Computer Rx: What you should know before loading Windows 95

Published in the Asbury Park Press 1/14/98

By GARY DECKELNICK

Q A friend of mine has two complete copies of Windows 95. He is giving one to me. This is a complete version, not an upgrade. Do I need to do anything extra to load it?

L.S.,
Lakewood

A If you are loading a complete copy of Windows 95 on a machine that already has data and an operating system, don't do it. You shouldn't be able to in any event; Windows should detect the existing system early in the install process and cancel itself. But sometimes that security feature has been faulty or people have hacked by it -- and they regret it. Windows 95 original equipment uses what is called FAT32, a new and unique method of partitioning the disk. It is incompatible with Windows 3.1 or the Windows 95 upgrade. You can force compatibility with disk partitioning programs but the system will never run properly and you could lose all your data.

If you are willing to format your hard drive to get the new system, it will work perfectly. Here's what you have to do:

Computer questions can be sent to Gary Deckelnick on the Internet at ghd@app.com or by writing to Techworld at the Asbury Park Press, 3601 Route 66, P.O. Box 1550, Neptune, N.J. 07754-1551.

Source: Asbury Park Press and the Home News Tribune

Published: January 14, 1998