Scrapped Files from the Windows 95 Startup Disk

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As can be found in MSDOS.INF, Windows 95's startup disk was once intended to include several additional programs, including MSCDEX.EXE for handling real mode CD-ROM drivers.

Such programs ended up not being part of the startup disk by default, possibly to fit everything onto a 1.2MB 5.25" floppy disk and leave a couple hundred kilobytes of free space. By uncommenting some lines in the INF file and adding a few new entries for your startup files and preferred CD-ROM driver, Windows 95's startup disk creation tool will let you create a more complete boot disk to use for reinstalling Windows 95 or performing diagnostics.

To avoid being prompted for extra files every time you create a startup disk, create a new Windows 95 installation CD or network share and add entries to its LAYOUT.INF file pointing to your own files. If you have an existing Windows 95 installation with setup files located on the local hard drive (\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS for instance), you should be able to copy the new files to the local directory and modify LAYOUT.INF in \WINDOWS\INF to point to them.

This video was originally created on March 2nd, 2019.

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