Windows 95 build 58s
|Build of Windows 95|
|OS family||Windows 9x|
Windows 95 build 58s is a Milestone 4 build of Windows 95. It is the first release of the Chicago Preliminary Development Kit (PDK) and the earliest available build of Windows 95, although earlier builds are known to exist. It was originally uploaded to warez BBSes in late 1993, lost, then found again in ~2003-2004.
New features and changes[edit | edit source]
- The installation interface and process have been completely overhauled, now being entirely GUI-based. It copies the Windows installation to the
CHICAGOfolder, then reboots.
- This build runs on top of a new version of MS-DOS, 7.0, which now starts Windows automatically.
- The "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" (
WARNING.BMP) wallpaper is used by default.
- It also features a new type of bootscreen, which is stored inside
LOGO.SYSin the root of the system partition.
WIN386.EXE, the main executable of the 32-bit virtual machine manager, has been renamed to
Shell features[edit | edit source]
- Program Manager and File Manager from Windows 3.x have been replaced by a new, unified shell called Cabinet (
CABINET.EXE), a very early form of Windows Explorer which is still 16-bit in this build.
- The new shell makes better use of the desktop than Windows 3.x, allowing the user to place icons representing programs, files and folders on it.
- At the bottom of the screen is the taskbar, which in this build serves as a folder for storing shortcuts, files and folders, not for displaying running programs like in later builds.
- Minimized programs instead appear similar to Windows 3.x, floating around the desktop as tiles with the program's name beside the icon.
- A new setup program to install Windows is used, but
SETUP.EXErequires to be opened in Windows. To start setup from DOS, run
RETAILfolder, which launches a basic Windows environment based on Windows 3.1. The older setup program previously used to install Windows 3.1 is still there, but is nonfunctional.
- The taskbar features three buttons and menus for accessing common commands: System, Search and Help menus, which were later merged into a single Start button.
- When shutting down, it shows a reminder that you can turn off the computer if there is no disk activity. However, after a few seconds, it exits to MS-DOS, as the safe to shutdown screen seen in later builds has not been implemented yet.
Application features[edit | edit source]
- When installed beside an existing installation of Windows 3.1x, Chicago can be configured to run that installation of Windows 3.1 in a window, similar to a virtual machine.
- Two versions of Clock and Notepad exist in this build,
CLOCK32.EXE, as well as
NOTE32.EXE. As the name implies, one of them is 32-bit and the other is 16-bit, although they are functionally identical.
- Two games, FreeCell and Hearts, have introduced. FreeCell is the only 32-bit game included with this build.
- WINBUG reporting tool (version 1.14) has included.
- Despite most applications appearing to be unchanged from Windows 3.1x, most of them have the version number of
4.00.58s. However, some instead have the version number of
4.00.58j, an earlier build.
- A new version of Media Player is included, featuring extra control options.
- The MS-DOS Prompt now opens as a window, but cannot be made fullscreen.
- Dr. Watson has been updated to version 1.00b and has an updated copyright date of 1991-1993.
- If Query mode is enabled in Tracker, it will ask for a reason every time the computer is shut down or started from a hard shutdown.
Control Panel features[edit | edit source]
- Several new control panel options have been added, and some from Windows 3.11 have been updated.
- The Mouse options have been overhauled, with a new menu design and options to change the mouse type and pointer appearance. The Keyboard options received a similar overhaul.
- Trying to open the Printers option results in a warning message redirecting the user to the File Cabinet instead.
- The Date/Time option has been updated with a design nearly identical to one that would be seen in the control panel of every Windows version up until Windows Vista build 5270.
- A new option called Window Metrics has been added, allowing the user to change various elements of windows, such as fonts and sizing. This would later be combined with the Color option and the Desktop option into the Appearance tab in build 81.
- The Drivers option has been overhauled with two tabs for System Resources and Installed Products respectively.
Bugs and quirks[edit | edit source]
- As with other Windows 9x builds, the hard disk needs to be partitioned and formatted before installing this build.
- The new setup doesn't ask for username and organization information, leaving the placeholder values of "Unknown User" and "Unknown Organization" in place.
- The floppy disk driver in this build is very buggy and won't work most of the time. Cabinet will either display nothing or garbage when the floppy drive is accessed. To access the content of a floppy drive, return to MS-DOS and copy the content to the hard drive.
- Even if no network is installed during setup, an error saying "Cannot find NETWORK.DRV" will be displayed on startup, but it's harmless and can be removed. See below for a fix.
