Windows 95/98

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Windows 9X Setup

Troubleshooting A Windows 98 Installation

While Windows 98 normally installs quite easily, especially in comparison to Windows 95, there will occasionally be some problems. What follows is a list of troubleshooting steps that may help resolve installation issues:

  • Disable Running Applications. Before attempting an installation from within the Windows operating system, it is best to disable all applications. This is especially true of virus scan programs and disk compression utilities.
  • Deltree Windows. By deleting the current Windows folder, the operating system is forced to recreate the registry. This step also removes most problems caused by mismatched versions of operating system files.
  • Select Safe Recovery. If Windows 98 locks up during the installation, you can reboot and choose the Safe Recovery option on the menu you are brought to. The operating system will attempt to figure out where it got stuck and work around the problem. If this occurs, the WININST0.400 temporary directory may be left on the system after setup is complete; it may be safely deleted after the installation has completed.
  • Copy Files To The Hard Drive. If this works, there are most likely problems with the system other than not being able to install Windows 98. If you cannot successfully run setup from the CD, but it works fine directly from the hard drive, you should check other sources for the problem, such as the CD-ROM drive.
  • Remove and Redetect Problem Devices (UPGRADE ONLY). Because Windows does not redetect hardware on an upgrade, you may occasionally run across certain devices that no longer function after a reinstall. It is often possible to fix this by removing the drivers from Device Manager, then rebooting and allowing the system to redetect the hardware.
  • Uninstall Windows 98 (UPGRADE ONLY). Sometimes strange problems are caused by an upgrade to the operating system. When all else fails, you can attempt to remove the Windows 98 upgrade, though this option will only appear in the Add / Remove Programs section of Control Panel if you told Windows to save the system files during the installation. Note that converting to FAT32 eliminates the possibility of uninstalling Windows 98.

Recovering During Hardware Detection

Note: If running Setup from inside Windows 95, full hardware detection does not initially occur. Setup verifies legacy hardware settings in the registry. If an error occurs during verification, Setup then launches full hardware detection.
For example: If a net card is configured to use IO address 310 and IRQ5, Setup uses the configuration to communicate with the device. If the device responds, it continues to the next device. If it does not, Setup then launches the same full hardware detection as if setting up from MS-DOS.

Hardware detection of legacy devices takes place after the first restart when installing from a command prompt. During this phase, Setup writes data to and reads data from various hardware addresses, including I/O ports, IRQs, and memory address ranges.
During Setup, logs are maintained to record Setup progress and store information that can be used for recovery. The following table describes the log files.

Log File Name
Detlog.txt Records the start of a verification/detection test and its outcome Keeps a record of devices Setup finds during the verification/detection process A hidden file located in the root directory of the C drive
Detcrash.log Records which detection steps were successfully completed so that Setup will not fail on the same problem A hidden file created only if a detection step caused the computer to stop responding Located in the root directory of the C drive
Setuplog.txt Records what took place during Setup, including successes and failures. Used by Safe Recovery to determine where Setup will resume Located in the root directory of the C drive

Tip: You can also check Detlog.old if Setup is run a second time on a machine. Detlog.old is the original Detlog.txt from the first installation.

When running Setup and a failure occurs after the first restart, hardware detection recovery uses the log files to skip the module that caused the failure so that Setup can proceed.

Caution: Do not delete the log files described in the previous section. Deleting any of these files after a failure will cause Setup to fail again at the same point.

To resume Setup after a hardware detection failure, use the following procedure:

  1. Turn the computer off for 10 to 15 seconds.
  2. Turn the computer back on.

Setup will reload the detection modules, check the log files, and resume after the point where the failure occurred.

Verifying Installed Hardware

If Setup fails during hardware detection or verification, you need to verify that Windows 98 recognizes your installed hardware.

If your computer stops responding during hardware detection and you restart the computer, Windows 98 Setup may not detect some of your hardware.

To verify that the computer's hardware has been detected, use one the following procedures:

  1. In Control Panel, click the System icon. The System Properties dialog box appears.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Expand each item in Device Manager to verify that all of your hardware is listed.


View the Setuplog.txt file. This records what took place during Setup, including successes and failures. The Setuplog.txt file is used by Safe Recovery to determine where Setup will resume.

If the computer's hardware is not listed in Device Manager or is displayed as a failure in the Setuplog.txt file, then click the Add New Hardware icon in Control Panel. If the Add New Hardware wizard does not detect new hardware, follow the on-screen directions and select the specific hardware from the Windows 98 hardware list.

Potential Setup Issues

The following is a small list of known issues that have caused problems for Windows 98 setup

Compressed Harddrive

If the target harddrive has been compressed with:
SuperStor- Setup may not be able to find the startup drive. Uncompress the disk and remove SuperStor, then run Setup again.
XtraDrive- Setup will not be able to install unless XtraDrive's write-cache is turned off. Stacker 4.1 (Stac)- Setup will not run. Stacker must be uninstalled before upgrading to Windows 98.

