Customising Windows 95 –

This is a list of the things I do immediately after installing Windows 95.

Even before that...

If you've ever added components to windows after the initial installation (for example the briefcase component, or a printer) you will know that it asks you to insert the Windows 95 CD so it can copy the necessary files. If you have the disk space, there's a way to stop this at installation time.

Instead of running Windows setup from the CD, run it from the hard drive. If I'm creating a new Windows PC, I start by creating a bootable floppy disk with a few extras on it. From a DOS box in Win95: (This assumes windows is installed in c:\windows and a DOS CD-ROM driver is c:\sys\cdrom\hit-ide.sys)

Boot from this floppy disk and use fdisk to
i) Delete any unwanted partitions (NT, Linux, small DOS or Win95 partitions)
ii) Create and make active a primary partition for the Win95 installation

Reboot using the floppy disk (with errors from config.sys and autoexec.bat) and do a format c: /s.
Create on c: the directories \windows\cabs and \sys\cdrom. Copy autoexec.bat, config.sys and hit-ide.sys back to their original locations. I edit out any unnecessary lines in autoexec and config, but this is optional. Now reboot from the hard disk and you should have a Win95 command prompt with CD support.

Insert the Win95 CD and copy d:\win95\cabs\*.* c:\windows\cabs (if your CD drive is d:).
cd \windows\cabs

This will start Windows setup and never ask for the CD again.


One of the first things I do after installation is install my favourite image viewer and associate jpegs and gifs with it. The default viewer for these types is internet explorer, which in comparison takes an age to load. Also, if you are surfing with IE and try to view a jpeg or gif, Windows does not open a new window to display the picture, but decides you must have finished with whichever page you were looking at and displays the jpeg/gif in that window.

If my image viewer is installed at c:\Program Files\Pals2go\viewer.exe then I would:

Explorer View

By default, certain files are hidden in explorer. To correct this:

Fast Menus

The start menu normally waits for a second or so before displaying items in a sub-menu. To get rid of this delay I use regedit, the Windows 95 registry editor. Whenever this is used it is always advised that you make backups of your system files. However I've used this plenty of times and I'd be surprised if making this particular alteration caused any damage to your system: When you reboot, your Start menus will pop-up as soon as the mouse moves over them.