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Troubleshooting Windows 95 Startup Problems and Error Messages

This article was previously published under Q136337
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SUMMARY
This article lists troubleshooting tips you can use if your computer stopsresponding (hangs) or returns an error message (such as a fatal exceptionerror or an invalid VxD error).

This article is meant to provide you with a general strategy for isolatingthe problem.
MORE INFORMATION

Safe Mode

If Windows 95 does not start, try to start it in Safe mode. To startWindows 95 in Safe mode, press the F8 key when you see the "StartingWindows 95" message, and then choose Safe Mode from the Startup menu.

If Windows 95 does not start in Safe mode, see the "Windows 95 Does NotStart in Safe Mode" section below. If Windows 95 starts in Safe mode, seethe "Windows 95 Starts in Safe Mode" section below.

Windows 95 Does Not Start in Safe Mode

Any of the following conditions can cause Windows 95 not to start in Safemode:
  • Your computer is infected with a virus. For additional information about computer viruses, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    129972 Description of Computer Viruses
  • Your computer's CMOS settings are not correct. Check your computer's CMOS settings to make sure they are correct. (You may need to contact the computer manufacturer to verify these settings.)
  • There is a hardware conflict. These conflicts can include, but are not limited to, PCI BIOS settings, IRQ conflicts, redundant COM ports (for example, two COM1 ports, or an internal modem set to the same COM port as an existing serial port), and defective RAM chips.
  • A setting in the Msdos.sys file needs to be changed (for example, the Logo setting should be set to zero). For additional information on the Msdos.sys file, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    118579 Contents of the Windows Msdos.sys File
  • You need to use the Vga.drv or Vga.vxd video drivers from the Windows 95 CD-ROM. These files are located in the Drivers\Display\Vga folder. For example, these drivers may be helpful if you have an Intel Triton PCI controller or a Cirrus Logic 5401 or 5402 VGA video adapter. For more information about these files, please see the Readme.txt file in the same folder.
  • You are using Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2) and your computer stops responding (hangs) after booting to a previous operating system. For information about this issue, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    155364 OSR2 Hangs After Booting Previous Operating System
If you still cannot start your computer in Safe mode after checking theseitems, reinstall Windows 95 in a new, empty folder. This step helps toestablish whether the problem is related to a remnant of the previousoperating system (such as a configuration setting) or a hardware problem.

Windows 95 Starts in Safe Mode

If Windows 95 starts in Safe mode, step through the startup process to seeif any devices fail to load. To do so, restart your computer, press F8 whenyou see the "Starting Windows 95" message, and then choose Step-By-StepConfirmation from the Startup menu.

The following table lists several startup options. The options are labeledBoot A, Boot B, Boot C, and Boot D. Try each option and note your results.To use a boot option, press Y or N as outlined in the option in the tablebelow each time you are prompted whether you want to load a particulardevice.
                                       Boot A   Boot B   Boot C   Boot D   ---------------------------------------------------------------------   Load DriveSpace Driver?             (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Process the system registry?        (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (N)o   Create a startup log file      (Bootlog.txt)?                   (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Process your startup device drivers      (Config.sys)?                    (N)o     (N)o     (Y)es    (Y)es   Device=<path>\Himem.sys?            (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Device=<path>\Ifshlp.sys?           (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Device=<path>\Dblbuff.sys?          (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Device=<path>\Setver.exe?           (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Process your startup command file      (Autoexec.bat)?                  (N)o     (N)o     (Y)es    (Y)es   Load the Windows graphical user      interface?                       (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es    (Y)es   Load all Windows Drivers?           (N)o     (Y)es    (N)o     (Y)es				
Boot A:

If Windows 95 does not start under these conditions, try the Boot Doption. If Windows 95 starts, there is a problem with a driver orterminate-and-stay-resident program (TSR) loading in the Config.sys orAutoexec.bat file, or there is a problem with a Windows 95 protected-modedriver.

Boot B:

If Windows 95 does not start under these conditions, try the Boot Coption. If Windows 95 starts, there is a problem with a driver or TSRloading in the Config.sys, or Autoexec.bat file. You can pinpoint theproblem by stepping through these files.

