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Windows 95 Distribution Disk Storage Overview

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This appendix provides an overview of information about the system files supplied with Windows 95.

Windows 95 is stored on the distribution disks as cabinet files (*.CAB). When the Windows 95 disks are created, files are compressed into folders. The Windows 95 files are read in and written as one, continuous byte-stream, which compresses the entire stream and divides it into folders as appropriate. Folders can fill one or more cabinets. The following defines the terms used to describe the distribution files.

Cabinet.

A normal file that contains pieces of one or more files, usually compressed.

Folder.

A decompression boundary. Large folders enable higher compression, because the compressor can refer back to more data in finding patterns. However, to retrieve a file at the end of a folder, the entire folder must be decompressed.

The Windows 95 distribution disks use distribution media format (DMF), which is a special read-only format for 3.5-inch floppy disks that permits storage of 1.7 MB of data.

On This Page

Using the Extract Program to Extract Files
Setup Files Overview
Directory File Structure and File Locations

Using the Extract Program to Extract Files

The Extract program supports command-line extraction of files from the cabinet (*.CAB) storage format on disk. Extract does not support any other compression system (that is, it is not backward-compatible with any previous Microsoft disk utilities).

The Extract program (EXTRACT.EXE) can be found in the Windows COMMAND directory, or on the Windows 95 disks.

Important: The information in this section is provided for use if your product support representative indicates that you should use the Extract program to extract a compressed file from the Windows 95 cabinet files.

In general, you should use the Add/Remove Programs or Network options in Control Panel to install applications and supporting software from the Windows 95 disks.

If system files are missing or damaged, run Windows 95 Setup from the Windows 95 disks (or network distribution source), and choose the option to validate and restore files.

Syntax

extract [/y] compressed_file [destination_file]

– Or –

extract [/y] [/A] [/D | /E] [/L location] cabinet_file [file_specification ...]

Parameters

/A

Process all files in a cabinet set, starting with the cabinet_file.

/D

Provide only a directory listing (do not extract).

/E

Force extraction.

/L location

Use the directory specified by location, instead of the current directory, as the default location to place extracted files.

/Y

Overwrite files in the destination without prompting. The default is to prompt the user if the destination file already exists, and allow one of the following:

  • Overwrite the file

  • Skip the file

  • Overwrite this file and all subsequent files that may already exist

  • Exit

compressed_file

This is a cabinet file that contains a single file (for example, FILE1.EX_, which contains FILE1.EXE). If destination_file is not specified, then the file is extracted and given its original name in the current directory.

destination_file

This can be either a relative path (.:, .., C:FILE1, and so on) or a fully qualified path. This can specify either a file (or files, if wildcards are included) or a directory. If a directory is specified, then the filename stored in the cabinet is used. Otherwise, destination_file is used as the complete filename for the extracted file.

cabinet_file

This is a cabinet file that contains two or more files. If no file_specification parameter is specified, then a list is displayed of the files in the cabinet. If one or more file_specification parameters are specified, then these are used to select the files to be extracted from the cabinet. Wildcards are allowed to specify multiple cabinets.

file_specification

This specifies files to be extracted from the cabinets. This can contain the ? and * wildcards. Multiple file_specification values can be supplied.

The following table provides some examples.

Command

Behavior

extract filename.ex_

Assuming filename.ex_ contains just the single file FILENAME.EXE, then filename.exe is extracted and placed in the current directory.

extract filename.ex_ file2.exe

Assuming filename.ex_ contains just the single file filename.exe, then filename.exe is extracted and placed in the current directory in the file file2.exe.

extract cabinet.1

Assuming cabinet.1 contains multiple files, then a list of the files stored in that cabinet is displayed.

extract cabinet.1 *.exe

Extracts all .EXE files from cabinet.1 and places them in the current directory.

Setup Files Overview

The following table describes the key files used for Windows 95 Setup.

Filename

Description

SETUP.EXE

The real-mode Setup component that initializes Windows 95 Setup. If this file is started from MS-DOS, it calls the real-mode stub. If started from within Windows, it is a 16-bit Windows stub.

SUWIN.EXE

The protected-mode Setup components responsible for calling all other DLLs used in Setup.

SETUPX.DLL

The primary DLL used during the Copy Files phase to perform most of the installation procedures. It is responsible for reading INF files, handling disks, and copying files.

