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Nathan's MAD IE De-integration Lab


This page contains various archived notes and information about removing Internet Explorer from Windows 95 and 98. Bill Gates does not want you to read this.

Remove IE from Windows 98
How to install Windows 95 OSR2 WITHOUT Microsoft Internet Explorer 3
How to hide web integration in Windows 98 using IE OFF
Hiding web integration using TweakUI98
Hiding the Windows 98 / IE throbber
How to install Outlook 98 without IE 4

Remove IE from Windows 98

98Lite is an all-in-one product that enables you to remove most of Internet Explorer from Windows 98/ME and use the faster Windows 98 shell.

98lite gives you the ability to easilly:

The IEradicator tool that is also available on the site lets you remove IE 3 from an existing Windows 95 installation. (Although it is not as clean as installing Window 95 without IE 3.)

I have 98Lite screen shots on my Graphical User Interface Gallery.

There were a few "issues" with  the first versions of 98Lite when using the Windows 95 shell, but being a bit of a hacker I came up with some of my own solutions. All of these and more have been fixed in the current version, but I am keeping them posted in case they should help anyone else.

Problem: Win98 themes control panel applet does not change the icons.

Solution: Edit themes.exe with a hex editor and change the following:

at offset 1E5A (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80
at offset 24A7 (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80
at offset 24F5 (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80
at offset 25AC (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80
at offset 3546 (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80
at offset AD79 (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80

Problem: Desktop Properties applet crashes, and the color management tab and other video property tabs do not appear in the advanced section like they are supposed to.

Solution: (at least it works for me), Extract the Windows 98 version of SHELL32.DLL, rename it to SHELL32.W98 and place it in the c:\windows\systems folder. Use a hex editor to edit  DESK.CPL. Find and replace all occurrences of SHELL32.DLL with SHELL32.W98.

Problem: Can not create a new briefcase, it gives the error "A device attached to the system is not functioning" when attempting to do so.

Solution: (at least is seems to work for me), If you have not already done so,  extract the Windows 98 version of SHELL32.DLL, rename it to SHELL32.W98 and place it in the c:\windows\systems folder. Use a hex editor on SYNCUI.DLL.  Find and replace all occurrences of SHELL32.DLL with SHELL32.W98.

Problem: The "Effects" tab does not let me change the desktop icons.

Solution: (Again, this worked for me), The problem is that the 95 explorer looks in the local machine settings (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) while Windows 98 looks in the user settings (HKEY_CURRENT_USER). Really the problem should be corrected in the explorer.exe, but I could not quite hack that. A workaround then is to edit the PLUSTAB.DLL with a hex editor and change the following:

at offset 26e6 (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80
at offset 2725 (hex) change 01 00 00 80 to 02 00 00 80

Note that the "Effects" tab may no longer modify the desktop icons if the Windows 98 "Enhanced" desktop is used.
Also note that the Recycle Bin will not instantly change to the icon you select. Simply closing and re-opening the recycle bin after making your selection will cause the correct icon to appear.

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How to install Windows 95 OSR2 WITHOUT Microsoft Internet Explorer 3. Just like Bill says you can't.

The original 14 floppy disk version of Windows 95 did not include IE at all. However, when Microsoft released the CD version of Windows 95, and later Windows 95 OSR2, they neglected to include uninstall files for several unessential applications that only hogged hard drive space. These applications are:

The Online Services and the Microsoft Network files are easily deleted by deleting their folders. Internet Explorer along with it's MailNews can be uninstalled by installing the downloadable version of IE 3 and then uninstalling, although this leaves behind a ton junk. Wouldn't it be nice to get a clean install of Windows 95 without all of this trash? Here is how:

1: Get a Windows 95 OSR2.x CD and copy the win95 folder to a folder on the hard drive
2: Extract the file SETUPPP.INF
3: Edit the SETUPPP.INF file and delete lines referring to the following files:

4: If you deleted the reference to msinfo.inf, you may now delete the files: CS3KIT.EXE, SETUP25I.EXE, SETUP32.EXE and WOWKIT.EXE.
5: The file LAYOUT.INF should already be present. If not, extract it.
6: Edit the LAYOUT.INF file, find where it lists SETUPPP.INF and change the file size to match the new SETUPPP.INF you created. (If you don't, setup will bomb out thinking the file is corrupted).
7: If the hard drive is partitioned and otherwise clean, you may now run setup. You may also want to burn these files to a recordable CD if you have access to one for future installations.

