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 ...
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, ...
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 to put them in the public domain.
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.
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 comprises the first three (Windows 95 ‘OSR0’, OSR1) or four (Windows 95 OSR2 and later) 512-byte sectors of the file; the first sector begins with the signature MZ, the second starts with the ...
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:
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
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-digit number) that contains the compressed contents of the disk. The compressed file system is assigned the drive letter of the partition containing the file, ...
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 ME io.sys is compressed, so a disassembly will look like random junk. To decompress it use IO8DECOMP by Rudolph R. Loew.
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 computer can boot off your device. The workaround to boot off USB will be posted, but it might be easier to just stop at this point if the computer cannot.
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 ...
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 drive bootable. Copy the win98 folder from the Windows 98 setup CD on to the flash drive. Finding the DOS fdisk and format programs from a working Windows 9x ...