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How to Download and Install Johnny

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Some people are puzzled as to how to go about downloading and installing Johnny Castaway, so here are a few pointers which may help you on your way.

If you want some advice in installing Johnny under Windows XP, click here.

If you want some advice in installing Johnny under Windows NT/2000, click here.

My Download Johnny Page has links to places where you can download Johnny. As far as I know, all the sites will give you a file called johncast.exe. The following takes you through the installation procedure.

NOTE: Although I believe the procedures outlined are safe, since I have no knowledge of the precise configuration of your machine and no control over the way you implement these instructions, I can accept no responsibility for any loss of data or damage to your system.

However, if you do get into any difficulties loading or installing Johnny Castaway, and the following stuff doesn’t help, feel free to email me, Dave Brown, at and I’ll help if I can — but please read this page and the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) first!.

Firstly, the Johnny Castaway screen saver only runs under Microsoft Windows (3.x, 95, 98, ME, XP, NT and 2000), there is no Mac version. However, if you have a PC emulator on your Mac, you may be able to run Johnny.

When you click on the link to a site to download the file, your browser will probably ask you to confirm that you want to download the file and to save it to disc, and it will probably ask you what folder you want it put in — it’s a good idea to have a separate folder for downloaded files, but this is not essential.

Win98 download panel

That’s what you will see if you use Firefox under Windows 98 - different versions of Windows and/or different browsers will have slightly different panels.

The file you will get is called johncast.exe and it is 1.338 MBytes in size, so it only takes a few minutes to download on dial-up, and only a few seconds on broadband.

Second W95 download panel

The file johncast.exe is not the screen saver, it’s a self-extracting zipped file that contains the screen saver plus the setup program and instructions how to use it.

It’s best to put it in a folder on its own, if it’s not in one already. You can create a new folder with Windows Explorer. If you are not sure how to do this, click on help and look up "creating" in the index. Again, it’s not essential to put johncast.exe in its own folder, but it makes cleaning up afterwards easier.

Now double click on johncast.exe to run it. It opens a DOS box:

DOS box

and expands into 10 files:

File name Size
install.ex$ 100 kbytes
install.ins 2,910 bytes
logo.bmp 630 bytes
readme.txt 3,733 bytes
resource.00$ 1,047 kbytes
resource.001 35 bytes
resource.map 1,461 bytes
scrantic.sc$ 154 kbytes
setup.exe 46 kbytes
slogo.bmp 7,318 bytes

Close the DOS box, if it doesn’t close automatically, and use Windows Explorer or File Manager to examine the files.

Note: if you run johncast.exe again, you will get the message:
PKSFX: (W18) Warning! SLOGO.BMP already exists.  Overwrite (y/n)?
This is because the program is trying to inflate the 10 files again, and has found they already exist. You can type y or n, or just close the DOS box, as it doesn’t really matter whether you overwrite the files or not!

If you look at the readme.txt file with, for example, Notepad (you should be able to just double click on it), this will tell you how to go about setting up the screen saver. Click here if you would like to have a look at readme.txt now.

Note for Windows NT users: johncast.exe won’t run under Windows NT / Windows 2000 - use Winzip, PKUNZIP or a similar program to unpack the 10 files. I think you should then be able install Johnny as detailed in readme.txt — if you can’t, .

After you’ve installed Johnny, you will have two files: scrantic.ini and scrantic.scr in your WINDOWS folder, and two more files, resource.001 and resource.map in C:\SIERRA\SCRANTIC if you’ve used the suggested folder.

The readme.txt file tells you how to install Johnny as your regular screen saver; screensavers.com’s version automatically makes Johnny your screen saver. Once you are sure he’s running properly, you can delete all 10 files that were contained in johncast.exe. It’s a good idea to save johncast.exe itself on a floppy disc, so that you can re-install Johnny if you need to in the future, or install him on another computer.

Click here, or the "Download Johnny" bar to go to the page of links from where you can download the Johnny Castaway screen saver.

Running Johnny under Windows XP

There maybe problems running Johnny as a screen saver under the Home Edition of Windows XP, as that operating system will only accept 32-bit screen savers, and Johnny is 16-bit. David Best wrote on 20 Jul 2003 to say that the version he downloaded from screensaver.com via Yahoo (http://shop.store.yahoo.com\screensavers1\johnnycastaway.htm installed in XP Home Edition without any problem.