NETDI.DLL

The module called early in the Setup process to install networking services.

Also, the WININSTx.400 directory is created at the beginning of the Windows 95 Setup process. This directory contains a minimal set of files used during setup and requires about 6 to 7 MB of free disk space. This directory is removed upon successful completion of Windows 95 installation.

Directory File Structure and File Locations

The following shows the typical default directory structure created for Windows 95.

\Windows
   Command
   Config
   Cursors
   Desktop
   Fonts
   Help
   Inf
   Media
   Pif
   Recent
   Sendto
   Spool
      Printers
   Start Menu
      Programs
         Accessories
         Games
         Multimedia
         System
         StartUp
   Sysbckup
   System
      Color
      Iosubsys
      Viewers
      Vmm32
   Temp

Location of Key System Files

The following table lists the directories where various types of Windows 95 system files and supporting files are stored.

File type

Directory 1

Core Windows 95 files

Windows

Shortcuts to applications

Windows PROGRAMS

MS-DOS commands

Windows COMMAND

Printer drivers

Windows SPOOL\PRINTERS

Help files

Windows HELP

Font files

Windows FONTS

Setup and device installation files

Windows INF

PIF files

Windows PIF

Drivers

Windows SYSTEM

VxDs

Windows SYSTEM

I/O Subsystem

Windows SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS

Viewers

Windows SYSTEM\VIEWERS

VxDs added after installation

Windows SYSTEM\VMM32

1 "Windows" refers to the directory that is specified during the installation process to contain the Windows 95 files.

The following table shows where key Windows 95 files are stored when Windows 95 is installed on the local hard disk of a computer. For information about installing Windows 95 on a server for a network client computer to run a shared copy, see Chapter 4, "Server-Based Setup for Windows 95."

Description

Filename

Location

Real-mode operating system and system detection

IO.SYS

Root directory of startup drive

Command-line processor

COMMAND.COM

Root directory of startup drive

Real-mode stub to start Windows 95

WIN.COM

Windows

Protected-mode Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

VMM32.VXD

Windows SYSTEM

Registry

SYSTEM.DAT

Windows

Registry current backup

SYSTEM.DA0

Windows

Registry when first created by Setup

SYSTEM.NEW

Windows

User Registry

USER.DAT

Windows

User Registry first created by Setup

USER.NEW

Windows

Log of the Setup process

SETUPLOG.TXT

Root directory of startup drive

Hardware detection log

DETLOG.TXT

Root directory of startup drive

Log of Windows 95 startup process

BOOTLOG.TXT

Root directory of startup drive

Real-mode network configuration

PROTOCOL.INI

Windows

Location of System Files on Compressed Disks

If you install Windows 95 on a compressed drive, Windows 95 Setup will place the following files on the boot drive.

Windows 95 Files on the Boot Drive

AUTOEXEC.BAT

DBLSPACE.BIN1

MSDOS.SYS1

AUTOEXEC.DOS

DETLOG.TXT1

NETLOG.TXT

BOOTLOG.PRV1

DRVSPACE.BIN1

SETUPLOG.TXT1

BOOTLOG.TXT1

DRVSPACE.INI1

SUHDLOG.DAT1

COMMAND.COM

IO.DOS1

SYSTEM.1ST1

COMMAND.DOS

IO.SYS1

WINA20.386

CONFIG.DOS

MSDOS.---1

 

CONFIG.SYS

MSDOS.DOS1

 

1 Indicates a hidden file.

The WIN386.SWP file is added to the host drive by Windows 95 Setup. Although the host drive is usually the same as the boot drive, it doesn't have to be. For example, if part of drive D is used to create the compressed drive H, then D is the host for H, but C is the host drive. Therefore, WIN386.SWP will be placed in the root of D if Windows is installed on drive H. The remaining Windows 95 files are placed on the compressed drive in the specified Windows directory.

Windows 95 Setup adds the same files as listed earlier in this section to the boot drive when installing Windows 95 on an uncompressed drive that is not the boot drive. The only difference is that WIN386.SWP will be placed on the same drive as the Windows directory. For example, if you have drives C and D, and if you install Windows 95 on D:\WINDOWS, then WIN386.SWP will be on the root of D. Otherwise, it will be placed as described earlier for compressed drives.

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