Windows 9X Boot-up Sequence
hidden file in the root directory of the primary drive. This
file is actually a small DOS core module. It starts the Windows
9X boot process and looks for MSDOS.SYS.
This is now a hidden ASCII text file on the root directory that
contains information about the boot configuration. For more
information on the configuration capabilities of MSDOS.SYS,
This program checks the integrity of the information in SYSTEM.DAT
(part of the Registry for Windows9X) and then loads it into
memory. DRVSPACE.BIN is also a compression program and if a
DRVSPACE.INI file is present in the root directory, it allows
for disk compression capability.
Part of the Registry, this file provides information about the
setup of the system, the different names of the devices, where
they are located and the location of the drivers to operate
them. It contains computer and software settings. It is similar
to the SYSTEM.INI file.
The other half of the Registry. This file contains user-specific
information such as screen colors, icon choices, application
It is similar to the WIN.INI file.
A user-configurable text file that usually contains device drivers
and system setup values. This file is not necessarily needed,
but if there are legacy (non-Win9X) devices, this is where they
can be loaded.
Another user-configurable text file that is used to set system
variables and load TSRs and some utilities. AUTOEXEC.BAT is
also not a necessary file for Win9X.
This file contains information about your computer's hardware
settings. It must be in the Windows folder for Windows to start.
It is used to load various drivers including sound, video and
mouse. It may also contain some 16-bit drivers for installed
hardware that doesn't use 32-bit drivers.
The virtual machine manager runs after AUTOEXEC.BAT, loading
other virtual device drivers it finds in the Registry and SYSTEM.INI.
WIN.COM then switches from Real Mode to Protected Mode,
initializing the different devices and loading the following
Contains most the Operating System for Windows9X.
These files are the graphics engines for both 16-bit and 32-bit
These files provide the User Interface and control the input
application information configuration.
This is the STARTUP folder and contains any application programs
that you may want to run everytime Windows9X starts.