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Files in the Root of Windows 98

Working complete PC
Blank Diskette
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Room 6359"
The student will become familiar with the boot process of Windows 98, and
The student will be able to identify all of the files in the root of the C: drive.
The student will understand the nature and steps in the Windows 98 boot up process and learn the function of each file involved in the boot process. In this lab the student will learn the function of each standard file that can be seen in the root of the C: drive.


  1. The Windows 98 Boot Sequence and all of the files involved in the process are covered in MSM 2 Lecture #2.

    In this module all of the files in the root of the C: drive will be examined and identified

  2. Procedures

  3. First double click on My Computer and be sure that all files and file types are visible. Open the C: Drive. Click on View > Details. This causes Windows Explorer to display the files in columnar format with information very similar to the DOS DIR command output.

  4. Identify the DOS 7.x kernel files: IO.SYS, and COMMAND.COM, then the DOS 7.x user-definable boot configuration text files: MSDOS.SYS, CONFIG.SYS, and AUTOEXEC.BAT. This leaves the following files: BOOTLOG.TXT, SUHDLOG.DAT, FRUNLOG.TXT, SETUPLOG.TXT, NETLOG.TXT, BOOTLOG.PRV, DETLOG.TXT, RECYCLED (hidden directory), and SYSTEM.1ST.

  5. The last file named MSDOS.--- appears to be an unmodified backup of the Windows 9x MSDOS.SYS file that existed in the root of the C: drive prior to the installation. This will be created to support an uninstall. It is created in addition to the file MSDOS.DOS in the event that a binary executable DOS version of MSDOS.SYS is encountered by the installation process. If this is the case then MSDOS.--- will be empty.

  6. BOOTLOG.TXT is covered in the Using BOOTLOG.TXT and EXTRACT module.

    There is a thorough discussion of the Windows boot sequence and files in MSM2 Lecture #2, the DOS page covers CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, IO.SYS, COMMAND.COM, and Editing MSDOS.SYS module covers that file.
  7. BOOTLOG.PRV is a back up of the BOOTLOG.TXT that was created during the previous bootup.

  8. SUHDLOG.DAT - SetUp Hard Drive log, a binary file that contains information that the Windows 98 uninstall will use to perform a rollback to the previous conditions. The file contains the original Master Boot Record and DOS Boot Records of the hard drive prior to Setup.

  9. FRUNLOG.TXT - First run log, Windows keeps the BOOTLOG.TXT of the first bootup that displays the splash screen that says "Getting Ready to Run Windows for the First Time" in this file. See Full Instalation of Windows 98.

  10. SETUPLOG.TXT, NETLOG.TXT, DETLOG.TXT - These three are the text files are used by setup to monitor the progress of the hardware detection activities in the event that the system freezes during these operations. If it does you are invited to turn off the CP and turn it back on. This works because setup will read these logs and determine what was the last hardware detection act and bypass that so that device or activity and record it to the DETCRASH.LOG for future reference. If this file is found in the root then you know that the machine was turned off and turned back on during the hardware detection phases of setup.

  11. RECYCLED is the hidden folder that Windows uses to store the contents of the Recycle Bin. All deleted files. In actuality what is stored here are links to them and these appear to be unique from other *.LNK files.

  12. SYSTEM.1ST is the first backup of the SYSTEM.DAT Registry file. See Open and Use Regedit. This one is created before the first boot of Windows and therefore contains none of the information that the second boot up collects including the Product Key, User name and organization, and Plug-n-Play hardware device settings. As such, renaming this file to SYSTEM.DAT and moving it to the Windows folder can be as much trouble as just performing a whole installation from scratch since so many settings are lost using it.

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