If you are using Windows 95 OSR 2.5 also delete the following files:
And the CONTENTS folder if it exists.

NOTE: Running this modified install as an upgrade on a system that already has any version of IE will not remove IE.
NOTE: When looking for files, the Windows 95 installer first looks in the current folder and THEN in the cabs. The files you extracted will be used in place of the ones in the cabs.
NOTE: If you plan to use another web browser that makes use of Internet shortcuts, you will need to extract URL.DLL and SHLWAPI.DLL to your system folder. Also place a copy of URL.DLL in your C:\WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP folder.

BUGS: I have noticed, that if Setup does not reboot right after finishing (the point where it asks you to set up printers), and tries to launch Explorer instead, you may get the error "DESKTOP not found, the folder has been moved or removed" and Explorer will not start. I think this is caused by something not running in the mos.inf (Microsoft Network) file, but I am not sure. If that happens, just press CTRL-ESC to start task manager, and either manually run Explorer, or restart the computer.

I have tested this with Windows 95 OSR2 (cab dates: 8/24/96), and it works great. OSR2.1 is exactly the same as OSR2.0, except the USB update file is included on the CD. This method might also work with the original Windows 95, although msinfo.inf would not be present. I have not tested these instructions with OSR 2.5, but it sounds like it should work.

I have installed using this method on a number of computers and they worked perfectly.

When you are done you might want to add this logo. To install it, rename the bitmap to logo.sys and place it in your root directory.

Download without.zip (43.2 kb)

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How to hide the web integration in Windows 98 using IE OFF

Microsoft assumes that everyone wants to view the contents of their hard drive as if it were a web page. Where did they get that stupid idea? By asking newbies who have only used a computer for web surfing? Certainly they did not ask computer experts or system administrators.

Microsoft must have felt a little guilty because they did put some options in Windows 98 that allowed the desktop to look slightly more like the good old Windows 95 desktop. Unfortunately you have to search all over for them, however there is a little bit of hope.

There is a utility at Windows 98 Annoyances that supposedly will allow you to easily hide Bill's horrible mistake. It won't uninstall IE 4 (to bad), and it is still using IE 4 for the desktop, but at least it should look more like Windows 95. And if Bill comes to your house and yells at you for not liking his new integrated desktop, the same utility can easily turn it back on.

Try: IE OFF from Windows 98 Annoyances

Note: I tried this utility. Basically all it does is remove the desktop shortcut to IE 4 and hide the application quick launch tray on the taskbar. Disappointingly it didn't even touch the way the folders were displayed. If all you want to do is HIDE all of the web integration stuff, try 98lite instead and use the shell swap option to disable web integration using the 98 shell.

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Hiding web integration using TweakUI98

TweakUI is a utility program located on the Windows 98 CD that allows you to change many advanced settings of Windows. Many of these options relate to the new "web integration" allowing certian features to be disabled or hidden. Most of this is the same thing IE OFF does, but the advantage to TweakUI98 is that it gives you control over each little feature.

This is the method I have used to squash integration and return the "95" look to several computers infected with Windows 98/IE 4.

Under the TweakUI 98 general tab disable the following:

Under the Explorer tab, disable the following: Under the IE 4 tab, disable the following: Under the Desktop tab, remove the check by the Internet Explorer logo.

Under the My Computer tab, remove the check next to Inetcpl.cpl if you don't use it.

Other settings:
From the desktop settings - effects tab - disable show windows contence while dragging.
From a Windows Explorer window - view - toolbars - remove check by each tool bar, then  view - folder options - view tab - click "like current folder"

Additionally, there are a few more usless "integration" features that need to be disabled. The quickest way to do this is to use a .reg file with the following information:



Finally, to top this all off: Kill the stupid throbber. (see next section)

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Hiding the Windows 98 / IE throbber

Hey Bill Gates! *THROB OFF!*

That is, turn off that ridiculous animated "Throbber". :)

What is a "throbber?"

