You Asked Us May 1998

by Alan Zisman (c) 1998. First published in Computer Player, May 1998

Leszko <>  writes:

Would you answer to two my questions?
1. Where can I find a list of errors in Windows 95 (explanation of error codes)?
2. If there is checked SHOW ALL FILES option in the path: My Computer\View\Options\View
does it really mean that in Windows Explorer I will see all files located on my HD?

Alan Zisman replies:

1.  Personally, I haven?t seen a list of all errors in Win95. Even the otherwise encyclopedic Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit has no such list. The Web site: lists 30 Device Manager error codes, but clearly there are many more. Searching Alta Vista for: ?Windows 95? + ?error codes? returned about 29,000 hits? but nearly all of the first 20 were references to a joke list. Sorry, short of wading through all 29,000, I can?t find anything more inclusive.

2.  The Show All Files option, as the wording suggests, shows all files, including hidden and system files and folders. It?s ironic that Windows (all versions) includes an option to set a file?s property as ?hidden? when a simple options setting such as you described then lets it appear, and even allows it to be easily copied, run, or even deleted!

Michael Goldman (  wondered:

1) I would be interested in knowing your opinion on all the hype about Windows 98.

What will be new? will it still rely on DOS? will it have the patches built in for the TX Motherboards?

2) I currently have a Pentium Pro 200 system w/ 98 MEG EDO-RAM. I am not using NT so I'm not getting the full benefit of the Pro. I find my system slow. I use Corel 8, Adobe, Visual Dbase 7 etc. on a 95 platform.
I was considering moving up to a Pentium 11 266 on a TX MB w/ 128 MEG-DIMM . Do you think I will receive more speed for the money I will spend?

I would appreciate your opinion on this before I lay out the money.

Alan Zisman answered:

1) Win98 has the same relation to Win95 that Win 3.1 had to Win 3.0... i.e. a modest upgrade, incorporating the new hardware that has emerged in the past few tears (DVD, USB, etc), some modest performance-tuning, and few interface tweaks.

It will have exactly the same relation to DOS as W95 does (i.e. a complex inter-relation). Unlike Win95, TX support is built in.

While it's a useful but modest upgrade, my recommendation-- users with existing systems that are working well don't need to be in a hurry to upgrade, unless they want to take advantage of FAT32 support for large hard drive partitions.

If you buy a new system after the scheduled June 25th release date, it will most likely be included.

2) The P-II is better optimized for Win95 than the P-Pro was; that, the additional clock-speed, and the additional RAM will result in better performance.

Will it be SO much faster that you'll feel like you've gotten value for your money? Only you'll be able to tell that. All other things being equal, the clock-speed increase alone would result in about 33% improvement on CPU-intensive tasks. However, some of the studies in a field of psychology known as 'Least Measurable Difference' (notice how far we stray from computer hardware here) suggest that it take about a 50% improvement before most people really notice a difference... And computer performance also depends on other factors than raw CPU speed/power, such as hard drive speed, video speed, and amount/kind of caching (and the P-II uses less efficient caching than the P-Pro, with its large cache right on the CPU).

In an ideal universe, you'd be able to try out your new system, with at least some of your software, before purchasing.

Finally, Win95 has had its share of problems w. the TX motherboards... there are patches available from the motherboard manufacturers... discuss this issue with your vendor, and make sure that the proper patch for your board has been applied (and that you have a copy, in case you need to reinstall).

Gerald Parker queried:

I have an older 2x CD-ROM on my computer.  The problem is that it won't work under DOS mode.  Can you help me?

Alan Zisman responded:

You need two sorts of files to allow your CD to run under DOS mode... one file is specific to your make/model of CD... it needs to be loaded into CONFIG.SYS. The other is the DOS MSCDEX.EXE file (in C:\Windows\Command)... it should be loaded in AUTOEXEC.BAT.

For DOS Mode, these files can be loaded by editing the properties of your  C:\Windows\Exit to DOS.Pif file-- right-click on the file in My Computer/Explorer, and select Properties from the popup menu. Go to the
Program tab, and click on the Advanced button... you'll see fields for Config and Autoexec for MS DOS Mode.

You should have received a floppy disk with your CD-ROM, with the DOS driver; if not, you may have to go to your retailer, or check whether the CD manufacturer has a web page. Since this driver is different for
different CD-ROM models, it is not included with W95.

The Config.sys line should read something like:


(with the driver file that works for your model)

The Autoexec.bat line should read something like:


Note that the /D:MSCD001 should be identical for the two lines.

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan