88 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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
40 votes
Accepted

Was the MS-DOS window in Windows 95 an emulator like current DOSBox?

No, running MS-DOS window in Win95 was nothing like DosBox. DosBox is an emulator, but Windows 95 ran DOS in a 16-bit process as virtual machine. DosBox is basically a C program that emulates all the ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.1k
36 votes

What did SULFNBK.EXE actually do?

Very little, it turns out. The official description is more-or-less correct, though leaning towards less, and also rather vague about the circumstances: the primary task of SULFNBK is to back up long ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
31 votes

Does the kernel of Windows 95/98/ME have a name?

It is called the kernel; if the context isn’t clear, the “Windows 95 kernel” or whatever version is appropriate. Technical analyses (such as Unauthorized Windows 95) usually distinguish different ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
26 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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
21 votes
Accepted

Does the kernel of Windows 95/98/ME have a name?

Does the kernel of Windows 95/98/ME have a name? Other than Kernel? No, not a sharp and distinct one, as it's all about what one calls a kernel, so any naming is usually about mutiple components. If ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
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 ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
18 votes

Why do most of my games have graphics errors on my Windows ME retro PC?

I suspect your problem isn't specifically Windows ME related, but rather your choice of drivers. In general the best practice (then and now) is to use the most up to date drivers you can find for your ...
mnem's user avatar
  • 4,537
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 ...
Warren Young's user avatar
14 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 &...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.2k
13 votes

Does the kernel of Windows 95/98/ME have a name?

As I've said at http://jdebp.info/FGA/operating-system-nut-metaphor.html and at https://superuser.com/a/329479/38062 , this terminology is fairly foreign to the world of MS-DOS, and CP/M before it, in ...
JdeBP's user avatar
  • 2,288
13 votes

Is it possible to delete a phantom floppy drive under Windows ME without additional tools?

Yes, just barely. The basic reason why phantom floppy drives appear in Windows 9x comes down to a convergence of three factors: Windows 9x, though it has its own native, protected-mode disk drivers, ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
12 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 ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
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-...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
12 votes
Accepted

Why do Windows 98 and ME boot disks use EBD.CAB and the RAMDrive?

There are also the locale support files. Non-US versions of Windows 9x provide support for non-English locales not only in the GUI environment, but also in DOS mode. For the latter, they need support ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
12 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 ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
11 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 ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 6,656
10 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 ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
10 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 ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar
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 ...
Algimantas's user avatar
  • 1,354
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 ...
CK70's user avatar
  • 91
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 ...
Bruce Abbott's user avatar
  • 6,673
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....
TAbdiukov's user avatar
  • 982
7 votes

Was the MS-DOS window in Windows 95 an emulator like current DOSBox?

Not in Windows 9x. However, in the Windows NT family, including 2000 and XP, and everything after there was a Virtual Dos Machine that even came with some limited soundcard emulation. It could even be ...
davolfman's user avatar
  • 663
6 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&...
ssokolow's user avatar
  • 6,765
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 ...
TAbdiukov's user avatar
  • 982
6 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to view hardware-reported device identifiers on Windows ME?

The operating system’s device tree can be enumerated by looking it up directly in the Registry under the key HKEY_DYN_DATA\Config Manager\Enum. Each direct subkey corresponds to a loaded device ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
6 votes
Accepted

What is a "driver information database" in Windows 9x?

This is purely inferred from what that thing was used for, and how deleting a .ini file from the C:\WINDOWS\Inf directory did not instantly lead to devices not being identified (but installation ...
Marcus Müller's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Why do most of my games have graphics errors on my Windows ME retro PC?

I am glad to tell you that I found a solution. After a trying a different graphics card and also Win98SE (both did not help). I know it is best practice to always use the latest drivers. But in this ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,372

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