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Microsoft KB Archive/172456

From BetaArchive Wiki

How to Automatically Replace Files In Use by Windows 95


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 95


This article describes how to automatically replace a file that is in use by Windows 95 without booting to MS-DOS mode.


You can replace files in use by Windows 95 by using an .inf file. The following sample .inf file demonstrates this method:

   ; Replace.inf
   ; This is a Setup information file to replace a driver or file that is
   ; in use by Windows 95.
   ; Copyright 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation




   Old.exe, New.exe, Tempfile.exe

   55="My Very Own File Update.","",1


   ; End of this .inf file. 

This sample file assumes that a file named Old.exe is located in the Windows folder and is currently running. When you run the .inf file, the following actions occur:

The New.exe file is copied to the C:\Windows\System folder. This location is specified in the [DestinationDirs] section of the .inf file. In addition to being copied, the file is renamed to Tempfile.exe. This temporary name is specified in the [NewFile.copy.sys] section of the .inf file.

The computer must be rebooted for the changes to take effect. During the boot process, the temporary file is renamed from the temporary name to the appropriate name on the hard disk before the original file is loaded and locked open. This functionality is defined in the [rename] section of the Wininit.ini file.

Once the file rename has occurred, the Wininit.ini file is renamed to Wininit.bak so you can see the last action that took place with the Wininit.ini file.

To process an .inf file, you can either right-click the file and then click Install, or use the following command:

   c:\windows\rundll.exe setupx.dll,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 130
   <path to file>.inf 

This line should be typed as a single line. It has been wrapped in this article for readability purposes. When you run this command, you are prompted to restart the computer.


For additional information about .inf files and their parameters, see Appendix C in the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit.

For more information about the Wininit.ini file, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q140570 HOWTO: Moving Files That Are Currently in Use

Keywords : win95
Issue type : kbhowto
Technology : kbWin95search kbWin95

Last Reviewed: December 15, 2000
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