My Windows 95 Post-Install Guide


To be completely frank, I’ve never really spent a lot of one-on-one time with Windows 95.
Using it doesn’t evoke any sense of nostalgia, and as a Win98 veteran I don’t really see it as a go to.

It’s the original OS that was running on my Toshiba Tecra 540CDT, and since moving back to 95 from 98SE it performs so much better. We’re talking about a system with 32MB of RAM and a Pentium.
The purpose of this guide is to provide some advice on what *I* like to do after a fresh install of Windows 95. What this is not is a guide on how to install Windows 95, or how to set it up so it works in your virtual machine.
Over here at ArizonaPalms we love real hardware!

Another thing worth mentioning is this guide is not meant to be followed step by step.
If you’re installing on a 486 with 16MB of ram for example, you might be better off skipping a few of these steps.
Let me know what works for you and what doesn’t!

There are a thousand guides on how to install Windows 9x scattered around the web, try this one on for size.
Once you have a fresh install of Windows 95C OSR 2.5, I’ll copy over all my drivers to c:\drivers for easy access. If you don’t have a CD drive or Floppy drive to copy drivers from, then I just remove the hard drive from the machine and put it into my USB to IDE adapter and copy them manually from my Mac.

It shouldn’t really matter what order you install drivers in generally speaking – although let’s say you have a PCMCIA network card in a laptop, you will need to make sure that you have the drivers for your PCMCIA chipset installed. Otherwise you will find yourself in a wild goose chase. You should be fine though as most chipsets will be Plug and Play.
 
Once you’ve installed all of your drivers, enable DMA on your Hard Drive/CD ROM drive. Make sure it’s supported though!

To catch up with the latest updates, Install the OSR2 Service Pack, This will install most updates from Microsoft along with some nice unofficial ones as well. If you’re really concerned about updating you can always try manually installing the ones that you need from this collection on Archive.org.

For a Web Browser, install Internet Explorer 5.5 SP2 or if you’re so inclined – It’s a shitty web browser so I don’t bother. You should try something like RetroZilla or SeaMonkey95
Opera 10.10 is another decent option but will need WinSock 2.0. Don’t expect to be able to access anything modern though.

I like to set up my SeaMonkey95 with theoldnet.com’s proxy service and RetroZilla for everything else.

I like to install WinRAR 3.80. A good file extractor is a must have for me.

Update to DirectX 8.0a if you think you might need it. I usually leave it as it is. If a game really needs a newer version it will generally have it packaged with the rest of the setup process.

You want USB support? Of course you do, it is 2021 so go ahead and install the eXtended Supplement Drivers! This will not give you USB 2.0 though. If you want USB 2.0 what are you doing installing Windows 95? Go run Windows 98SE or 2000 you maniac!

Once you get some USB Support you can grab the USB Flash Drive driver from ToastyTech.com, It won’t work with every USB Drive so it can be a bit hit and miss. My old 2GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro from around 2006 doesn’t work but my 8GB Toshiba from 2016 works fine.

If your system can handle it, try Daemon Tools 2.70. It will let you mount CD disk images like iso files, saving you from having to burn your game backups. It usually doesn’t work with CD Audio though.

Use PS2Rate to change the polling rate of your PS/2 mouse. I set mine to somewhere between 60 and 100Hz, it’ll really smooth out games and general use. Microsoft IntelliPoint is another great addition especially if you’re using a PS/2 mouse.

Install Cacheman 4.1 to improve system performance and stability.

I like having an Office suite on all of my machines – for Win95 I will install Office 97 or Office 95. I also like the Plus! Pack installed as well.

And that’s about it for now! If you have any suggestions or think something that I'm doing is stupid, please let me know.

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