There may also be a problem with a TSR loading in the Winstart.bat file ifone is present on your computer. Rename the Winstart.bat file and try theBoot B option again. The Winstart.bat file is usually located in theWindows folder, and is used to load TSRs that are required for Windows-based programs, but are not needed in MS-DOS sessions.

For information about how to rename a file, click Start, click Help,click the Index tab, type "renaming" (without quotation marks), andthen double-click the "Renaming files" topic.

Boot C:

If Windows 95 does not start under these conditions, try the Boot Doption. If Windows 95 starts, there is a problem with a Windows 95protected-mode driver. For more information about these problems, seethe "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section of thisarticle.

Boot D:

If Windows 95 does not start under these conditions, try the steps in the"System.ini" section below. If Windows 95 starts, there is a problem withthe system registry. For information about restoring the registry, pleasesee the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
131431 How to Troubleshoot Registry Errors in Windows 95
System.ini:

To determine whether the System.ini or Win.ini file is causing a problem,try the following steps:
  1. Rename the System.ini file in the Windows folder to System.sav.
  2. Copy (do not rename) the System.cb file in the Windows folder to System.ini.
  3. Add the following line to the [boot] section of the System.ini file and then save the file:
          drivers=mmsystem.dll						
  4. Rename the Win.ini file in the Windows folder to Win.sav.
  5. Restart your computer.
If this works, there is a problem with an entry in the System.ini orWin.ini file. Examine these files more closely to determine the exact causeof the problem.

If Windows 95 does not start when you step through the boot process, startyour computer in Safe mode, and then change the video driver to thestandard VGA driver.

NOTE: When you copy the System.cb file to System.ini, your mouse may stopworking. If this occurs, add the following lines to the appropriatesections of the new System.ini file:
   [boot]   mouse.drv=mouse.drv   -and-   [386Enh]   mouse=*vmouse, msmouse.vxd				
For additional information about troubleshooting startup problems usingSafe mode, please see the following article in the Microsoft KnowledgeBase:
156126 Troubleshooting Windows 95 Using Safe Mode

Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems

If Windows 95 starts only when you press N at the Load All Windows Drivers?prompt, try the following steps:
  1. Start Windows 95 in Safe mode.
  2. Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, and then click Properties on the menu that appears.
  3. On the Device Manager tab, disable any devices in the following categories:
          Display adapters        Floppy disk controllers      Hard disk controllers   Keyboard      Mouse                   Network adapters      PCMCIA socket           Ports      SCSI controllers        Sound, video, and game controllers						
    To disable a device, follow these steps:

    1. In Device Manager, double-click the category name, and then double- click the device.
    2. On the General tab, click the Original Configuration (Current) check box to clear it, and then click OK.
    3. Restart your computer.
    NOTE: If Windows 95 does not start, go to the "System.ini" section of this article.
  4. Once Windows 95 restarts, enable the devices you disabled in step 3. Enable the devices in the following order:

    • Com ports
    • Hard disk controllers
    • Floppy disk controllers
    • Other devices
    To enable a device, follow these steps:

    1. In Device Manager, double-click the category name, and then double- click the device.
    2. On the General tab, click the Original Configuration (Current) check box to select it, and then click OK.
    3. While the properties for each device are open, click the Resources tab and make sure there are no conflicts listed in the Conflicting Devices list.
  5. Restart your computer.

Additional Notes

For information about known hardware issues, please see the Hardware.txtfile in the Windows folder on your hard disk.

For additional troubleshooting assistance, check the Bootlog.txt file inthe root directory on your hard disk. This file lists the loading status ofall real-mode and protected-mode drivers. If Windows 95 does not start, theBootlog.txt file lists the last driver that loaded successfully, and listsa "LoadFail" entry for each driver that failed to load before the problemoccurred.
first boot fail setup noboot no-boot start up start-up w95susdfaq
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Article ID: 136337 - Last Review: 11/15/2006 17:12:16 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • kbfaq kbhardware kbinfo kbtshoot KB136337
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