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 ...
  • 14.2k
144 votes
Accepted

Why does part of the Windows 98 Setup program look older than the rest?

Basically, because it is running under Windows 3.1 at that point. Windows 98’s setup process goes through three main phases, in three different operating environments; each one installs the operating ...
  • 98.3k
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. ...
  • 178k
103 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 ...
  • 17.6k
50 votes

In the classic "Windows 98 crashes live on CNN" video, why does the BSOD appear so oddly?

VGA graphics and text modes have different scan rates. The Windows desktop runs in some graphics mode (looks like 640x480, likely 60 Hz) while the BSoD is in text mode (720x400 at 70 Hz). The adapter ...
  • 2,925
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 ...
  • 3,602
40 votes
Accepted

Are MS-DOS and Windows 9x vulnerable to Meltdown?

The Meltdown attack is about figuring out what's in protected memory (typically, kernel memory) by arranging for it to be speculatively read, and then looking for residual side effects after the ...
  • 8,452
33 votes

Is it possible to limit HDD capacity to work on an old computer?

Since the price seems to be an issue, I'll suggest a cheap alternative to hard drives. A IDE Compact Flash card reader with a 4GB or 8GB compact flash card is a cheap combo, still sold (less than 10 ...
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 ...
  • 381
27 votes

Windows 98 fails to install with 'Windows Setup requires 7340032 by' error in console

This strange error means that hard drive you intend to install Windows 98 onto may be partitioned, but not formatted - it appears that Windows' installation system is confused by the lack of a FAT on ...
  • 10.2k
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 (...
  • 7,894
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 ...
  • 269
25 votes

Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

The Windows 98 memory manager only supports a maximum of 1GB. This amount of memory was considered beyond huge for the time, and by the time people commonly had that much or more memory, Microsoft ...
  • 988
25 votes
Accepted

Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

I might have found a stable way to limit Windows 98 to use only 1 GiB of RAM with HimemX: Install Windows 98 with 1 GiB of RAM or less; Download himemxfrom https://sourceforge.net/projects/himemx/; ...
  • 2,567
25 votes
Accepted

What does Windows' "Tuning up Application Start" do?

At that point, Setup executes WALIGN.EXE. Some information could be found back then at Microsoft's Knowledge Base (*1): Winalign.exe and Walign.exe (*2) optimize programs by rewriting a program's ...
  • 178k
25 votes

Windows 98 setup preparation hangs at 100%

Win98 is based on the DOS kernel. The DOS kernel doesn't have USB support. Win98 doesn't come with any USB drivers. The correct USB controller driver must be installed before Win98 can see files on ...
  • 495
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 ...
23 votes
Accepted

Running DOS, Windows 3, and Windows 98 from one FAT32 partition?

The first part isn’t too difficult: install Windows 98 as usual, then edit MSDOS.SYS to change its BootGUI setting to 0. This will disable the automatic GUI startup, and the computer will boot to a ...
  • 98.3k
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 ...
21 votes
Accepted

How can Windows 98 shut down in less than 5 seconds?

Shutting down a computer involves two major tasks: stopping all running processes, and ensuring all pending writes are flushed to disk. Once any running applications have stopped, there isn’t much in ...
  • 98.3k
20 votes

Can I run Windows 98 and games from the same era on an AMD Duron CPU?

A Duron of this era is a cut-down version of a Thunderbird Athlon, and is broadly comparable to a Coppermine (Pentium III) Celeron. Paired with the right audio/video hardware, it's absolutely capable ...
  • 3,966
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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 17.6k
17 votes

How can I copy files from a Compaq Deskpro?

There are three basic ways: a) Get a LAN card and setup a workgroup with all drives shared and access whatever needs to be backuped to your new machine. This is quite dependant on installed software. ...
  • 178k
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 ...
17 votes

Is it possible to limit HDD capacity to work on an old computer?

I have not tried it, but according to the Wikipedia page on the Host Protected Area, one use case was to use large disks on systems whose BIOS could not cope with them. It would therefore seem to be a ...
  • 9,430
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 ...
  • 9,262

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