Inscription : 27 juin 2003 15:15
PC Rétro : 80486 DX2/66, MS-DOS & Windows 95
|The last versions of Internet Explorer for Windows 95 and NT have became so outdated that it's now strongly recommended to surf with another browser, at least if you have a proper hardware. In this tutorial, I'll explain how to use Firefox 2 (or SeaMonkey 1.1) and a tweaked version of Flash 7 (which simulates Flash 8 to improve website compatibility)... on Windows 95 and NT 3.51/4.0 !
A. Hardware requirements
Although Firefox 2 can work on old operating systems, your hadware has to meet some criteria:
If you plan to watch Flash video, the requirements should be even greater (probably a Pentium 4 with 256 MB RAM or higher). So, don't use these softwares on typical computers from Windows 95 era !
Pentium 233 MHz (Recommended: Pentium 500MHz or greater)
64 MB RAM (Recommended: 128 MB RAM or greater)
=> That guide is intended for relatively fast computers running older operating systems (multiboot or virtual machines).
Officially, Firefox 2 requires Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 or higher. SeaMonkey supports Windows 95 and even NT 3.51. However, there are some bugs with older operating systems.
Fortunately, Nathan (alias ToastyTech) made custom builds of Firefox 188.8.131.52 and SeaMonkey 1.1.20pre, specifically optimised for Windows 95 and NT. A working version of Flash is also available => http://toastytech.com/files/95browsing.html
If you have problems to access this website, here some alternative links:
ToastyTech provides browsers in "portable" form, which means there is no real installation procedure. However, some DLL files are needed. To add Flash support, simply extract the archive containing Flash and copy the NPSWF32.DLL file to "plugins" directory of Firefox or SeaMonkey. Restart the browser.
C. DLL files
The presence of some DLL files is compulsory. The latter are localized in %systemroot%\system (Windows 95) or %systemroot%\system32 (Windows NT)
In Windows 95, you have to take into account these files...
In Windows NT 3.51, you have to take into account these files...
In Windows NT 4.0, you have to take into account these files...
Please note wininet.dll is only required for Flash (not for Firefox and SeaMonkey themselves)
D1. Guidelines for Windows 95
The simplest way is just installing Internet Explorer 5.0x or 5.5, as these browsers include all DLL files needed by Firefox (what an irony, aren't you?), SeaMonkey and Flash. Installing Microsoft Office 2000 is enough too.
If you don't want to install Internet Explorer 5.x or Office 2000, there is an alternative path:
1) Check the version of oleaut32.dll located in %systemroot%\system directory. If the number is lower than 2.40.4275, you have to replace it by a newer file. The DCOM95 component contains an updated oleaut32.dll
DCOM 1.3 for Windows 95 (Internet Archive)
2) If Internet Explorer 4 is natively included with your operating system, msvcrt.dll and wininet.dll should have already been on your computer. In fact, installing DCOM is enough to make Windows 95 C - aka OSR 2.5 - compatible with Firefox, SeaMonkey and Flash ! Apart from the last edition, no msvcrt.dll was shipped with Windows 95. If you actually need to download this file, here a link:
msvcrt.dll 6.0.8397.0 from Visual Studio service pack 3 (Internet Archive)
3) If Internet Explorer 3 or higher is natively included with your operating system, wininet.dll should have already been on your computer. That means that file is present on Windows 95 B/C (aka OSR2.x editions). If you use Windows 95 RTM or A (aka SP1 or OSR1), you can install Internet Explorer 3.0+. An alternative way is getting wininet.dll from Office 97/2000 Viewer. Windows 95 is now ready to run FireFox, SeaMonkey and Flash !
D2. Guidelines for Windows NT 3.51
1) Firstly, you should install the latest Service Pack (SP5):
2) Newer version of comctl32.dll and imm32.dll can be downloaded here:
Comctl32.dll and Imm32.dll from Windows NT 4.0 SP6 (Internet Archive)
Please note comctl32.dll is locked by Windows, so you have to rename the previous version (for example, by comctl32.old) and copy the newer one in %systemroot%\system32 directory.
3) Check the presence of msvcrt.dll in %systemroot%\system32 directory. If there is no a such file, you have to add it on your computer.
msvcrt.dll from Visual Studio SP3 (Internet Archive)
4) Check the version of oleaut32.dll located in %systemroot%\system32 directory. If that number is below 2.40.4275, you have to replace the file by a newer file. The Microsoft Libraries Update version 2 contains an updated oleaut32.dll
Microsoft Libraries Update version 2 (juin 1999) (Internet Archive)
Installation is mostly silent. Wait one minute after the start of installation before considering that's complete.
5) You have to reboot manually. Despite the upgrade of hard disk content, the older versions of comctl32.dll and oleaut32.dll remain in memory as long as you don't reboot.
6) Finally, you need to add wininet.dll in %systemroot%\system32 directory, for Flash. That file was shipped with Office 97. Windows NT 3.51 is now ready to run FireFox, SeaMonkey and Flash !
D3. Guidelines for Windows NT 4.0
The simplest way is just installing the latest Service Pack, as the SP6 includes newer oleaut32.dll (version 2.40.4277) and wininet.dll. Note: wininet.dll needs to be extracted from SP6 if you don't have a previous version).
If you don't want to install latest Service Pack or Office 2000, there is an alternative path:
1) Check the version of oleaut32.dll located in %systemroot%\system32 directory. If that number is below 2.40.4275, you have to replace the file by a newer file.
Visual Basic 6.0 SP3 Runtime (Internet Archive)
2) In addition to Service Pack 6, Internet Explorer 3 and later include wininet.dll. Because Windows NT 4.0 was shipped with Internet Explorer 2 in most variants (even with SP6 installed), that file can be missing. Installing Internet Explorer is a solution. An alternative way is getting wininet.dll from Office 97/2000 Viewer. Windows NT 4.0 is now ready to run FireFox, SeaMonkey and Flash !
E. Improve the experience
You can install AdBlock, Flashblock and Noscript for Firefox 2 and SeaMonkey 1.1.
Downloading files with Firefox on Windows NT 3.51
By default, Firefox 2 (at least the custom build made by ToastyTech) save downloaded files on Desktop. But that folder doesn't actually exist in Windows NT 3.51. As a result, you cannot download most files. To resolve that problem, you must choose another location (except root directory), or configure Firefox for "ask where to save files" each time. SeaMonkey is not affected by this minor issue.