500 votes

Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly?

This is because of a flaw in the way Windows 95 generates events, and the fact that many applications are event driven. Windows 95 applications often use asynchronous I/O, that is they ask for some ...
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  • 14k
104 votes

Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly?

Yes, it's a real effect resulting in causing a measurable speed up and can be reproduced at will: Try opening a large file with Notepad on a contemporary machine. The window must not be full screen. ...
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  • 174k
102 votes

Why didn't Windows 98 need the "Starting Windows 98..." screen?

The message hasn’t gone anywhere. What actually changed is something else. The text message first appeared in MS-DOS 6.0 and said ‘Starting MS-DOS...’. It served two purposes: first, it confirmed that ...
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  • 17.2k
57 votes
Accepted

Did INI files work in a different way on Windows 3.x than today?

You have been wrong for 30 years. I wrote the test program below and compiled it with Borland Pascal 7: uses WinTypes, WinProcs, WinCrt; var buffer: string; len: Integer; begin len := ...
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  • 17.2k
56 votes

How can I visit HTTPS websites in old web browsers?

Forward proxy It turned out that configuring my own forward HTTP proxy was actually really simple! Here's how I did it. First, I placed the following nginx configuration file in /etc/nginx/sites-...
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51 votes
Accepted

Was Windows 95 really released in 1995?

Yes, Windows 95 really was released on August 24, 1995; I still have the special issue of The Times that heralded the event. But I distinctly remember thinking that it was late, back at that time. ...
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  • 96.6k
41 votes

Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly?

It wasn't just Windows 95, but Windows 3.x as well, even though they work very differently. Other answers talk about pre-emptive multitasking, so let's first clarify this: Window 3.x was using ...
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  • 3,592
35 votes
Accepted

How did installers locate the Program Files directory on Windows 95?

According to Microsoft KB Q178625, for Windows 95 developers should refer to the system registry to identify the location of the Program Files directory. It goes on to suggest that However, to ...
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34 votes

How did installers locate the Program Files directory on Windows 95?

Some (quite a lot) simply didn't. A clear indication of this: Typical fresh Spanish or German installations started with a "C:\Programme" or "C:\Archivos de Programmas" folder, and ...
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  • 28.4k
31 votes
Accepted

Why are Windows 95 installation disks not uniquely bound to a single product key?

The CD media for OSR (OEM Service Releases) are generally all the same; there is no unique code on the disc. Imagine what a problem this would be for commercial users with multiple machines to support ...
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29 votes

Why are Windows 95 installation disks not uniquely bound to a single product key?

CDs are made by pressing, having a new master made is expensive so the content of the disk would rarely be changed, certainly not for a single copy. Yes there are recordable CDs now but they were not ...
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  • 1,939
28 votes

Latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98

That latest web browser I am able to find is K-Meleon 74 Windows 9x Edition. It was created in 2014, when the Pale Moon engine (Goanna) was backported for Windows 2000. It requires KernelEx (and the ...
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  • 381
26 votes

Latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98

I have not tried any of these, not having a Windows 98 system, but a bit of research reveals: Internet Explorer 6 SP1 was the last IE, in 2001. Firefox 2 was the last Firefox in 2006. Netscape 8 (...
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  • 7,814
26 votes

Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly?

The reason is because of how WM_TIMER is limited to 15.6ms intervals by default. If you call SetTimer() with a 1ms interval it will still be called in 15.6ms intervals. WM_TIMER drives a lot of stuff ...
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  • 269
24 votes
Accepted

Are old versions of Windows at risk of modern malware attacks?

The very first step of an attack is to probe the target for platform. Pentesting applications such as metasploit have much more numerous and varied techniques to breach Windows 98 as opposed to the ...
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24 votes

Installing Windows 95 by floppy?

These are Distribution Media Format disks, storing 1.68 MB of data instead of the usual 1.44 MB (on high-density 3.5” disks). There are a couple of strategies you can use: You can create floppies ...
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  • 96.6k
21 votes

Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly?

Raymond Chen from Microsoft has a great answer on his blog: One danger of the MsgWaitForMultipleObjects function is calling it when there are already messages waiting to be processed, because ...
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20 votes

Latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98

It very much depends on what you're trying to do - Lynx's latest release is from 2018, runs on Win95, and is very lightweight, but, you know, lacks graphics. I also use Dillo on old machines when I ...
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  • 301
20 votes

Disassembling Windows IO.SYS

Windows 95 and 98 IO.SYS/WINBOOT.SYS consists of three parts: the initial loader, the payload and the device configuration manager executable. The initial loader (MSLOAD) comprises the first three or ...
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  • 17.2k
18 votes
Accepted

"Your program is testing for optimal display performance" in older Windows games

Well, turns out the Wikipedia article has the answer already: WinG would also perform a graphics hardware/driver profiling test on the first execution of the program in order to determine the best ...
18 votes

Was Windows 95 really released in 1995?

For a long time (starting late 1992/ early 1993), what was to become Windows 95 went under the name of "Chicago". Only in september 1994 (beta 1.4 / build 189), did it become Windows 95. ...
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  • 1,455
17 votes
Accepted

How does Notepad store text files in memory?

Notepad (at least originally) was implemented as a simple wrapper around the Windows EDIT control. EDIT is not really designed to handle large amounts of text -- it stores text in a single block of ...
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  • 12.4k
17 votes
Accepted

First computer emulator in Windows

AppleWin was announced in August 1994, so it turns out yours isn’t the first non-commercial emulator developed for Windows. It was made available by April 1995 if not earlier.
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  • 96.6k
17 votes

Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly?

Arguably, this is a common bug in early software based on an event-processing loop rather than a Windows bug: if some DD-paths of the loop only process a single event, then every time when two events ...
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16 votes

Are old versions of Windows at risk of modern malware attacks?

(The question How could one say that older operating systems are more vulnerable? on Security Stack Exchange (linked by Stephen Kitt in the comments) provides a more in-depth answer, but I will try to ...
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  • 9,242
16 votes
Accepted

Why did Windows pick 260 characters as the maximum path length?

In the Windows world, the MAX_PATH 260-character limit dates back to the introduction of the Win32 APIs; it is for example documented in GetWindowsDirectory. Before that, Windows (at least in version ...
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  • 96.6k
16 votes

Is there a prebuilt git binary available for Windows 9x?

Install Cygwin using setup-legacy.exe from the Cygwin Time Machine, pointing it at the cygwin-legacy URL, which pins the package versions to the last set released for Cygwin 1.5, the last release for ...
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15 votes
Accepted

I made a sector image of a Windows 95 partition, but it won’t boot. Why?

When you used dd, did you capture it from the first physical sector? Or did you merely grab the volume of interest? If you did it on \\.\Volume{$$$$$$$$-$$$$-....}, then you only got C:, not the ...
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  • 1,337
14 votes

Are old versions of Windows at risk of modern malware attacks?

Mostly no. Pre-XP versions of Windows are certainly vulnerable to targeted attacks, such as you'd see from Metasploit -- if you're the sort of high-value target that attracts such attacks, don't run ...
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  • 8,413

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