How do I uninstall Win Me?

On my main system, Win95 was running like a champ. Then like a fool, I installed Win Me on my second, brand new hard drive, hoping to have two viable operating systems for use depending on my mood.

Anyway, I thought it would be as simple as specifying the D: drive (Win95 is on C: drive) during install, and Win Me would live happily on its own separate hard drive. (Later on I was going to figure out a more elegant way to boot to one OS or the other, besides getting into BIOS every startup.)

Anyway, somehow Win Me must have found Win 95 during install and setup, because the old autoexec.bat on the C: drive has a bunch of commands pointing to Win Me on the D: drive.

This is where I get lost. What all files in Win 95 did Win Me change? And how can I change them back?

Also, Win Me system help files describe uninstalling the OS using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. But the OS doesn’t show up in the list of programs to uninstall.

Ideas anyone?

I’m not sure what the problem is, but try here.

IANA computer geek, just a housewife with extensive experience with the idiocies of Windows. Well, what I would do, if I were in your situation, would be to figure on reformatting both the hard drives and just starting over with the Restore CD. [sigh] Choose which Windows version you want and stick with that. Put the other one away in the “Obsolete” shoebox. All the Windows versions have an unpleasant tendency to install inconspicuous little .dll files all over the hard drive, files which although tiny, nevertheless kick up quite a ruckus if Windows can’t find them. Uninstall rarely removes all of these. They linger, like ticking time bombs. I don’t think there’s any way you can persuade two different versions of Windows to coexist peacefully on the same computer, even if they are on two different drives. Visualize both the first Mrs. Jones and the second Mrs. Jones, living in the same house, albeit on different floors. Is this a happy situation? No.

Win ME has almost certainly been told, somewhere in the murky depths of its code, that it should assume that it’s an upgrade, and to go find all the remaining bits of Windows 95, 98, NT, etc. and eliminate them, even if it involves a “take no prisoners” raid into a neighboring hard drive.

And your last pitiful wail–“But the OS doesn’t show up in the list of programs to uninstall!”–strikes such a chord of pity and terror as to make the most hardened computer programmer weep. Yes, you have discovered the dirty secret to Microsoft’s success–Windows will not uninstall. That’s all there is to it. Windows will not uninstall. You’re lookin’ at reformatting your hard drive if you really want to get rid of it. I’m speaking as someone who unwisely, many years ago, upgraded from Win95 to Win98 (which sucked, as you probably know), and ended up having to reformat the hard drive, which involved losing everyone’s game scores, of course, and don’t think I didn’t hear about that for weeks afterward… :rolleyes:

Well, at one point I had Win98, Win2000, and WinME installed on one computer at once. I didn’t have a single problem.

There is an Uninstall option if you’ve upgraded to ME over your previous version, which is done with the Add/Remove files option. However, you installed it on a separate drive as a clean install, and to get rid of it now, you must format.

If you have a backup of Win95 system files, I would go ahead and format your WinME drive and restore your 95 system files. That should return your system to normal. If you don’t have backup system files, I don’t think there’s much you can do.

You can try searching at and

Use the boot disk to get to DOS, type: uninstall

You get one shot at it & that’s it.

Duck Duck Goose:

Sure you can. I have W95, Win 3.11, NTServer-4, W98, DOS 5.0, and W2K on mine. Also Red Hat Linux.

• Obtain a Mac.
• Buy Virtual PC.
• Install PC OS #1 on a virtual hard drive.
• Install PC OS #2 on a different virtual hard drive.
• Repeat for additional PC operating systems.
• Install* most of your applications on a third (D) virtual hard drive.
*You may have to install some of them twice (once for each C drive, the second one right on top of the first), as PC apps aren’t very friendly about being launched from an OS different from the one that was active during installation.

[I also have MacOS 8.1, 8.6, 9.0.4, 9.1, and MacOS X installed on different partitions of the same computer. They coexist peacefully.]

Thanks everyone for your responses. I haven’t fixed it yet, but it’s looking like reformatting is the ultimate solution. Fortunately, I didn’t start installing applications and creating files on the Win Me system yet, so it shouldn’t be too painful. Now it’s just a matter of restoring the Win95 system files, which I have on CD somewhere. I’m fortunate to have two computers to play with at home.

handy: I tried using the boot disk and running uninstal.exe. It didn’t work. There was no .exe file on the floppy or anywhere else. I also tried it as a command, which didn’t work either.

Thanks again, Dopers.

Perhaps I should have said, “It’s impossible for a non-geek housewife to have more than one version of Windows on a computer at one time.”

But I am so happy for all you multi-OS geeks, really I am. :slight_smile:

"handy: I tried using the boot disk and running uninstal.exe. It didn’t work. There was no .exe file
on the floppy or anywhere else. I also tried it as a command, which didn’t work either. "

Yeah, you only get once chance & I guess you missed it. Happened to me too & I had to install windows again from a bare HD. sigh

WindowsMe sucks & isn’t worth the time.