthor Commented:
If this is true about the OEM versions (& the comp. co. implies I'm buying a complete OS) then it should work on any system I want to put it on (my own systems only of course)  

That would be like when the cable co. tried to charge you extra if you ran a splitter and watched their service on two separate TVs.  My thought is - Whatever I buy, I take it home, I use it.  How, why or what-for is my own biz. What  I realize I CANT do is try to make money from it  by copying, reselling, etc..  

Afterall, what if I added a HD to my new system that I wanted to boot from, and it had an older OS on it?  I would think that wouldn't be a "gray" area to install it on it....

 Just my option, don't want to start a fire or anything  :)

On the bright side, I got win98 running, retained all my settings, drivers, etc.  Had to make a couple adj with menu views, but that was all.  Hooked up camera, it found it, installed drivers, AOK!

For the interested, here's what I did.

1st was to rename and setupx.dll as per MS advisory re: error su0168  (first link above) posted by jlauster.  reboot to dos, run setup from HD directory where win98 CD directory was copied prior.  First no hang install I've ever had period since I've used MS.

Points go to jlauster for being 1st with it. And thanks all for all the help.

sorry to be pompous twice in one question, but hardlock has not quite grasped the realities. You don't in fact (and in law) 'own' the software you purchased.  All you have bought is a licence and a right to use the software on the licensor's (MS) terms - most emphatically not yours!

If you think this is irritating, wait until you see WinXP this year. It will auto-dial MS to register your software and your hardware! In effect, if you rebuild (or use XP on other machine) then XP won't run.

If you are having issue with your system unhappy with the install process from OEM CDs then look at Sean Erwin's site as URLed above
sorry to be pompous twice in one question, but hardlock has not quite grasped the realities. You don't in fact (and in law) 'own' the software you purchased.  All you have bought is a licence and a right to use the software on the licensor's (MS) terms - most emphatically not yours!

If you think this is irritating, wait until you see WinXP this year. It will auto-dial MS to register your software and your hardware! In effect, if you rebuild (or use XP on other machine) then XP won't run.

If you are having issue with your system unhappy with the install process from OEM CDs then look at Sean Erwin's site as URLed above
>  if you rebuild (or use XP on other machine) then XP won't run.

One report of "reverse-engineering" of that code within XP indicates that a "rebuild" will work, if you don't change too much hardware, i.e., you can switch video-cards, switch modems, switch network cards, switch hard-drives, switch CD-ROM/RW/DVD, switch CPU, but you can only make *THREE* changes, or fewer.
Glad you got it going. Thanks


Last week a story "broken" by Reuters, CNET, and others claimed that
Microsoft had bowed to pressure and was now easing Windows Product
Activation under Windows XP. Well, ah, actually, I referred to this
minor change Microsoft was then only contemplating back in the June
27, 2001, issue of Scot's Newsletter:

I didn't go into detail about this "easing" of Product Activation
because Microsoft simply hasn't figured out exactly how it's
implementing these changes yet. But in the wake of last week's news,
I asked the company again. This is what I received via email from

"In order to address the needs of power users Microsoft has responded
to customer feedback by providing an additional and automatic
time-based Internet activation. Previously, a user may have had to
telephone a customer service representative to reactivate a system if
substantial hardware changes were made. Listening to customer feedback,
Microsoft has changed this to allow an activation on substantially
modified hardware to occur automatically over time. The time frame for
allowing this is still being determined.

"What this change does is allow more flexibility to the power user
to get a substantially modified PC reactivated through the Internet
rather than having to contact a Microsoft customer service
representative by telephone. This means that, over time, Microsoft
will allow an activation on a completely different hardware from the
first PC the software is activated on with the intent that this
activation is really a reactivation on the same PC with a
substantially changed hardware configuration.

"Bottom line, this change means more flexibility for the user.

"Microsoft is committed to striking a balance between protecting its
intellectual property and ensuring a positive customer experience.
It is in the spirit of this commitment that has driven this change."

Okay, that's the official word. Let me see if I can make sense of it
for you. In the current implementation of Product Activation under
Windows XP RC1, all hardware changes you make are permanently logged
and when you go past a threshold number of hardware changes, Windows
XP determines you've probably moved that copy of Windows XP to a
second PC and you must make a phone call to reactivate. Under the
change Microsoft has announced, but not detailed, hardware changes
will only be logged for a specific amount of time. After that time
period is up, the slate is wiped clean and Windows XP starts a new
log of hardware changes.

Microsoft hasn't determined or announced the time period yet, but
for the sake of argument let's call it 120 days. With the 120-day
hardware log in effect, you might replace a hard drive and add RAM
in one 120-day period and then replace your CPU and network card in
another 120-day period. Neither batch of changes would be enough to
trigger the need for reactivation. If on the other hand you made all
four changes (and perhaps one other) within the 120-day period,
Windows XP would require you to make a phone call for reactivation.
The goal isn't to keep you from upgrading your PC quickly; it's to
prevent casual piracy of Windows XP.

I don't know whether this is true, but according to a published
report on the Internet attributed to Microsoft's Shawn Sanford,
Windows XP will look at 10 different hardware components and will
let users change four of them within a certain period of time before
asking for reactivation. That sounds right to me.

One thing I've learned recently is that the MAC addresses of
Ethernet network adapters are being tracked by Product Activation,
according to Microsoft's Allen Nieman. If it's true that a MAC
address change could conceivably be the straw that triggers the need
for a product reactivation, that's going to drive a lot of us nuts.
I change NICs in and out pretty frequently.

I'm glad for the time-based change, whatever the specifics wind up
being. But when all is said and done, I'm not sure it's enough of a
reduction in Product Activation's potency to make Windows XP
palatable to me personally. I have days, nevermind quarters of the
year, where I have three different NICs in the same PC. Most people
don't, it's true. But ask any IT person and he or she will tell you
that an average user's desktop PC having three different NICs in a
day or two isn't a shocking event. The first NIC goes bad. The
second one runs into a configuration issue. The third one works.
It's pretty common in fact. Multiply the possibilities: RAM, hard
drive, CPU, motherboard, BIOS, video card, sound card, network card,
SCSI card, CD/DVD drive, floppy drive, and so on. For anyone like me
who makes frequent hardware changes, Windows XP could be get
annoying fast. Why should the people who pay the most for Windows --
retail buyers -- get the least flexibility?
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