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, a "throbber" is the animated graphic that appears in the upper right corner of most web browsers. The function of a throbber is to let the user know, by displaying animation, that the browser is busy retrieving information.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has started throwing throbbers in everything they touch in the name of "web integration." Normally throbbers can be hidden by hiding the toolbars, but there is no option given in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4/5/6, the IE 4 "shell update", or Windows 98/ME/2000/XP to hide the throbbers.

What is "ThrobOff?"

ThrobOff is a small collection of Windows registration files that lets you choose to display or not display the animated throbber - without breaking or altering Windows or IE in any way. To use it, unzip the Throboff.zip file in to a folder and double-click the desired Windows registration file. The files are as follows:

IEThrobOff.reg - Hides the throbber and toolbars in Internet Explorer 4, 5, and 6.

IEThrobOn.reg - Restores the throbber and displays all toolbars in Internet Explorer 4, 5, and 6

ShellThrobOff.reg - Hides the throbber and toolbars in the IE 4 "enhanced" shell and the Windows 98/ME/2000/XP shell.

ShellThrobOn.reg - Restores the throbber and displays all toolbars in the IE 4 "enhanced" shell and the Windows 98/ME/2000/XP shell.

For the best results, close any Explorer or Internet Explorer windows before loading the registration file.

Note that although the toolbar settings are altered by these files, you can set them back however you want them using the Windows Explorer or IE "View" menu. This is the result of having to save the complete toolbar configuration rather than just the throbber setting.

How does "ThrobOff" work?

All the registration files in ThrobOff do is clear a single bit in each of the toolbar setting keys.

There are three keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\ShellBrowser
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\Explorer
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser
With binary values named "ITBarLayout" that contain information about the layout of the toolbars.

The bits in the byte at offset 10h in "ITBarLayout" determines which toolbar elements are displayed. The bits function as follows:

Bit 1 -navigation buttons
Bit 2 -address bar
Bit 3 -links
Bit 4 -throbber
Bit 5 - Always on?
Bits 6-8 - nothing

Internet Explorer and the "enhanced" shell have options in their "View" menu that change bits 1, 2 and 3, but not 4. Bill doesn't want you to turn of the throbber. Now go turn it off.

Download ThrobOff now: ThrobOff.zip 2.59KB 

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How to install Outlook 98 without IE 4

This is incomplete and only partially works. For use on 98Lite without IE or Win95 with minimal IE 5:

Copy the following files in to a folder on the hard drive from the Outlook 98 CD:

These are the files that have nothing to do with IE. (the IE files all had similar date stamps)

Run the Outlook 98 setup from this folder.

Outlook 98 will install, but the installer will fail to install IE. (YIPPEE!)
Specifically it will report that the following components did not install:

Internet Explorer 4.01 Web Browser
Microsoft VM for Java
Internet Connection Wizard
Microsoft Internet Explorer Core Fonts
Internet Explorer Classes for Java
Microsoft Outlook Express
DirectX Layer
Microsoft DirectDrawEX
DataComponents for Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer Channels
Browser Customizations
128 Bit Encryption Update

Why anyone would need any of this just to write a message to the guy in the next cube is beyond me anyway.

There will now be an "Outlook" icon on the desktop. If you try and start Outlook now, it will lie to you claiming that it needs IE 4 to run.

Open REGEDIT and browse to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer". In this key, create the string value named "Version" and give it the value "9.99.9999.9". (The name might be case sensitive).

You may now start Outlook 98.

Actually, this trick does not seem to work quite right on Windows 95, but If this were on an IE free version of Windows 95 then, clicking "Outlook Today", bringing up certain options dialogs, or viewing an HTML message may crash Outlook 98. Otherwise you can send and receive RTF messages, use the scheduler and other features. To fix these crashes in Windows 95 you will need the updated COMCTL32.DLL, the DCOM95 update (for the enhanced OLE32), MSHTML.DLL from IE 4 and possibly a few other files. (That is what happens after installing Outlook 98 with IE 4 and then uninstalling IE 4)

If you installed on 98Lite, it should work pretty good. It looks like "Outlook Today" might be getting a little messed up perhaps because there is no Java support, but it does display. I would rather just delete Outlook Today anyway.

This method is also useful in preventnig the installation of extra IE 4 junk on a 95 machine with minimal IE 5 installed. The only components Outlook 98 actauly uses is the IE core, the Microsoft Java VM, and VBScript support.

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