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Windows 95 > Troubleshooting Windows 95

Fix a broken Start Menu

By: Arie Slob

Sometimes people experience the problem of having a Start menu which is empty and cannot be modified. One possible cause: If the \ Windows \ Start Menu directory is modified (particularly if anything is deleted) from the MSDOS prompt, Windows 95 will decide that the Start Menu is invalid. The Start Menu is empty, and if you try to add anything to it, you get Unable to add to Start Menu or a similar message.


  1. If there are still sub folders and links in \ Windows \ Start Menu that you can access from Windows Explorer, copy these to another folder as backup
  2. Restart the computer, and when you see Starting Windows 95... press F8 to get to the start up menu. Choose Command Prompt Only
  3. At the C:\ prompt, change to the Windows directory and type deltree startm~1. Re-boot the computer
  4. When Windows 95 reloads, it will find that rather than being invalid, the Start Menu simply isn't there. It will then create a new (but empty) Start Menu
  5. Now start copying back in the shortcuts you backed up in step one, copy them to \ Windows \ Start Menu, or you can run Grpconv.exe to get your basic icons back, and reinstall or create the other links by hand to get your icons back