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Running Windows 95 OSR2 on Pentium 4 hardware - booting error

  • 14-02-2020 1:47pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 3,293 ✭✭✭ TheBoyConor


    So many here will know i like old retro systems.

    The latest just for fun project is a refurbishment of an old system I got off of for €20 in Laois.
    Specs are as follows:
    MB: AOpen Mx 46-533GN w. SIS 651/962L chipset
    CPU: Pentium 4, 3.4 Ghz
    RAM: 256MB DDR 333Mhz
    HDD: 80GB drive that I already had from a scrapped Dell.

    My ultimate goal is to arrange a treble boot of 95, 98 and Me on this machine.

    And now the problem I face that I hope someone here might be able to advise on is this.....
    I have made a boot disk and installation ISO and have proceeded through the installation on a 2GB partition which I made using FDISK.exe on the boot disk. However, when I go to boot the OS the first time after installation I get an error saying "Windows protection error, you need to restart your computer" and rebooting doesn't help.
    After some googling, it appears that Windows 95 has a limitation of a 2.1Ghz CPU or else it shíts itself and won't boot. There is a fix for this that uses another floppy image to patch the OS, which I have done.
    That brings me forward to another error - HIMEM.sys corrupt or missing. I tried recopying this into the Windows directory from the boot disk but no joy.

    So i was considering two other hardware mods to solve it:
    1. Underclocking the CPU from 3.4Ghz down to sub 2.1Ghz to come in below the OS's limitation.
    2. Purchasing a cheap P4 1.7Ghz CPU compatible with the chipset to give a hardware configuration more likely to satisfy the limitation.

    i have tried looking for a Pentium II motherboard but they are so old they are a) scarce and b) very expensive.

    Has anyone ever came across a the issue of the 2.1Ghz limit and the HIMEM.sys error and if so how did you get around it?
    And any other suggestions or ideas are more than welcome.