Windows 95, 98 and NT Setup Switches


If you try to install Windows 95/98 from a DOS prompt, SETUP allows several command line switches, also available to their Windows based counterpart.

Run this the following command for available parameters:


“Setup Options: SETUP [/C] [/IL] [batch] [/T:TMP] [/IM] [/ID] [/IS] [/IQ] [/IN]


Instructs Setup not to load the SmartDrive disk cache.


Loads the Logitech mouse driver instead of the Microsoft mouse driver. Use this option if you have a Logitech Series C mouse.


Specifies the name and location of the file that contains Setup options.


Specifies the directory where Setup will copy its temporary files. If the directory doesn’t exist, it will be created. WARNING: Any existing files in this directory will be deleted.


Skips the memory check.


Skips the disk-space check.


Doesn’t run ScanDisk.


Skips the check for cross-linked files.


Runs Setup without the Network Setup module.


The /a and /n switch options are no longer valid.
Use NETSETUP.EXE instead.

New documented Setup switches included with Windows 98/98 SE:

/IE Bypasses Startup Disk Wizard. The %windir%\Command\EBD folder and the Emergency Boot Disk (EBD) are not created.
/IH Skips Registry check.
/IV Skips billboards display during upgrade Setup from within Windows.

Undocumented Setup Switches:


Bypasses detection of unsupported plug and play devices.


Bypasses detection of system CMOS/BIOS and does not update the Master Boot Record (MBR).


Bypasses Microsoft EULA licensing screens/dialog boxes.


[EULA = End User License Agreement] “SETUP /iw


Bypasses existing Operating System detection.

Note 1:

By default OEM/VAR Win95/NT full releases can be installed only on a new PC, without any previous OS, but this switch allows Setup to circumvent this issue.

Note 2:

Also, you can also create a new file in the root directory of your boot drive, size is irrelevant, and name it NTLDR, with no extension.

Note 3:

You may need to reconfigure the printer port in your BIOS to have ACPI work properly on your Windows 98 system.

Use of Additional Install Switches


The /P switch allows additional switches to be used after those noted above. To use additional switches, you first include the “/P” switch, then a space and then the additional switches thereafter, separated by semicolons (;).

Example:  /P b;f;g=;i;p

Valid Values


Enables the “Prompt Before” mode, allowing step-by-step manual device detection. Default is disabled.


Enables “Clean Registry” mode: Builds a new Registry from scratch before starting hardware detection. Ignored if SETUP runs in GUI mode. Default is disabled.


0 – 3 Controls the level of progress bar display. Maximum level is 3, showing all detected devices resources. Default is 0.


Bypasses detection of plug and play BIOSes/devices not listed in MACHINE.INF. Default is disabled.


Installs ACPI support. (Windows 98 only)


Enables performance timing logged in DETLOG.TXT. Default is disabled.

These value are preceded by a slash “/”


Runs SETUP without mouse support.


Bypasses internal processor detection, to allow Win95/98 install on systems that do not meet Microsoft minimum requirements (i.e. 386, 486SX etc). This is important especially for Windows 98!


Bypasses usage of installed Windows configuration and ignores existing settings in System.ini and Win.ini.


Skips Setup.inf “AfterProvider” section.


Skips Setup.inf “BeforeProvider” section.


Win98 boots without 16-bit real mode drivers.

If “KeepRMDrivers=1” setting absent from the Registry, 16-bit drivers are not run from Config.sys or Autoexec.bat.


Performs quick Setup.

Uses CacheFindFirst for filenames and speeds up DOS Setup. Verify for copied files is off.


Keeps Scandisk window visible during Setup. This is useful if Setup halts during Scandisk operation.


Skips codepage checking. Allows usage of different codepages for DOS and Windows.


Skips language conflicts.


Skips Registry check.


Loads custom Setup.inf. Allows unknown drivers to install.


Specifies directory used by temporary setup files.


If Setup runs from DOS or Windows/WfWG 3.11 on necessary DLL’s are copied. This permits Setup to run on non-working Windows/WfWG 3.11 systems.


Automatic notification to NT domain. Win98 asks for network notification upon first load. Works only in server based networks with NT controlling usernames.


Creates custom directory for Win98 Setup files. New components are installed from this location.

The corresponding Registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup


Bypasses playing of Setup sounds (.WAV).


Bypasses Windows/MS-DOS program check. Valid values: 0 = Default. 1 = Windows programs not checked, MS-DOS programs blocked. 2 = MS-DOS programs not checked, Windows programs blocked. 3 = Windows and MS-DOS programs not checked.


Bypasses Migration.dll settings and forces Windows 98 to overwrite newer files (Use with caution!). Files that use .INF file “,,,32” flag force Windows 98 SETUP to keep newer versions.


Bypasses prompt to remove floppy disk from the drive. Used for bootable CD-ROMs. Same as: 1. BootCD file present in the cabinet folder. 2. “BootCD=1” line present in MSBATCH.INF.


Bypasses running HWINFO.EXE at 0 percent files and RunOnce.


Bypasses SETUPX version check.

The following Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles explain the majority of the documented Windows 95, 98 and NT Setup switches.

Note:  Not all these SETUP parameters work with all Windows releases. You will need to test them to determine which are valid for your individual situation.

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