86 votes
Accepted

What made Windows Me so crash-prone?

I am unsure about what made it so crash prone To start with, it wasn't. Windows ME was not much different from 98SE and on its own as stable as its predecessor. The only plausible thing I could ...
  • 178k
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
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
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 ...
13 votes

What technical reasons prevented the Win9x Virtual Machine Monitor from running multiple threads simultaneously?

When using a single core, code which disables interrupts and then performs a sequence of memory operations can guarantee that they will be performed atomically. Additionally, many operations like &...
  • 29.5k
12 votes
Accepted

When will the copyrights on various versions of Windows and DOS expire?

For works "made for hire" in the USA after 1978, copyright extends for 95 years after the date of first publication. So for practical purposes, it depends entirely on when (or if) Microsoft decides ...
  • 6,465
12 votes

Why are there three different settings in the [Paths] section of MSDOS.SYS?

HostWinBootDrv is the easiest to explain: it has to do with disk compression, i.e. DoubleSpace/DriveSpace. What DriveSpace does is create a file with a name like DRVSPACE.nnn (with nnn being a three-...
  • 17.6k
11 votes

What technical reasons prevented the Win9x Virtual Machine Monitor from running multiple threads simultaneously?

Theoretically, it might be possible. But practical considerations should not be so easily dismissed. What @supercat says is true. But part of another reason is already contained in your question: the ...
  • 17.6k
9 votes

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

In short, Windows aligns application code on 4kb memory boundaries to load applications faster from disk or memory cache. This works well for large applications like office, internet browsers, graphic ...
  • 91
9 votes
Accepted

Documentation on Windows Explorer Shell Command Files

SCF files are just another form of shortcuts to access various system functions with syntax identical to *.ini files. They are handled by shell32.dll. Parameter 'Command' determines how is the file ...
  • 1,334
9 votes

Documentation on Windows Explorer Shell Command Files

Articles Q190355 and Q195737 previously available on microsoft.com provided a little documentation about the .scf script file format: Example 1: Show Desktop (from Q190355): [Shell] Command=2 ...
8 votes

Disassembling Windows IO.SYS

I have tried IDA Freeware version 5 with various input sources, such as DOS EXE, DOS SYS, Binary, etc but have nor been able to obtain the desired result of a disassembly of the whole file. Windows ...
  • 5,851
7 votes

How did Windows ME "cripple" DOS?

It crippled DOS quite half-heartedly. As for why, Microsoft has apparently been intending to deprecate DOS (and Win16) in favour of Windows NT for quite some time0, for both technical and business ...
  • 17.6k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the last VLC Media Player version for Windows 98/98SE/ME?

Not requiring unicows.dll, the last version for Windows 98/98SE/ME is 0.8.4a (13/12/2005; slighly newer than 0.8.4) Requiring unicows.dll, the last version officially supported on Windows 98/ME is 0.8....
  • 952
6 votes

How do I install Windows 9x on an older machine from a flash drive (or any other unconventional device)

Here is the solution I found. This probably isn't the only possible solution, but the only one that worked so far. Feel free to contribute, as it's likely imperfect The guide generally assumes the ...
  • 952
4 votes
Accepted

Can HIMEM.SYS be disabled in Windows ME’s IO.SYS?

That the IO.SYS of Windows Me includes an integrated HIMEM.SYS is something of a simplification. What is true is that IO.SYS includes a built-in XMS driver; but even if it was derived from code ...
  • 17.6k
4 votes

What made Windows Me so crash-prone?

As mentioned by Justin Time, WDM and VXD drivers had a tendency to conflict. This introduced a fairly strong "whether you remember WinME as great or garbage depends on the hardware you ran it on&...
  • 4,933
3 votes

How do I install Windows 9x on an older machine from a flash drive (or any other unconventional device)

You have to get the system booted up under DOS to start with. That's the hard part. If you have a working Windows 9x/ME system you can just format the flash drive as FAT16/32 and select to make the ...
3 votes

What made Windows Me so crash-prone?

My experience with ME was on a new build I made (1 GHz!) and I found it be the best build yet of Windows... However, I think I know what was wrong with it for others' uses. The memory handling was ...
2 votes

Why are there three different settings in the [Paths] section of MSDOS.SYS?

Winbootdir points to the directory that DOS startup files are in. It can be different to Windir. Windir points to the directory that the user's registry is in. On a network this can be different to ...
1 vote

What made Windows Me so crash-prone?

This was just part of MS operating cycle. If you look at the iterations of Windows (not including the NT line) from Win95 onwards then it looks like this: Windows 95 - good Windows 98 - flaky Windows ...
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