Policy Editor and Default User If the system is controlled via Policy Editor (PolEdit) and the Default User has system policies restricted, Setup will experience problems. Windows is launched during setup without prompting for a login to reduce required input, and thus if the Default User is restricted setup will be prevented from finishing properly.

English Version Windows 98 over Pan-Euro Windows 95 Windows 98 cannot be used to upgrade the Pan-Euro version of Windows 95. You must do a clean install of Windows 98.

Error Decoding Cab File This error message during setup can indicate either hardware issues with the Cdrom drive or the Windows 98 Cdrom itself, our could point to a problem with the protect-mode drivers. If potential hardware issues have been eliminated, clean boot the system, load real mode drivers for the Cdrom, and then run setup again. If the problem persists, you can copy the cab files from the Cdrom to the harddrive and run setup from the harddrive.

After Setup Issues

Real-Mode Share Windows 98 no longer supports MS-DOS share. Since some applications check for the existence of a file named share.exe, you can create this file in the windows\command directory with any file, and these applications will work. Windows 98 will provide a dummy version of share.exe for these applications.

SETVER The utility, SETVER, has been removed from the default environment to save memory and increase performance. If you need to have the version set for MS-DOS applications, you can load setver in the config.sys.

LapLink 6.0 Laplink version 6.0 a and b will not operate when installed on Windows 98 using 16-bit color. An immediate work-around involves changing the system color to less than 16-bit, installing LapLink 6.0, and then changing the color back to 16-bit. LapLink will then run. This problem is not present will versions 7.0 and later.

COMSPEC variables pointing to Network If you are on a network and are currently mapping your comspec to remote network file servers, you may get "incorrect DOS version" errors. You need to map the comspec to the local copy or to a compatible version on the network.

Error Using data access from Microsoft Office Standard for Windows 95 version 7.0 If you install Microsoft Office Standard version 7.0 on a machine running Windows 98, and you perform ODBC operations, you will receive and error "Failure to load expression service" when using the Access ODBC driver from Office apps. To correct the problem obtain the Microsoft Office Standard version 7.0b release from Microsoft Product Support.

Norton Utilities 2.0 Disk Doctor (Symantec) If you install Norton Utilities 2.0 before you install Windows 98, Norton Disk Doctor will not run on an improper shutdown. To enable Norton Disk Doctor to run on improper shutdowns, reinstall Norton Utilities.

Adobe Photoshop 4.0 When using the pull down menu Select, Color Range, a page fault results. Adobe has a patch on their web Site (photoShop V 4.01) which corrects the problem.

Autoexec.bat Remark any calls to other batch files in the Autoexec.bat file; reboot and run setup. Calls to other batch files end up having each line in the called files Remmed out.

Bootlog.txt Every time you boot this file has the potential to be recreated, so that if you boot to command prompt only for troubleshooting the previous information will be lost. There is a backup copy of this file called Bootlog.prv. In those situations, view the Bootlog.prv to find where the system crashed.

Windows 98 'Setup by Design' Several issues were reported to Microsoft during beta testing, and closed by development as "By Design". In other words, the beta tester found a bug in Setup, but the Setup process worked as expected. (They aren't errors, they are features.)

SETUPX causes a GPF Unload all applications before running setup. This includes running the Win.ini file and removing the executables form run= and load=.

Starting Windows 98...

Unlike Windows 95 Startup, a system loaded with Windows 98 does not display any MS-DOS text message along the lines of "Starting Windows 98..." However, the user still may press F8 to access the Startup Menu at this point.

Alternate means of accessing the Startup Menu are to:

  • Press the left Ctrl key during boot.
  • Insert a non-bootable floppy diskette in the system, and when the Non-System disk error appears, pull the diskette and strike F8 twice in rapid succession.

Setup Fails Every Time

If Setup fails consistently, reboot to the command line, rename the Startup Group, reboot and let setup run safe recovery.

Anti-Virus Software Any anti-virus software loaded in memory will cause problems with setup, and should be removed from memory before running Setup.


Advanced power management does not recognize file copying as disk activity, and powers down the system during Setup. When installing over a network, this can terminate the connection during the setup procedure. Disable power management before running Setup.

Registry Keys

Because registry code now supports key sizes larger than 64K, the registry files are not completely compatible with Win95 components, such as real mode RegEdit.

I get an error message "Call to Undefined Dynalink" This error message is typically displayed when a user attempts to run setup, it fails, and then setup is run again before rebooting. Reboot the system and run setup again.

Standard Mode: Fault in MS-DOS Extender This occurs during saving system files when there is a drive on the system not already formatted. Quit setup, format those drives and start Setup again.