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How to Upgrade to Win95 OSR2 in Three Easy Steps

Roland Hechtenberg

How to Upgrade to Win95 OSR2 in Three Easy Steps

by Roland Hechtenberg

1. Buy OSR2.

2. Run SETUP.

3. Live happily ever after.

(If you believe the above, could I possibly interest you in some excellent and cheap ocean-front property in Arizona?)

Re 1: OSR2 is not sold as an upgrade, but only together with hardware, normally a new computer, but not necessarily so. Having read that Microsoft did not object to OSR2 being sold with a new motherboard or a hard disk, I set out to buy OSR2 in Akihabara before the July meeting of the TPC.

However, the most promising sources all informed me that they could only sell OSR2 with a new system. Still, I didn't give up as this is Japan and Akihabara, and if something exists, someone will sell it. Talking with a salesman in a shop where I have bought on several occasions, I was told that a certain shop was selling OSR2. After careful searching, I finally found the shop and was informed that they had OSR2 and were willing to sell it for around 18,000. The box had OSR2 printed on the outside and I decided to buy it. Opening the package made me slightly suspicious, as the manual didn't mention anything about FAT32, the main reason for upgrading, and instead mentioned upgrading from Win3.1.

This brings me to point 2. As OSR2 is not intended as an upgrade, you get an error message that a system already is installed and that you are supposed to get the commercial version. Having heard about this, I knew enough to rename WIN.COM (the file that SETUP.COM is looking for) to WIN.ROM, but I still got the error message as I had forgotten to also rename WIN.COM in the Win3.1 directory on the SCSI disk connected to the machine. After deletion of this file, Setup ran without problems, but the suggested directory for Win95 was Windows.000, as the directory Windows already existed. I changed this to Windows, and then Setup proceeded to run without problems. After completion of Setup (and after elimination of some computer-related troubles), Win95 booted up as version 4.00.950 B, but the file system was still FAT16, which causes a lot of wasted space with large disks.

With a new installation on an empty disk, Win95 will give you a choice of FAT16 or FAT32, but in case of upgrading, you need PartitionMagic if you want to use FAT32. Installation of PartitionMagic presented no problems, and after switching to DOS mode, PartitionMagic ran without problems and converted the larger partitions to FAT32, saving quite a bit of space.

PartitionMagic also made it possible to change the size of the partitions and to use a second hard disk by changing the partitions on that disk to logical partitions in an extended partition. This has the advantage that the second disk can be added or removed without scrambling the drive letters of the first hard disk. I now have the partitions C: (1.94 GB) and D: (1.76 GB) on the master disk and E: (1.39 GB) and F: (998 MB) on the slave disk. PartitionMagic did not do anything about the FAT of the Jaz drive, but it did change a connected SCSI hard disk to FAT32. Depending on the setup of the computer, upgrading to OSR2 can be anything from child's play to a nightmare, and Microsoft clearly says that it will not support OSR2, but instead refers you to the OEM. For sticklers who try to make problems, I state expressly that I did buy OSR2 together with new hardware (a 4 GB hard disk), which according to Microsoft is an acceptable way of purchasing it.

Another new feature of OSR2 in addition to FAT32 is an automatic scan of the disk after a crash. A final warning for people who are considering an upgrade to OSR2: FAT32 is recognized only by Win95 OSR2, so if you intend to boot to plain DOS (using System Commander, PartitionMagic, BootManager, etc.), you should leave a partition which will be recognized by DOS. With my present setup (all FAT32), booting to DOS from a floppy or from a connected SCSI hard disk does not show the IDE hard disks. Accordingly, I have not installed System Commander, but although I am a "hardcore" DOS user (90% of my computer time is spent in DOS), SystemCommander had been "hibernating" on my computer for several months because the DOS provided by Win95 was quite sufficient for my purposes.

To conclude this article, I make my normal disclaimer in regard to Win95: Win95 is beautiful; it is beautiful when it works, and when it f***s up, it f***s up beautifully. <G>

© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

August, 1997

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN