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 read about it was that it was forked from Windows 95 instead of Windows 98 but how could that be a possibility as it doesn't really make much sense in the end?
There's actually two versions IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM used with Windows ME. The normal "crippled" versions used to boot from hard disks, and the "Emergency Boot Disk" versions use to boot from floppies. It's those later EBD versions that are embedded in diskcopy.dll under Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
The EBD versions are crippled in ...
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 file headers, creating a new section table, and then writing file sections, each of which starts on a 4-kilobyte (KB) boundary. The new section table is then ...
EB is short jump relative. 75 is short jump if not equal. So Microsoft replaced a conditional jump with an unconditional one to prevent entry to a certain section of code — presumably there was a path that goes one way if installed on a hard disk, another if installed on a floppy disk, and Micorsoft hard-wired it always to act like it was on a floppy disk.
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 handled. Possible values:
Posts internal message to windows main process (systray.exe). At a glance it doesn't seem like message with this ID (0x4C8) is handled ...
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):
Example 2: View Channels (from Q195737):
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 editors...
A good detailed explanation can be found here:
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 Windows 9x.
The Cygwin Time Machine serves frozen-in-place versions of Cygwin, so it will work as well today as it did back then, which was pretty good, ...
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 0.8.6i (14 August 2008).
With KernelEx you can install up to version 3.0.8 (20 August 2019).
VLC Media Player - KernelEx Wiki
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 seriously flawed. I ran a little 'extra' called RAM something, and I could have it free up memory before running anything 'intensive' - or at any time really - as ...
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 98SE - good
Windows ME - flaky
Windows XP - good
Windows Vista - flaky
Windows 7 - good
Windows 8 - flaky
Windows 10 - good
So it can be seen that every ...