View Full Version : Installing old program from floppies

26-12-2002, 09:49 AM
Hi Group
I am still resurrecting a computer after mine got hit by lightening. It is running w98se.
I am down from about twenty problems to four.
I have excel version 4 and install it from 5 3 1/2 disks.
The problem I have is that I don't know how to control where it is installed.
I have noticed when I installed stuff before it goes into the C program folder. If I then go to control panel I can remove it.
Not so Excel it isnt there.
On boot up it hangs on a black screen for 15 seconds with this on it C:\> PATH C:\ EXCEL
next line is:
My question is how can I put Excel in with the rest of the programs.
I know this version is old but it does the job.
Thanks for any help you can give me


Graham L
27-12-2002, 02:33 PM
Is this a DOS version of Excel? If so, it won't have the Windows installation things, like appearing in the Control Panel Add/Remove. I wouldn't bother about where it is installed ... just make a Shortcut for it, and perhaps a PIF file for it (if W98 has that ;-)).

You might need to add "c:\excel" to the path statement in c:\AUTOEXEC.BAT (use notepad to edit that).

27-12-2002, 02:39 PM
Thanks for replying Graham.
I suppose it could be dos only but i thought w3.1 was around then.
Could you explain in detail how to edit path statement.
Will this stop the hanging on boot?
Thanks again for replying.
Too all you other tossers who were too busy to help


Terry Porritt
27-12-2002, 02:52 PM
Dont be like that, you have to be thanful for small mercies in this life :)

I had an old set of Excell 3 on floppies once and it wouldnt load because disk 1 was looking for Microsoft Office, or was it disk 1 of Microsoft Office, anyway the floppies were part of Microsoft Office and not a stand-alone set.

Maybe yours is doing the same?

Graham L
27-12-2002, 03:10 PM
Umm. Is this actually stopping windows from starting? ... Of course, I''ve just realised what's happening :D ...

It has made the path (which is the default place to look for programmes --- including Windows!) point ONLY to Excel. I think EDIT will work so do "windows\edit autoexec.bat". (if that doesn't start try "windows\command\edit autoexec.bat" ... I don't know where EDIT.COM is )

Remove the line which says "PATH=C:\EXCEL", which is the last line. If it's the only line we have more of a problem. If you have other lines, just add ";c:\excel" to the line starting "PATH=". (You need the ";" to separate it from the last item).

If EDIT doesn't exist, boot from a DOS floppy and do this. Or you might be able to get windows started by typingpath=c:\windows;c:\windows\command;c:\excel
win Then use notepad. Someone will correct me if I got that wrong.:D

If the autoexec.bat is empty apart from this rogue line, let us know, and someone will post an AUTOEXEC.BAT for you to copy in. Or you could reinstall W98. ;-) Excel will still be there ... just make the shortcut to it, and add its path to the autoexec.bat.

The installation procedures changed quite a lot between W3.1 and W95. I don't know the details, but I'm pretty sure that W3.1 didn't have the uninstall requirement of W95 (and a lot of W95 stuff didn't have a working version :D).

27-12-2002, 03:52 PM
The only reason that a program appears in add/remove in the control panel is if the program has an uninstall utility included. In terms of getting it to appear in the program files folder, it might not be possible because back then file names were only 8 characters long. I have just let old programs install themselves in the default directory they give, so as not to cause any hastles.

27-12-2002, 09:21 PM
Excel is working fine.
The only problem I have is that on the boot up I get a black screen with stuff on it as per first post. This black screen hangs for about 7 seconds or so (I am guessing), Maybe the actual time to boot is quite fast.
It should be with 1200 chip and 256 mb of ram.
What I would like it to do is install excell in the program folders. Not on a branch off the c drive.
Thanks for your help so far I am going to have a go at editing the registry as suggested.


27-12-2002, 09:28 PM
Ted, I think that version of Excel was built for Windows 3.1 (which ran over DOS).
It probably won't have any links into the registry, as there was no such thing in Win 3x? Have you tried just moving all the folders over?

