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Location: GUIs > Windows > Windows ME

I don't know if something got buggered up or if it was supposed to do this, but every time I tried to start IE, Outlook Express, or the Internet Connection Wizard, it tried to sign me up for MSN. Oh well I was only touching IE with my 10-foot pole so I could whack it in to the ground. Thank goodness for Netscape!

There is DOS here

Despite the rumors of its demise MS-DOS is NOT dead yet, although this time MS made an effort to sweep it under the carpet. You may hear that Windows ME has been redesigned to run without DOS like Windows NT, but that is completely not true. Underneath the hood Windows ME is just Windows 4.90 running on top of MS-DOS 8.00.

The above screen shot shows the system monitor indicating that two virtual DOS machines are open even though only one DOS box is open. This shows that Windows ME runs on top of MS-DOS just like Windows 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 95 and 98, but Microsoft made the following changes:

  • They removed the command prompt option from the F8 startup menu.
  • The "Exit to Dos" option in Windows shutdown has been removed
  • Windows ME now forbids applications from attempting to exit Windows to DOS. (There was an API that could do that)
  • Config.sys is automatically erased at boot up to prevent DOS drivers from loading.
  • The SYS command prohibits you from SYSing anything other than drive C: when using the emergency boot disk.
  • The FORMAT command's ability to make a system disk has been removed.
You can still run DOS applications in a DOS box exactly the same as 95 and 98. Applications that require real mode DOS (DOS without Windows) are not allowed to run.

The Windows ME emergency boot disk still boots to real mode DOS and programs can be run from there.

There is already a hack to allow Windows ME to boot to DOS at

New GPF Box

Windows now crashes differently. I guess with the DOJ on Microsoft's back they didn't want to hear about anything else "illegal" that would be "terminated".

This seems more like the way Windows 3.0 would crash. In Windows 3.0, every kind of program crash was an "Unrecoverable Application Error". Windows 3.1 added slightly more descriptive errors, and Windows 95/98 went as far as showing register dumps.

I don't think the BSOD has changed much, and I did get one of those but I am so used to those I didn't pay much attention to it.


Once again the best part of Windows ME.

I didn't feel like including a screen shot of it, but notepad STILL can not open large documents.