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Flickr on Windows 9x

Andrew T.

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Yahoo's Flickr service has been frustrating me a lot recently. The website went through a major, script-heavy photo-page redesign a month ago; breaking compatibility with wide swaths of systems in the process.

Officially, the site developers limit "full support" to Firefox 3.6, Safari 4, Chrome 4, and IE7-8. Of course, none of these browsers work (by design, at least) on Windows 95, 98, ME, or NT4; and functionality with other browsers is a crapshoot. This is what I've seen:

Firefox 1.5: Performance reasonable, but many features (map, notes, set navigation, "Actions" menu) non-functional.

SeaMonkey 1.1: "Actions" menu works, but broken otherwise. User icons don't display, and performance slows to a jerky crawl whenever a photo page is open.

Opera 10.1: Full functionality; apart from a bit of flakiness. But...the browser soaks up virtual memory like a sponge when browsing the site, to the point where I'm often compelled to force-quit the application after viewing more than a dozen photo pages. I'm not sure if this is an Opera or Flickr problem, but I've only seen this behavior when viewing one with the other. Opera 9 behaves similarly, plus "notes" are broken in that version.

Flickr's own support forums were packed with negative comments for several weeks after the redesign went live (many from paying users who felt as if they had been conned into a bait-and-switch), but there's absolutely no chance of the old site coming back. With that in mind, is there any browser or hack that would enable Windows 9x users to achieve satisfactory functionality on Flickr once again?

I haven't tried Firefox 2 extensively (though from what I've seen, it displays many of the same problems as 1.5 and SeaMonkey), and post-10.1 Opera versions have given me nothing but problems on Windows 95.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, with KernelEx 4.5RC4, you have the ability to run newer browsers, BUT this option is only for W98, W98SE and W98ME. Maybe can help, since this seems to mention being based on KernelEx, however a rather older version. Not sure if this Shell Update can help to make W95 suitable for KernelEx and thence for the newer browsers.

So you can investigate the above, or upgrade to W98, then install KernelEx, etc.


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Andrew, I've read at another forum that someone got Firefox running on Win95. I'm curious if you've tried it? If I recall correctly you run a version without the Active Desktop update, right?

I'm not sure posting a link to another forum here is kosher, so I'll put the info below (first the original post, then some notes for another user:

Here's how I did it. Follow the procedure below exactly as I have laid out in steps.

ALL of the below files are mandatory for this to work!

1) Download and install Download details: Platform SDK Comctl32 Redistributables 5.80.2614.3600 (x86) (direct link) (50comupd.exe) (September 14, 1999)

--> Select NO when it prompts to restart your computer.

2) Download and install Download details: Platform SDK Redistributable: DCOM95 Redistributables (direct link) (DC95Inst.exe) (June 1, 2001)

--> Select NO when it prompts to restart your computer.

3) Download and install Microsoft Libraries Update (speu.exe) (1999)

4) Download and install Windows Sockets 2.0 for Windows 95 (direct link) (ws2setup.exe) (April 13, 1998)

--> Select YES when it prompts to restart your computer.

5) Upon rebooting, modify your registry as follows. Do not make any other changes to your registry that I have not laid out here! I am not responsible!

(a) Change the "Version" value from "Windows 95" to "Windows 98",


"Windows 98"]

(B) and change the "VersionNumber" from "4.00.1111" to "4.10.2222" (depending on your release of Windows 95, your original 4.00.xxxx may vary from mine, I have OSR 2.0 from August 1996)



6) These two changes to the registry will fool the Mozilla Firefox installer into thinking it is installing on Windows 98, when in fact it is running on Windows 95.

7) Now download the Mozilla Firefox 2.0 installer from Mozilla.org's FTP.

8) Now install Mozilla Firefox. Select Custom Install, and unselect "DOM Inspector" and "Quality Feedback Agent". These are unneeded tools and will cause your computer to crash. I have figured this out from experience!

9) After Mozilla Firefox installs, you will be prompted to finish and automatically run Firefox. Uncheck the box and click finish.

10) You're almost done! Now, go to Start > Find > Files or Folders, and do a search for "nsSearchService.js" and nsSafebrowsingApplication.js". You need to delete both of these files before Firefox will run properly! Firefox will appear to load but is guaranteed to crash if you do not delete these two files before running it! I have figured this out, also from experience!

After deleting these two files, run Firefox. You're all set to go.

Someone else said changing Windows version is unnecessary:

Actually, the Firefox2 setup installer works fine under Win95 WITHOUT making the registry changes to the Windows version. The setup program does not really fail on a Win95 system if you retain the Win95 version number in the registry. I've found out about this myself, tested and verified on an old Win95c computer. Just install the required Win95 patches, run the Firefox2 setup program, do custom install, uncheck the two installation options, finish install, delete the "nsSearchService.js" and "nsSafebrowsingApplication.js" files from the \Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components\ folder and then launch Firefox 2. Done.

Someone else mentions Firefox2/Bon Echo nightly build works too, not sure if there'd be any advantage to it over the final release

Edited by Steven W
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...I've read at another forum that someone got Firefox running on Win95...

I can confirm this, I read the same post and tried it for myself. I don't know if it will solve Andrew's original problem, but Firefox 2 will work perfectly on Windows 95.

Specs for the system I tested it on, and steps taken:

(Of course some of these are not/may not be required, included just in case.)

- Windows 95 C OSR 2.5

- IE 4.01 SP2 installed for the Desktop Update.

- Dial-Up Networking 1.4 Installed.

- DCOM95 and DirectX 8.0a installed.

- WINSOCK2 installed.

- IE 5.5 SP2 installed.

- WMP 7.1 installed.

- USBSUPP, USBUPD2, and USBQFE installed.

I did not use the registry hacks described in the other forum, or 50comupd.exe and SPEU.exe. Not saying these 2 updates might not be beneficial, but they are not absolute requirements.

Install Firefox 2 same as you would on a 98 system, unchecking the DOM Inspector and Quality Feedback Agent as described, and deleting the two files "nsSearchService.js" and "nsSafebrowsingApplication.js" files from the Firefox\components\ folder as described BEFORE attempting to launch Firefox.

One of the posters there claimed that Firefox 2 would crash on the first run. This did not happen any of the times I tried it, however it may be related to allowing Firefox to import settings from IE. I always tell Firefox "Don't import anything" because I use an Addon, PlainOldFavorites, to use all of my IE favorites instead of Bookmarks.

Also worth nothing that Thunderbird seems to function properly on 95 without any complaints, although I have not tested it extensively.

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Just to lay the issue to rest, I have used Firefox 2 on Win95. (Some of the various instructions for doing that make mountains out of molehills: No version spoofing or (choke) IE is required; the only out-of-the-ordinary step is to delete the two incompatible .js files; disabling the search box in the process. Because the functionality of Firefox 2 in the light of that seemed crippled compared to 1.5, I stuck to 1.5 on W95 until after it reached EOL, then switched to a combination of Opera and SeaMonkey 1.1.)

Of course, it's all a moot point. For Flickr rendering...

From what I've seen, [Firefox 2] displays many of the same problems as 1.5 and SeaMonkey.
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