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Shell 95 Update Project (SH95UPD)


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Shell 95 Update Project (SH95UPD)


NOTICE 2009/12/24: SH95UPD v0.0.8 beta is now released.

NOTICE 2009/12/23: I think that this is very bad news... SH95UPD may actually become permanently dead under my programming and management...

My 8-year old second-hand PC has finally been replaced... as it has suffered another major failure this December (The RAM modules were not being properly detected by the Mainboard), but I managed to get it fixed (By luck. I really didn't swap anything). My father got me a new laptop... with Windows 7 on it. :(

Since I got a new system... the old, ailing PC has to go... soon.... although not yet.

I feel like re-writing SH95UPD into C, under Open Watcom C instead, to make it more sleeker... but I think that that may not be feasible.

NOTICE 2009/11/02: Geocities Singapore (The web host for my website) is now dead, and all links pointing there are dead.


This project implements functions not found in the windows 95 shell but present windows 98, allowing the users of 98lite (sleek),

ROM, ROM2 to be able to once again run programs that would only work with the Windows 98 shell and not with the windows 95 shell.

SH95UPD is based on the KernelEX project, and is basically a stripped down version of KernelEX.

Currently it only tampers with Shell32.dll, adding functions present from the IE4 shell update to it.

This project neither requires nor includes files from Windows 98, and does not distribute any copyrighted files.

It is designed so that KernelEX(And similar software) can be installed over it, with almost no loss of functionality.

Starting with the Release candidate v0.0.2B, the SH95Version function is no longer included. Hence Kernel32.dll is now unpatched.

If you are installing SH95UPD v0.0.8 over a system with an older version of SH95UPD, please uninstall the older version before proceeding.

Please note that you would still need to hex edit DESK.cpl and replace all occurances of SHELL32.dll with SHELL32.w98 (Or the name of your Win98 SHELL32.DLL).

This problem seems to be a fault with 1 of the Win95 SHELL32.dll's internal functions, and is currently being addressed.

However, this should be the *only* file you would ever need to hex edit again.

SH95UPD v0.0.6 is the last build of SH95UPD to be based on KernelEx 0.32a, while newer builds are now based on KernelEx 0.36.

This version of SH95UPD, v0.0.8, has major core changes from v0.0.7A. However, it may possibly have many new bugs.

Please discuss any "new" bugs introduced in v0.0.8(Crashes or unusual behaviour that were not present before installing SH95UPD v0.0.8) at the SH95UPD thread at the MSFN forums.

All the binary files provided in this released have been pre-compressed with UPX.

UPDATE 2009/12/24:

IMPORTANT! SH95UPD v0.0.8 has some extreme core changes done to it (View the changelog for details).

Hence you can consider it to be a "Ultra Beta", a much bigger beta than v0.0.7 when it was initially released.

Frankly, I have not really heavily tested this, but I have yet to encounter any flaws. Please report any _new_ crashes you may encounter.


Credit goes to Xeno86 and (x).


- Windows 95, Windows 98 Standard Edition, Windows 98 Second Edition or Windows Millienium

- Any locale and kernel version

- Windows 95 Shell (Any version, but must be from a pre-OSR2.5(Pre-Windows 95C) Windows 95 build) already installed and working

Thank you all SH95UPD users for your support.


New project homepage (Lists all SH95UPD related posts):


The latest version is v0.0.8, and latest stable version is v0.0.7A.

The link to the homepage below got changed somehow... please update your links.

Check the home page for more information and for the latest stable releases, release candidates, source code and tools.

Tools for new SH95UPD users:

Quicklaunch replacement for Win95 shell users: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showto...mp;#entry463508

IEridicator 2001 and IEridicator 2001A: http://www.litepc.com/ieradicator.html

Please avoid hot-linking directly to the files as the file names will change over time.


Rejoice 98lite users!!! :thumbup

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the MSN community!

Edited by sp193
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Actually, I am not very sure... I am not very sure whether KernelEX's GPL licence still applies for SH95UPD, so I left it in the source code, and it does not contain any copyrighted files.

Feel free to comment on the project though, although it may not be as good as KernelEx due to my lack of experience...

Anyway, I hit a snag while programming and I think that it will take a while to fix....as it appears to be a bug in the KernelEx 0.3.2a source code (I cannot import shlwapi.dll for the functions).

I am thinking of including an "Upgrade mode".... what do you think about that?

Please post here whether there are any problems running/installing SH95UPD.

Any suggestions are welcomed.

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I am not very sure whether KernelEX's GPL licence still applies for SH95UPD, so I left it in the source code, and it does not contain any copyrighted files.

Ensure yourself by releasing it under GPL, then ! :yes:

After that, you can "grab" ideas/features/codes from other open source Windows shells, expecially this one. :wub:

...and here's a couple of open source theming links to explore (for a possible integration):

  1. ShellWM, Windows skinning application to be used with a Win32 Shell replacement (like Litestep, geOshell, sharpE, etc.) or just native Explorer;
  2. CustomEyes changes most of the programs graphic components: the menus, the buttons, the borders...

Last but not least keep in consideration to join the Win9x Developer team ! :hello:

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What version of Windows 95 were you using? (Windows 95, Windows 95B...etc) And did you apply all availiable system updates from Microsoft? What was the error you received (can you give more details?)?

Anyway, did anyone have the "Cannot Launch Program" problem after rebooting after installing SH95UPD?

Edited by sp193
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  • 1 month later...

I just installed SH95UPD and :w00t: ! What a speed! Not just the shell is faster, but all programs!

Just one little problem...

ATI Advanced Properties Page doesn't load. I think it's because DllGetVersion is missing from SHELL32.DLL.

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Hmm, good to hear that the win95 shell works for you! I am currently trying to implement functions like DllGetVersion, DllInstall, etc in v0.0.4.

Well, I think that the missing DllGetVersion function may not be the problem. As a temporary fix, try hex editing the .cpl file for the ATI Advanced Properties Page and replace all instances of shell32.dll with shell32.w98 (or the name of your Windows 98 SHELL32.dll).

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I edited desk.cpl and it works properly now.

This is the private message I received. I hope you don't mind if I answer here.


As I do not have an ATI graphics adapter, I cannot replicate your problem easily. However, would you mind sending me a copy of the ATI Advanced Properties Page .cpl file so that I may try to fix your problem?


My bad english caused confusion. :(

It is not a separate .cpl file. ATI tabs are added to the Advanced Properties page in Display Properties. Without editing desk.cpl, these tabs do not appear and when I try to close Advanced Properties there is an error: RUNDLL32 caused an invalid page fault in

module <unknown> at 0000:7469726f.

Is there anything else I can do?

Edited by Marius '95
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Hmm, then I think that there is nothing much that can be done about this as the flaw.

There is a seperate .cpl file for the ATI display properties (eg It is nvcpl.cpl for NVidia) which is being loaded by Desk.cpl (or Deskcp16.dll), but is most probably not being displayed due to a incompatibility between the Win95 SHELL32.DLL and the Win98 desk.cp, therefore causing the crash you observed when you closed the advanced properties page.

The file desk.cpl would most probably need to be corrected (Possibly almost impossible?), as it is incompatible with the Win95 SHELL32.dll. As a temporary fix, hex edit the desk.cpl file, replacing all instances of shell32.dll with shell32.w98 (or the name of your Windows 98 shell32.dll file).

Your English is not bad, it is just that when you said that the ATI display properties page did not work, I assumed you ment that nothing happened when you clicked on a button on the ATI display properties page.

Edited by sp193
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  • 1 month later...

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