When Windows won’t open

Question: A friend of mine has a Pentium 100 machine with 16MB RAM, and comes with Windows 95. He tried to install MS-DOS 6.1 into C:DOS which already has MS-DOS 6.22 in there. After installation was completed, the computer was rebooted and he could not get into Windows. The following message appeared: “This version of Windows does not run on MS-DOS 6.x or earlier.” I’ve installed MS-DOS 6.22 back in and it still didn’t work. I’ve also run config.sys and autoexec.bat step by step and they looked OK. When the computer was booted, it initialized the mouse, CD-ROM, sound card, etc. And then instead of starting Windows, it just went into DOS prompt. When “win” was entered at the C prompt, the above message reappeared. What could be the problem? –Julio

Answer: Your best bet is to reinstall Windows 95. If you don’t want to go through that hassle, find a Windows 95 boot disk and restart you machine with it. When the computer comes back up, type sys c: and the files that are causing you problems (command.com, io.sys, and msdos.sys) will be overwritten with the correct versions.

You mention that you have MS-DOS 6.22 installed. This would have been upgraded to MS-DOS 7.0 when you loaded Windows 95.

Kirk Reid, senior technician at West Edmonton’s CompuSmart store, explains: “Effectively, Windows 95 is broken up into two parts — MS-DOS 7.0 and the Windows 95 graphic user interface (or GUI, pronounced gooey). What this person has done is overwrite the DOS 7.0 startup files. The Windows 95 GUI only works on MS-DOS 7.0.”

You also mention DOS 6.1. Unless you’re mistaken, that’s IBM’s version of DOS. Microsoft didn’t come out with version 6.1. That’s definitely going to cause you headaches.

By the way, it’s not safe to install an older operating system over a new one, as you have discovered. This includes Windows 95, OS/2 and Windows NT.

To create a startup disk in Windows 95, click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add-Remove Programs. Then click on the StartUp Disk tab. Click on the Create Disk button and follow the instructions.