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Windows 95D Lite is a new unofficial version of Windows 95 that integrates a hefty sum of updates and drivers, allowing you to get your old machine rolling with only a quick and simple installation.
Download the latest release of Windows 95D Lite (Version 1.6 - December 26th, 2022):
Base CD (121 MB)
Full CD (591 MB)
Boot Floppy (1.44 MB)
The contents below only provide a little insight into Windows 95D Lite. When you install Windows 95D Lite, remember to check the brand new Help contents from the Start menu.
Reminder: Please do not sell Windows 95D Lite or any other Windows remasters, and do not sell computers bundled with Windows 95D Lite to avoid jeopardizing the 9x remastering community.
Version 1.6: This Time It's Done
I wasn't expecting to put out yet another release of Windows 95D Lite, really. I've been getting tired of remastering old Windows versions, in part because I've got other things to invest myself in these days. But there were a number of things that got me to get around to updating it yet again.
For one, I did find that there were a few things that still needed polishing up, including some drivers that left some undesired file prompts. I also wanted to see if I could cover some more ground on hardware from 2001 to 2003, and that at least seems to work partially. In version 1.6, some onboard AC'97 audio devices are now supported, as well as the Nvidia GeForce 3/4/FX lineups, but I cannot make any guarantees that they will work 100% correctly on your system since Windows 95 was nearly impossible to run on Pentium 4 computers back then, anyway.
Originally, this was meant to be a minor update referred to as 1.5b, but the efforts of Blue Horizon to get the Windows 95 launch event digitized for all to witness justified pushing this release a bit further than it would have otherwise. After all the new refinements put in place, I think it's safe to say that this right here is the definitive version of Windows 95, hands down.
That's all I've got to say here. For more details, check README.TXT enclosed in this release. Also, VMware images are no longer being distributed for various reasons, including the fact that the software has never played nice with my Linux installation.
Read up on the history of Windows 9x remastering development
View old release announcements
What is its purpose?
First and foremost, Windows 95D Lite is about low-level convenience. To put it simply, the setup program is partially reworked to provide many practical updates upfront while remaining largely invisible to the user. There is no batch script that needs to be run after Setup completes, no extra interactive installer, no additional reboots, or anything like that.
None of the obnoxious updates like Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media Player 7, or the slower DirectX 8.0 are installed by default. Windows 95D Lite only opts for what is ideal for systems with hardware ranging from 1995 to 2001 so you can immediately run newer programs that would otherwise require installing cumbersome runtime packages. These packages are included on the full CD should you wish to install them.
For those who have been alienated by the narcissistic branding present in tons of other Windows remasters and bootlegs out there, you'll be glad to know Windows 95D Lite keeps it almost nonexistent in regular use, and does not even announce itself as its full name.
Windows 95D Lite is designed to be a hefty timesaver on real hardware. Whether you're building your own system or using a dusty OEM computer, there's a chance Windows 95D Lite will have some or all of the drivers you need to start rolling from the get go. I'm talking about 3D acceleration, 100BASE-T networking, and premium audio... the difference between having to go through the trouble of installing everything one by one and having all of that done for you is priceless.
The variety of integrations spliced into Windows 95D Lite make it span about three times as many cabinets as Windows 95B. Much of the extra space is taken by drivers which are not bound to be installed on every single system.
The updates which have been implemented below are done stealthily; there may not be an obvious indication by Setup that they are being installed, but they often outright replace the original files from OSR2.
This list is incomplete, but it should give you an idea of what you can expect.
While most hardware can operate without chipset drivers, such drivers are necessary to make full use of USB and AGP.
Drivers for Intel chipsets ranging from the 430TX to the 850/845 are included, but integrating them is literally a matter of copying and pasting lines of plain text. Some VIA chipsets from the Super Socket 7 and Slot A eras are also supported, as well as ALi's onboard IDE controller.
Frequently Asked Questions
"Lite" contrasts against the earlier Windows 95D by its tactics, not by what it includes. When Windows 95D Lite was pitched to the Razorback community in June of 2020, its original goal was straightforward - do away with the mismashing of system files from Memphis and Windows 98/ME (meaning a big goodbye to gradient title bars) while keeping all the updates that work just fine, such as the Plus! tab. It turned out to be much more than that, both in its scope and effort required.
