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Windows 95 & NT Font Issues

Under certain conditions, the following font related error messages may appear on a user's system:

The following is an excerpt from Microsoft's Windows 95 Knowledge Base which identifies problems a user may encounter when installing a large number of fonts and the resulting registry corruption:

"All font files are registered under a single key in the registry, and a registry key cannot exceed 64K. If font names average 20 characters in length and font filenames average 10 characters in length, the maximum number of TrueType fonts you can install falls between 1000 and 1500.

If a TrueType font file is located in a folder other than the Fonts or the System folder, the full path to the font is included in the registry, using up more space in the key and reducing the number of fonts you can install."

Note: It is strongly recommended that the number of fonts installed not exceed 300.


The following is an excerpt from Microsoft's TechNet CD. This will specify methods of recovery for a corrupted registry. These steps should be administered with caution:

Data Recovery In The Registry

"In Windows 95, data is only written to the Registry when a flush occurs -- that is, when something happens after changed data has aged more than a few seconds, or when an application intentionally flushes the data to the hard disk. Each time Windows 95 successfully starts, the operating system backs up the Registry by copying the current SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT files to SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0, respectively. If Windows 95 fails to start, the backed-up Registry from the last successful startup can be copied over the current Registry. This method recovers the last successful settings after a system failure. By default, these files are stored in the Windows '95 directory. The USER.DAT and USER.DA0 can be stored in other locations."

If these procedures are performed and the problem persists, the following recovery procedures may be employed. The following steps should be executed with caution.

Please contact Microsoft's representatives for more detailed information on the following steps -- if the font related error message occurs during the launch of Windows'95:

1. Reboot the system in Safe Mode. This is performed by selecting Start | Shutdown | Restart the computer. When the words "Starting Windows 95" appear, press F8 immediately. This will display a set of menu items. Select Safe Mode (usually #3).

Warning: The following steps involve deleting all the fonts from your fonts folder. If you do not have the original source disks for these fonts, do not proceed past this point. It is also imperative that the Windows '95 CD is on hand for re-installation purposes.

2. Select the Start | Settings | Control Panel | Fonts folder. Select all the fonts in the folder, and press the delete key. If applicable, empty the Recycle Bin to ensure that the fonts are completely removed from the system. This may be a two step process. If the size of the total number of fonts exceeds the total size available in the recycle bin you may have to delete some fonts, empty the recycle bin then remove more fonts.

3. Reboot the system in Normal Mode and with the Windows '95 CD-ROM in the CD drive, select Start | Run and at the prompt, type CD drive letter:\ setup /f . This will perform a verify install, i.e., it will check for corrupted windows files and replace them. This install will not alter any custom settings you may have created.

To re-install the previously deleted fonts, follow the steps below:

1. From the Windows 95 Taskbar, select Start | Settings | Control Panel | Fonts.

2. Select File | Install new font. From the dialog box that appears next, ensure that the CD Drive or appropriate font source is selected.

3. Select the desired fonts to install, keeping in mind that an overabundance of installed fonts will cause a degradation in system performance.

These steps should eliminate the font related error messages and/or the unusual desktop display on a user's system.

Graphics Unleashed
Last Updated September 1, 1998.

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