Project Index

2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2015 Quick Links

Windows 95D Lite

Version 1.5a: Some Very Small Tweaks

During the production of a large video, I found a few bugs pertaining to upgrading from a driver-filled Windows 3.1x to Windows 95D Lite. I went ahead and applied a few fixes, but then I figured, hey, with this one new small program I've written, I'm sure I could improve the express install routine! So that's what I did; I polished up my program, gave it a bit of extra functionality, and implemented it in the boot CD's batch script.

I also took this opportunity to cut out a bit of garbage from the distribution; most notably, Internet Explorer 4 is no longer included in the full CD, as I added the option to install Active Desktop in Internet Explorer 5.5's installer. Apart from that, hardly anything is so different in this release. Unless you want more convenience in installing Windows 95D Lite or a slightly cleaner distribution, you shouldn't need to upgrade. The VMX has not been updated to the new version.

Version 1.5: Farewell

It's been close to a year since Windows 95D Lite first began development. I didn't think I would be coming back to it this much for this long, but here I am now. This version mainly addresses some of the issues that have persisted up until now, like joysticks not being usable and IntelliPoint cursors not being optional. Since it's clear that Windows 95D Lite doesn't have much left to add to, this may very well be the final release since I'm a lot more confident in its state now. Any other updates that may be needed in the future will come in the form of separate hotfixes and quiet "step-up" releases to the distribution.

It's crazy to think such a task as menial as figuring out how to optimize Windows 9x Setup for modern timesaving needs would continue to evolve three years after I got started on it. As much as everyone's wanting a new Windows 98 remaster, being Redtoast, I needed Windows 95D Lite in order to develop a lot of these new techniques that would give me a better idea on how to approach a significantly more elaborate operating system. I think now that I've addressed the vast majority of previous oversights and unforseen bugs, it's time to lay the Windows 95 side of things to rest. This should very well be a definitive experience by now.

To commemorate this conclusive release, I've created a new desktop theme which can be found on the full CD. At some point, I plan to make the Windows 95D Lite themes available for download as standalone packages, but I still have many other things to tend to. See you soon...

Version 1.4a: A Last Minute Fixup

One day started accordingly, with me installing the latest version of Windows 95D Lite onto a Toshiba laptop, the kind of laptop that is far superior to anything from Compaq. I knew I had an S3 Savage driver in there, but then I found something strange... this driver was asking for the wrong filenames! On top of that, it only went to my mind just now that the screensavers for the Plus themes were not being copied correctly, and so I knew what I needed to do in order to really get this behind me once and for all.

I ended up spending a couple more days trying to get this whole thing worked out, adding a tad few more drivers in the process. This, of course, ended up breaking the setup routine on ICH2 boards again, so yet more INF cramming had to be done. I think I worked it out when I merged the new Toshiba Fast Infrared driver in INFRARED.INF and the later Matrox Millennium driver information into MSDISP.INF. Surely by now all original Matrox Millennium cards will rely on the new and improved driver instead of the clunky one from vanilla Windows 95!

Of course, themes now install exactly as they should with their respective screensavers. (At least those which come with their own, anyway... need to figure out how to write one myself!) The only other underlying change to this release is a newer VMOUSE.VXD sourced from IntelliPoint 4.0, the very last version made for Windows 95. The rest of IntelliPoint 3.2 is still intact. Some small selection of users have complained that the mouse still isn't detected even in the stabilized 1.4 release with their virtualization software, so this is a last-ditch effort to attempt to fix any such issue.

Since Razorback is operating on a limited capacity, previous versions of Windows 95D Lite will be "deflated" in the future, basically reworked so they only contain the \WIN95 directory as opposed to all of the extra multimedia goodies, as most of Windows 95D Lite's evolution is concentrated in the core distribution, anyway. Thanks again for all the support for this project. Here's looking forward to seeing this in your next retro build!

Version 1.4: Surprise!

It took me some time, but Windows 95D Lite 1.4 is a thing now. I was bent on turning my attention to Redtoast, but with that basically requiring a reset in its development, I wanted to go back and fix up Windows 95D Lite since version 1.3 really turned out to be more broken than I would've liked it to be.

This version ought to be the most robust one yet, fixing a number of bugs related to Plug and Play device detection by reworking a number of driver INFs and adding some of the ditched ones back in. On top of that, Windows 95D Lite is finally more useful for laptops with the addition of some new PCMCIA network drivers for Xircom and 3Com!

This version also fixes a bug with Explorer not reporting the size of hard drives larger than 2GB correctly, and adds in support for NTLMv2 logons. Of course it is impossible to get SMBv2/v3 working in legacy operating systems at this time, so you'll probably still need to use a separate machine as your network server.

Thanks to a poll I conducted, I've decided to make TCP/IP the only network protocol installed by default to save on system resources for most computers, as that is all most users will stick to, anyway. I've never been able to fix a bug where the DHCP client can't renew an IP address initially, so if this happens to you, you'll have to run WINIPCFG to repeatedly attempt to renew the address until you get something. Of course, if you are installing from a network with a different protocol, that will take its place instead.

Hopefully this turns out to be the most usable release of Windows 95D Lite to date, so I can get it off of my mind for a long time!

Version 1.3: the last update?

Version 1.3 is more of a refinement of version 1.2 than anything else. It fixes some broken drivers in the distribution, and adds support for a few new devices like the nVidia RIVA 128 and a selection of Crystal sound cards. It also moves 95D Lite closer to a pure form, opting to revert to the original setup wallpaper from Windows 95 RTM and restoring the original Windows Default sound scheme. UltraDMA is no longer enabled by default in response to reports that some systems had their CD-ROM drives disappear from Explorer, but you can turn it back on using the Device Manager.

I have experienced troubles in getting Sound Blaster ISA cards to work out of the box with this version. At this point, though, I've pretty much gotten everything I'd want out of what could qualify as an unofficial step-up from Windows 95 OSR2, and have no desire to add more things to it. Going forward, I want to focus exclusively on Redtoast, as the structure of Windows 98SE seems much better suited to handling a greater variety of new hardware and software, and runs just as well as Windows 95 on my Am5x86 with the old shell in place.

I'd like to thank Billy Coore for bringing more attention to this project. I hope Windows 95D Lite has been of use to you, and look forward to realizing the perfect form of Windows 9x one of these days.

What's new for version 1.2?

Version 1.2 addresses various issues with the previous release, including a bad Voodoo2 INF that wouldn't load the driver properly. It also removes the Dial-Up Networking 1.4 RunOnce routines without affecting the update itself to ensure your first logon is almost as quick as it would be in a normal OSR2 installation. Extra branding has also been removed, but can be restored with BRANDISH.EXE.

Back to hub