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Windows 9x Setup Problems

Windows 9x draws from the existing file allocation table (FAT) structure when it's being installed. Therefore, an interruption or a crash during the installation process could leave the system with no workable OS in place. If this occurs, you must boot the system from a bootable floppy disk and reinstall Windows 9x from that point. If the FAT version that Setup detects on the hard drive is older than MS-DOS 3.1, it displays an Incorrect MS-DOS Version message onscreen. If so, you must reformat the hard drive with a more current version of DOS.

If the system crashes during the hardware detection phase of a Windows 9x install, Microsoft recommends that you just reboot the system until the installation is successful. The Windows Setup Wizard marks startup steps that have failed and bypasses those steps the next time you attempt to install the OS. The failed steps are recorded in the SETUPLOG text file. This process is known as safe recovery.

The Windows 9x installation files are stored on the installation disk in a compressed cabinet (CAB) file format. Therefore, they cannot just be copied over to the hard drive to repair files damaged in an aborted installation. The best recovery method for this situation is to boot the system to a floppy disk, run FDISK to repartition the drive, format the drive, and run the Windows 9x Setup utility (provided your data was backed up beforehand).

If some programs or hardware options fail to run properly after a system has been upgraded to a Windows 9x operating system, you must determine whether they require specific real-mode drivers to be retained in the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. During the Restart phase of an installation, Windows 9x deactivates files it perceives as incompatible or unnecessary by placing a Remark (REM) statement at the beginning of the line. This might cause different applications or hardware to fail if they require these specific entries for operation.

This condition can be detected by removing the REM comment and retrying the program or hardware. Be aware that restoring the driver can cause other problems in Windows 9x. The best choice is always to contact the software or hardware manufacturer for a Windows 9x driver.

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