The old 16 bit software can be troublesome in later windows (ME and XP for certain)

Robin S_
27-12-2002, 11:15 PM
(1) Unless you have an odd version, Excel 4 required Win 3.1 or higher. I still have the manuals for it.
(2) Re can't find the folder, are you running Office 2000, perchance? My daughter's laptop has Win 98 plus Office 2000 and it has a wierd directory structure which lacks discreet programme folders for the Office progs at least. As I recall, the starting .exe files for the Office suite progs were all in a subfolder of the Office folder which contained no other files. I never found out where the rest of the prog files were.
(3) Did the Excel installation give you the option of specifying a destination folder? You may need to choose Custom setup to get that option, but this would be one way of getting it into a discreet folder.
(4) I have transferred an Excel 5 installation (and possibly also 4) to a new drive by simply copying the folder (plus copying about 5 .dll's and things into Windows\system), so you should be able to transplant it into a new folder on the same drive.
(5) If you have trouble locating the installed Excel files try Start, Find and search for excel.exe and xlhelp.dll ( I think the latter is present in Excel 4). This should reveal their homes.
(6) Re the hang thing. Win 98 does not need an autoexec.bat file but some progs require one. I would guess that at installation Excel has found none so created one and created a PATH=c:\excel command in it.
When an autoexec.bat is present Windows reads it at startup and, as Graham L. has said, is finding a pointer only to C:\excel (which is presumably empty if you haven't been able to transfer your files to it). I suggest that you call up autoexec.bat in Word and edit the path command to read PATH (or path)=c:;c:\windows;c:\excel and save the file back as a text only file. [This assumes that Windows is on your C: drive; also, if there are any other entries already in your path command just insert all after = above before the existing stuff]. Restart Windows and I think your temporary hangup should be gone.

29-12-2002, 10:56 AM
Thanks for your help Robin. I searched google for step by step instructions on editing a line in the autoexec.bat
At least I found the autoexec.bat by going start run sysedit.
There is one line there PATH C:\EXCEL;.
I see from a google search I cant use a word processor to edit it.
I cant find a procedure to edit the line in notepad or text.
Can anyone help please.


Robin S_
29-12-2002, 11:42 AM
In general you can't use word processors to edit the autoexec.bat file because they save formatted text which the operating system doesn't understand. However, if you use Word (and probably some other word processors as well) and save the file as text only it should work OK. In Word, open autoexec.bat (it will be in the C:\ folder) and modify the PATH line as I suggested in my previous post. When you have made the changes select Save As, and in the Save As dialogue box, under File Type select 'Text only' then 'OK'. I think you will get a confirmation box asking if you you really want to save the file as 'Text only'. Say 'Yes' and the file will be saved without any formatting. Then try a restart and hopefully everything will work fine.

29-12-2002, 04:05 PM
Thanks Robin
I edited path command of autoexec.bat file to PATH=c:;c:\windows;c:\excel in word as text only format.
On bootup all that has changed is the above command now hangs as before.
I tried deleting the command path and on boot I still get C:\
Doesnt seem to matter what the path text says Excel still works and I get a black screen that hangs for a while.
If I deleted excel version 4 and heaven forbid I bought a w98 version I would still have this stupid black screen on boot.
Any help appreciated.


Robin S_
29-12-2002, 08:00 PM
For a start, I made a slip in the Path command I gave you - it should read PAth=c:\;c:\windows ...etc. I left out the first \ - sorry 'bout that but in any case I don't think it would make any difference to your problem. Try that for starters, though, and see how it goes.

A few other things need clarifying. Where are the Excel 4 files currently? Part of your original post was that you wanted to move them, but have you done that? Does the folder c:\excel exist, and if so is there anything in it? There is no point in having a pointer (in the Path command) to it if it is not being used. Is Excel in your Startup folder (Start, Programs, open Startup folder)? If so, does it open properly at statup? Is there a shortcut to Excel on your Desktop? If so, R click on it, select the shortcut tab and check the entry in the Target box. Is it the same as the current location of the Excel files? When you were running Excel previously was it part of an Office suite? If so, is there any reference to MS Office on the Excel discs (see Terry Porritt's earlier posting)?

I agree that it is unlikely that there would be any advantage in installing a later version of Excel. It seems to me that the hang-up problem lies not with Excel as such (especially as it runs OK) but with the startup routine. If the autoexec.bat file contains only one line (PATH= ... etc) one thing you could try (but probably without gain) is to boot to DOS at startup (F8 when 'Starting Win 98' appears on the screen, select 'DOS [or command] prompt only') then change the name of autoexec.bat to something else so that it is not found and read. To do this, at the DOS prompt type ren autoexec.bat autoexec.bax, press Enter and then Ctrl+Alt+del to reboot. If that does stop the hang then we know that autoexec.bat is causing the problem - post back.