Starting with meddling in the idea of rebuilding the Setup cabinets from scratch rather than placing uncompressed files into the setup directory as is, Windows 95D Lite's objective became more something like "how can I make the installation of updates as seamless as possible, and not a bloated multi-boot process?" And so began the exhaustive process of dissecting each and every update down to its files and registry entries, either through the INFs they use or through guesswork, no matter their size.
The end result is a nearly invisible installation process. As of the latest release, all extra RunOnce\Setup entries have been successfully eliminated. What this means is that on the first boot, the dialog "Windows is now setting up the following items" looks exactly the same as it did before in the original Windows 95 releases. As of version 1.2, the DUN 1.4 file copying dialogs are no longer displayed, either, cutting down the time of the first logon even further.
Can I use a USB keyboard and/or mouse with this?
No, at least not natively. No HID drivers were released for Windows 95, so the only way you could get a USB input device to work would be to turn on legacy USB emulation in your computer's BIOS settings, and even that is not necessarily guaranteed to work. Support for HID-compatible devices didn't show up until Windows 98, and a work-in-progress remaster of that operating system called Redtoast aims to bring the classic Windows 95 shell together with the hardware-related benefits of Windows 98.
Why can't I use the mouse, or why were my drivers not loaded?
Windows 95D Lite from Delta to the 25th anniversary release have a major bug in a few of the Intel chispet INFs that cause no devices to be detected under certain conditions. The September 19th release fixes this.
For the affected releases, you can remove all the devices which have errors, reboot, and allow Windows to redetect them.
Those banners are an eyesore, can I remove them???
This applies to really old releases. The banners are not loaded by default in new versions of Windows 95D Lite.
Yes. You can run PURIFY.EXE to restore the original dialogs.
If you are running version 1.2 or later, the banners are not loaded. You can run BRANDISH.EXE to add them. Note that these packages are intended for use with Windows 95B and Windows 95D Lite only!
Can I just get the updates for my existing Windows 95 OSR2 installation?
At this time I am not offering my own update package to effectively provide exclusively the updates from Windows 95D Lite to Windows 95B or Windows 95C. You can conduct an in-place upgrade of Windows 95 RTM/A/B/C to 95D Lite to get the new benefits, but this has not been tested extensively.
How do I install the desktop themes?
Open Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel, and move to the Windows Setup tab. Click Have Disk at the bottom right corner, and point to D:\FUNSTUFF\PLUS\THEMES (D being the letter of your CD-ROM drive). Select the themes you want to install and click OK. If you're prompted for a missing file, just keep pressing OK until copying completes; I could never work out how to avoid this prompt having to do with shared screen saver resources, but they will still install all fine.
Excess "file not found" dialogs should not show up in release 1.4a, because I ended up duplicating the reusable screensaver executable multiple times in the cabinets so the minor annoyance would go away, even if at the cost of extra space.
Will you add my driver if this gets updated again?
It depends on the size of the driver. I don't want to end up making the cabinet set even larger than Windows 98's. In fact, it might be desirable to strip down a few drivers to the bare essentials, such as that of the ATI Rage series and the Aureal Vortex AU8810.
Windows 95D Lite still isn't working on my machine, fix it now!!!
It's been a long time since I was last heavily involved in these Windows 9x remastering projects, and I do not have so much time to dump on them these days. Remastering Windows 9x is a difficult process that requires a lot of trial and error and I cannot replicate every single issue that gets reported with my selection of hardware.
In the majority of cases, Windows 95D Lite has proven to be stable and having all the required drivers loaded out of the box. I've installed it on a wide variety of computers to affirm this. If something goes wrong on your end, you should read the updated help contents and try different configurations before considering a report. Windows 95D Lite is in a finalized state now, so there are no guarantees that system-specific bugs will be addressed. Also keep in mind that some drivers are known to exhibit bugs when running on very fast systems like those using the Pentium 4.
Old releases of Windows 95D Lite can be obtained here
Effective May 1st, 2021, all old releases of Windows 95D Lite will only contain the base \WIN95 directory. Only the latest version includes extra materials on the CD-ROM.