Win 95 Installation over Windows 3.11

Posted on 2007-04-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I have a Win95 installation disk for a new PC.  I want to install Win95 on an old 486DX-S that has Windows 3.11 installed.  When trying to install Win95 over Win3.11 it says that I have to have Win95 Upgrade disk as there is presently an old windows version installed.

How do I install Win95 using the CD I have?
Can I uninstall Windows 3.11?  If so, how?
Do I somehow leave DOS installed and if so, how?
Can I get it not to recognise Windows 3.11?
Question by:Verity_Girl
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18870939
"a Win95 installation disk for a new PC" is not able to be installed on another PC - this software is legally licensed only to the hardware it was first installed on.  You need to purchase an appropriate upgrade CD, if you can find one.  Sorry, we can't help you install an "OEM" disk as an upgrade as that would violate licensing.

Author Comment

ID: 18871558
Okay ... sorry.  Did not realise that I couldn't use my own disk on an old pc.
Thanks for letting me know.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18871716
It's absolutely annoying... but the OEM versions of Windows ARE discounted but with the requirement that the license lives and dies on the machine it's first installed on.
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

willcomp earned 125 total points
ID: 18872320
Here's a source for Win95 both upgrade and full OEM:

If you decide to go with upgrade, simply insert and install.  If you want to go with OEM and do a clean install (recommended), then format hard disk to remove DOS/Win3.11.  To format enter the following command after either booting from a DOS floppy or at a DOS prompt on hard disk:

format C: /U            where c is hard disk letter and /U does an unconditional format (complete format)
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 18872614
Within DOS, rename C:\windows\ to C:\windows\win.bak, then restart the upgrade process.  You'll need to grab a bootdisk from, boot from the disk and start the setup process from the CD.

In terms of the licensing: the questioner describes the disc, but never mentions where he/she got it from.  You can buy OEM copies as proven by the link given by the last expert.  In the end, it's probably easier just to buy the upgrade disk fro $15 from the last link if you do not want to monkey around with renaming files and using boot disks.

Author Comment

ID: 18896704
Thanks for all the input.
I did get the disc when I purchased a laptop.  I have since upgraded the laptop firstly to Win98 then XP.  I just assumed, thinking I owned the disc, that I could now install it on an old 486 that I want to run a radio program on.  However, I have purchased the upgrade software (not arriving for another 10 days or so).  I have been led to believe that the upgrade is a bit dicey but that with a clean install I still need the orginal DOS discs - some of which I think I have overwritten.  
I will see how I go.
Not quite sure who to allocate the solution to here.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 18897175
I believe willcomp answered your question the best based on what you just told us.

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