HOWTO: Fake Installation of Netscape 4.x
- The Easy Way
- The Hard Way
- Known Issues
Plugin installation programs that haven't been updated to search for Mozilla may attempt to locate Netscape 4.x using one or more of the following methods:
- Scanning the system registry
- Searching for netscape.exe
- Searching for the null plugin (npnul32.dll)
- Searching for netscape.exe or npnul32.dll and check that it has Netscape 4.x version information
It is possible to create a "fake" installation of Netscape 4.x, which can fool these installers, using the procedure below. Only one fake installation is required per system, and it can be shared between multiple browsers. You will also need to turn on the Netscape 4.x plugin scan for this to work. [More Information...]
The Easy Way
To make things easier, XPInstall packages are available to both install the fake Netscape 4.x installation, and to change the required preferences. Note that these can NOT be installed to user profiles - they are for system-wide installation only.
WARNING: These packages have not been extensively tested. Do not use them if you have a working Netscape 4.x installation - they will clobber it! Use at your own risk. If you have problems with them, send some feedback.
Update: This is Revision 3 of the Fake 4.x installer, which adds another registry entry. Updated July 21, 2005.
- Fake Netscape 4.x Installation (XPI, 83k)
- Fake Netscape 4.x Installation Self-Extracting Package (EXE, 116k)
- Set required plugin-related preferences (XPI, 1k)
Opera users will need to use the self-extracting package and manually add the "Netscape" plugins path using opera:config. This path will generally be C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\Plugins
The Hard Way
- Resource Hacker (aka ResHack) or similar
- Access to the system registry
- Mozilla's 4.x plugin scan must be set to detect all Netscape 4 plugins
Create the following directories (you can change them, but you'll have to change the registry patch too):
- C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator
- C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program
- C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\Java
- C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\NetHelp
- C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\Plugins
Apply this registry patch after creating the directories listed above (modify if required). Standard disclaimer applies: back up the registry before editing it, and don't blame me if your computer blows up.
This step involves putting copies of the Mozilla executable and null plugin in the directories created above. It also involves editing the resources in these files so that they return the same version information as Netscape 4.79.
- Copy mozilla.exe to C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator and rename it to netscape.exe.
- Copy npnul32.dll to C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\Plugins.
- Open C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\netscape.exe with ResHack, and replace the version information with this version information.
- Open C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Plugins\npnul32.dll with ResHack, and replace the version information with this version information.
- Delete the _original files created by ResHack.
Select all, hit delete, paste from text file, compile script, save!
- Some plugin installation programs will detect both Mozilla and the virtual installation of Netscape 4.x - this shouldn't cause any problems aside from occasional duplicated files.
- Plugin installers that attempt to launch Netscape will not be able to do so.
- If you don't turn the Netscape 4.x plugin scan on, you're wasting your time.
You're pretty much on your own here. You can try the MozillaZine Forums, as with all support questions, but that is about it. If you don't know exactly what this does, I don't suggest using it. If you have a problem with the procedure itself, send some feedback.