- If you install directly from a CD, an error saying "Cannot access D:\" will be displayed on every boot, but can be skipped. See below for a fix.
- Cabinet will not remember your view settings and many of the menu options don't work as they're not implemented yet.
- Going to Programs > Main and trying to open Cabinet will result in an error that mentions "There is a known browsing problem in this release." and that "It will be fixed in the next release."
- Trying to run 'Chat' from the Accessories menu will result in an error about not being able to find
- The build may hang or crash randomly and can be rather slow at times.
- Some copies of this build are missing the file
_msnet.inf, which must be skipped for setup to continue.
Fixes and enhancements[edit | edit source]
Getting rid of startup items[edit | edit source]
Three programs are configured to run on startup by default: Dr. Watson (
DRWATSON.EXE), Chicago Beta Warning (
WARNING.EXE) and Tracker (
TRACKER.EXE). The former two can be disabled by removing their links (shortcuts) from the Startup folder, which is inside the Programs folder on the desktop.
Tracker can be disabled by removing it from the
load= value in the
[windows] section of
Configuring a CD drive[edit | edit source]
The best way to get the CD drive working is to use an Adaptec AHA-154x SCSI adapter and a SCSI CD-ROM drive, drivers will be automatically installed and they'll work. While ATAPI CD-ROM drive support is incomplete, this build can still access the ATAPI CD-ROM drive without hanging if installed prior to setup, unlike some of the later builds. Installing MSCDEX is recommended to use an ATAPI CD-ROM drive without any problem.
Fixing "Cannot access D:\" error[edit | edit source]
SETUP.INI and change the line
OldWinDir=, then save the file.
Fixing "Cannot find NETWORK.DRV" error[edit | edit source]
Create a dummy (empty)
NETWORK.DRV file inside the
SYSTEM folder or configure a network.
Hidden functions[edit | edit source]
JaGoTu managed to find some unused/hidden dialogs. Two of them are hidden in
CABINET.EXE (Window Animation and Minimize Window options) and one is in
DESK.CPL (Appearance tab), but they don't seem to have much functionality. After testing, the minimize animation does play, but the slider next to it doesn't seem to affect it at all. The minimize option doesn't work, nor does the appearance tab, although it does reflect the currently active theme.
To enable this, the files mentioned above must be placed in the
CHICAGO folder (
DESK.CPL goes into the
SYSTEM folder). Both dialogs in
CABINET.EXE appear as additional tabs in the Usability Testing Options dialog, and the Appearance dialog replaces the Screensaver tab on the Desktop control panel applet.
Build 73f has eliminated these two window options dialogs, suggesting that they were either replaced in 58s (need further proof here) or, more likely, they were abandoned afterwards as window tiles were phased out by then. The exterior labels persist in 73f and g, but are still hidden there. The first build to show it appears to be 81, which sheds the previous Colors control panel applet for the same purpose.
Old setup[edit | edit source]
There are many old setup files on the unmodified disc which may have been used in builds prior to 58s. Running
SETUP31.EXE /O:OLDSETUP.INF in the
RETAIL directory of the setup disc will launch the Windows 3.1x style setup, but the installation process will fail at the text stage due to 184 missing files.
It looks almost exactly like the Windows 3.1x setup, except for branding changes from "Windows" to "Chicago". It was possibly designed for a debug build of Chicago since it asks for many
.SYM files, a few debugger executables and batch files. Most of those
.SYM files are present in early Win32s builds meaning 32-bit support in Chicago was still at Win32s level in early June 1993. It also asks for many components from Windows for Workgroups 3.1x that are missing from the setup disc.
After copying files in the GUI portion of Setup, Setup will attempt to run
W31TOCHI.EXE which is not present in this build. Setup will then launch Network Setup and it will most likely fail due to missing files.
Despite this, it is possible to install this build using the old setup, but the result produced is only a semi-working version of this build with visual glitches. The boot screen is
SYSLOGO.RLE used by earlier builds instead of the new animated
LOGO.SYS boot screen. About dialog reports "Windows for Workgroups Version 4.00.58s" as the old setup copies the old
SHELL.DLL during installation. File Cabinet will fail to launch due to missing registry entries, but Program Manager (
PROGMAN.EXE) works fine. All program groups are present due to the Group File Converter (
GRPCONV.EXE) not being executed automatically upon boot. The old setup does not install MS-DOS, therefore it is required to have MS-DOS 7.0 installed before installing Windows.