I need to downgrade XP to windows 95?

March 6, 2011 at 15:17:11
Specs: Windows 95
I have a computer that was originally loaded with XP, but I have older software that will not run on it. It will run on windows 95 or 98. Is there a way to downgrade to 95? I have fdisk the hard drive and made the partion @ 25gb. Formatted the hard drive loaded 95. It reboots to start 95 for the first time then an error pops up "While intializing device IOS: windows protection error. You may need to reboot your computer." I reboot and it comes up with the same error. Anybody have a solution?

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March 6, 2011 at 17:18:05
Did you try using Win95 compatibility mode in XP? If that doesn't work, consider installing Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 & running Win95 in a virtual machine. I don't think you will get it to run otherwise due to the modern hardware.


EDIT: I just changed the link to Virtual PC 2004

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March 6, 2011 at 17:21:02
Nope, there are all sorts of issues. It would be hard to find W95 drivers suitable for the hardware and there are problems with W95 with the larger RAM sizes on modern computers. The advice given in #1 is about the only sensible way forward.

Please come back and let us know how you got on.

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March 6, 2011 at 17:49:24
That's probably the NDIS problem that 95 and 98 FE had with fast cpus. The fix provided by MS is only for 98 FE. There was some complicated fix for 95 someone cobbled together. I don't have that link right now.

Other than virtual PC already mentioned, another obvious solution is to just buy an old PC and put 95 on it. There's no reason you can't have two computers.

This space for rent

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Related Solutions

March 6, 2011 at 21:12:49
"Complicated" fix that someone "cobbled" together?
I take offense to that.
If replacing 10 files is complicated, especially when someone writes a script that does it for you, then I'd hate to see you tackle a real problem.

First of all, this is not the NDIS error, or it would say "NDIS" on the error.
Second, if the processor is faster than 2.1 GHz, the NDIS error will appear as soon as the IOS error has been corrected.

My solution addresses both problems.
Both of these issues are explained in detail here.

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March 6, 2011 at 22:17:45
Jeez dude, take a valium.

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March 6, 2011 at 23:01:01
Personally would run Windows Millenium Edition (ME) after all it is newer and many foibles were fixed.

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March 7, 2011 at 08:11:17
Why is it that whenever anyone comes here and asks a question about using 95 or 98, someone always manages to say "it can't be done" or "use XP" or "run it in a VM" or "I would use Windows xx."?

The way I see it, we should all endeavor to help the poster do whatever it is they are trying to do, without discouraging them or throwing out a bunch of opinions as to why the person should do something else.

Now, the fact is that despite a lot of myths to the contrary, Windows 9x will run on a LOT of "newer" hardware. Windows 95 was supported on Intel chipsets up to the 845 chipset. Windows 98SE up into the beginning of the 9xx series chipsets.

There are third party tools that will even allow using Windows 9x with up to 4GB of RAM, on 48 Bit LBA hard drives >137GB, and with SATA drives.

I apologize for the tone of my response, however several months of work and a lot of trial and error went into the development of that fix. I have tried to make it as "simple" as it can be made. The fact that the errors to be fixed must be corrected in DOS kind of limit the ability to "simplify" it any more than what it already is. I have provided a bootable floppy disk image and a bootable cd image, and when used, the whole thing is automatic. I have even provided instructions to slipstream it into an installation. I don't know how much simpler I can make it.

We need more information on the hardware in the computer you are working on. Knowing this will enable us to know if there are drivers available and let you know what your chances of success are.

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March 7, 2011 at 15:46:54
It was just something I remembered off the top of my head as I'd always thought the MS solution was for 95 too and was suprised it wasn't. I didn't pay that much attention to it at the time as I wasn't dealing with a situation like that so my comments above shouldn't be considered as an unfavorable review. Besides I didn't know the author would be reading it.

The only problem with installing 9X on newer hardware is lack of driver support. Motherboard manufacturers generally haven't supplied 98 drivers for a few years.

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March 7, 2011 at 16:15:26
Maybe my #2 was one of the offending posts.

To my mind it is all about what is sensible advice. If a machine has been running XP
then it seems like a backward step to put W95 on it when there are better alternatives. Sometimes posters don't know about virtual machines and it is right to point this out.
As the spec for the machine was not given then we have to make general assumptions. There are clearly all sorts of issues that would need to be solved, including the one already run into by the poster.

This is all quite different to keeping an old W95 running, which many of us support on the W95/98 forum, and help to the best of our ability.

I think it's a great pity when fellow helpers get all steamed up on here, especially with someone like DAVEINCAPS who is, rightly, highly respected.

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March 8, 2011 at 00:55:56
I concur, running Windows 9x natively on any PC manufactured since around 2000, si fraught, hence my suggestion to try ME which has had many tweaks over 9x.

Though we are all here to help, we do not get paid, and our advise is not always correct, BUT if one wants 100% advice with comeback, go PAY FOR IT !!!

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March 8, 2011 at 01:50:44
Yes, why MS did not issue Q312108 for Windows 95 is beyond me, and makes no sense whatsoever, because an updated file that corrected the problem was readily available.

(short explanation)
NDIS.VXD v. 4.00.1113 contained in DUN14-95.EXE fixes the >2.1GHz (NDIS error) issue. One simply has to extract it from that update and add it to the updated files from the AMDK6UPD.EXE patch which fixes the >350MHz (IOS error) issue.

Main problem is that these files must be substituted in DOS, because you can't even get to Safe Mode to run the MS HotFixes.

Only reason I can figure that they left this undocumented was to "encourage" people to upgrade.

I agree that it is good to point out the possible use of VM's.
I can also concur that there are some reservations to take into account when using an older OS on a "prefab" or "brand name" computer because the manufacturers sometimes make modifications to the hardware that may make it not work with older systems. I encountered this on an XP DELL machine once, it had a motherboard with the Intel 845 chipset, and the "retail" version of the same board had Windows 98 drivers, but they refused to function properly on the DELL machine.

However, I think "better alternatives" is a matter of opinion. I could list several reasons to run Windows 9x on newer hardware, performance being the biggest advantage, but it's a matter of personal preference.

I have to disagree on the year 2000 as a cutoff for 9x. Remember, 98 and ME were supported, even by Microsoft, until 2006. Also, remember that Windows XP is only approximately 1.5 years newer than 98SE.

A better "measuring stick" in my opinion is specific hardware, i.e. you are basically ok on Intel 8xx chipsets, P4 processors, and AGP graphics cards, but anything beyond that becomes an "experiment" so to speak, as there are many uncertainties.

Obviously we all have a different outlook on this issue, and we're all entitled to our opinions. As I said before, my main gripe is when people's first response to a 9x question is "it can't be done" or "do this instead."

I'd like to invite you all to just take a look around the Windows 9x forum at MSFN. Not trying to convert anyone to another forum, just wanted to draw your attention to an active Windows 9x community and various information/solutions contained there, if you're interested.

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March 8, 2011 at 07:31:56
XP is based off Windows 2000 released in 1999, and actually based of OS/2 1985.

I prefer to run Puppy or DSL Linux on old clunkers if / when need arises.

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