Windows OS 95

At A Glance

Publisher
Microsoft

Web
www.microsoft.com

Status
No longer sold, not supported

Introduced
Aug-1995

Latest
95C (or 95B with Y2K updates)

Design
GUI, Multi-threaded

Type
Workstation

Details

Summary
Windows 95 is a graphical OS is designed for workstations at home or business. While still available, it is getting a bit old. See Windows 98 and Windows Me for later variants of this OS. Over its Windows 3.x predecessor, Windows 95 added Plug and Play, support for 32-bit applications, consolidated registry, improved memory management, and a number of accessories, such as the CD-Player.

News
31-Dec-2002 – Microsoft End of life – no support or online self-help
1-Jan-2001 Volume Licensing to End
In an effort to force corporations to switch to the more expensive Windows 2000, Microsoft announced it is ending volume licensing of both Windows 95 & 98 on June 30, 2001.[Infoworld, Page 15]

No further work is being done on Windows 95 and Microsoft considers it an obsolete OS. Support is no longer available.

Requirements

Product
Windows 95 OSR2

Processor
386DX or better

RAM
4 MB (8-16 MB recommended)

Drive space
35 MB

Drives
Runs from hard disk, Prompt available from boot diskette.

Video
VGA or better

File systems
FAT(all), FAT32 (OSR2 and later only)

Compatibility
Windows 16-bit programs (Windows 3.x type programs)
Windows 32-bit programs
Windows VxD device drivers
DOS programs, 100% native, while Windows is not running
DOS programs in a “DOS box” while Windows is running, compatibility excellent
DOS device drivers

Interface
Windows is a GUI interface, but supports both a text-based DOS window, and can boot from a single diskette into a “DOS” prompt.

Installation
Must be installed on a primary partition on the first drive. See Secrets section below for complete installations on other than the first drive. About 4 MB of boot up code must reside on the C drive, but all remaining files can be installed in any drive (primary or logical, any physical drive).

Variants

Upgrade edition – upgrades Windows 3.x to Windows 95. Many users have reported problems with upgrading from Windows 3.x. We strongly recommend a risk-free installation using System Commander

Full edition – includes boot diskette and can be installed on a blank drive

OEM edition – installation depends on part on how an OEM configures the installation. In most cases, the OEM edition will install safely on top of a prior installation of Windows 95, but will erase the entire first hard drive and put a fresh install of Windows 95 if Windows 95 is not detected.

Versions

Windows release timeline
First edition 11-Jul-1995
Service Pack 1 (update) 31-Dec-1995
OSR2 26-Aug-1996
OSR2.5

Three major releases of Windows 95 were made. The first edition does not support FAT32, nor enhanced FAT (for support beyond 8 GB). OSR2 is a separate version, but was never provided as a free upgrade. OSR2.5 added several Y2K fixes, and is provided as a free update. All Windows 95 editions are referred to as v4.0.

1) Identification of Windows 95 version: Look at the file date and time of the GUI.EXE file in the Windows\system directory (or where you installed windows).

File time: 11-Jul-1995 9:50am = Windows 95 first edition
File date: 24-Aug-1996 11:11am = Windows 95 OSR2 (Windows 95 B)
File date: 19-Oct-1998 3:00pm (or later) = Windows 95 OSR2.5 (Windows 95 C)

2) Go to “Start”, “Settings”, “Control Panel”. Select the “System” icon. In the General tab (the default), it shows the product “Windows 95” and the version:

Version 4.00.950 = Windows 95 first edition
Version 4.00.950 B = Windows 95 OSR2 or later

Downloads
Service Pack 1 (for First edition only is no longer available)
Y2K fixes and the OSR2.5 update to Windows 95 (no longer available)

Links
Microsoft
WUGNET – Windows User’s Group
Developers

Books
Books on Windows 95

Publisher

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052 USA

Phone 1-206-635-7000 (support)
Web: www.microsoft.com

Support
Free support to user’s who purchased retail copies. OEM users (i.e. included with a new PC) are referred back to the computer manufacturer for support.

Alternatives
Windows 98/Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home, Linux, and Solaris

Secrets
Setup Switches
Easter Eggs
Startup/Shutdown screens
Installation Not on the First Drive
Uncommon Keyboard Shortcuts

Pricing
Retail price: n/a
Upgrade price: n/a (upgrading from Windows 3.x or MS/PC-DOS)

Compare
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