Jaap van Wingerden has re-packaged Johnny, and he says one of his improvements is that it will install and run properly under Windows XP. Details of where you can get it from are on the Download Johnny Page

However, if you want to stick with the original version and you're having trouble, several people have come up with solutions:

Method 1

Gary Neilson wrote to me on 14 Aug 2003, saying that he has written a program that should make things much easier for XP users:

I noticed that on your web site that you have had reports that the Johnny Castaway screen saver does not run on Windows XP. This is quite true, however, I have managed to get it to run on Windows XP by creating a small application in Visual Basic that takes control of the screen saver. As you may find it of use to Windows XP users that visit your web site, I have attached it in a ZIP file. The ZIP contains 2 files named JohhnyCastawayXP.SCR and JOHNCAST.BAT. These files should be extracted into C:\WINDOWS and users should then be able to use the screen saver as normal.

Johnny Castaway was originally written for Windows 3.1 users, who mainly worked with screen resolutions of 640 x 480, so at that time, the screen saver filled the entire screen. Today, most people work with screen resolutions of 1024 x 768 and upwards which means that the screen saver appears in a small window in the centre of the screen. To overcome this, the program that I have created also takes control of the screen resolution so that Johnny Castaway fills the entire screen. I hope that it is of use to all of Johnny's fans!

The only assumption made by my application is that the program files are installed into C:\WINDOWS. This was the default location that the install program placed the files into when I ran it (I downloaded the install from http://store.yahoo.com/screensavers1/johnnycastaway.html).

You can download Gary's zip, including his installation instructions, here (It's only about 5K).

Method 2

Mona Conger has successfully installed Johnny using the following method:

  1. Install it into C:\WINDOWS
  2. Find the Scrantic icon & right click it
  3. Choose properties
  4. Put .SRC (SCRANTIC.SRC) in the white box

Then when you go to your desktop properties and select the screen savers tab and look through the list. It should be there.

Mona has noticed that some of the older savers, even with the correct properties, just need that little bit to become listed in the savers list.

Method 3

Jacob Cordingley has come up with a “Fast Fix” for XP. He says Johnny will run as a screen saver if you rename scrantic.scr to ssScrantic.scr or ssJohnny_castaway.scr. In other words, just add ss in front of the name. He says that certainly works for XP Pro, and he's even written a batch file to do the renaming for you:

ren %windir%\SCRANTIC.SCR ssJohnny_Castaway.SCR

You can either put it in a batch file — (call it anything.bat) or just type or paste it at the DOS prompt

H Graf from Germany confirms that this method works for the Home Edition of XP too:
1st: Don't double-click on the download-file (JohnnyCastaway.exe), but unzip it to the windows folder on the PC
2nd: Rename it ssJohnnyCastaway.scr

Andy from Evansville, Indiana, has sent more detailed instructions:

Download Johnny from Screensavers.com (JohnnyCastaway.exe).
When you install, it puts everything in the windows directory.
Take the JohnCast.exe, JohnCast.map, JohnCast.001, JohnCast.ini, and JohnCast.inx files and copy them to the windows\system32 folder.
Uninstall Johnny thru the add\remove program.
After that reboot.
Then go into the system32 folder and rename JohnCast.exe to ssJohncast.exe
Next take the .ini file and open it. Change the top line [Screensaver.ScreenAntics] to [Screensaver.ssJohncast].
Then add \system32 after SourceDir =\windows.

It should look something like this:

Save and close.
Then close your Explorer window.
Now go back to the windows directory. There will be a copy of the .ini file there. Open it and put under the [Screensaver.ScreenAntics] line SourceDir =C:\windows\system32.

It should look something like this:

Save and close. Then reboot again.
When you open the display properties box JohnCast should show in the list. Click preview to see if Johnny works. If so it will now behave like a normal screensaver.

Thanks for all that Andy.

Method 4

Joshua Kite has provided us with the following procedure to get Johnny running under Windows XP Pro. You could try this with the Home Version, but I’ve no idea whether it would work!

  1. Start with johncast.exe (ie not the version from screensavers.com).
  2. Click to self extract.
  3. Set ‘setup.exe’ ‘properties\compatibility’ to win 95.
  4. Run ‘setup.exe’.
  5. Locate scrantic.scr (default is c:\windows).
  6. Run Compatability Wizard on it, remembering to specify ‘all files’ in ‘browse’ explorer window. Set to Windows 95 or 98 but don’t bother with colour depth or screen res settings — they make no difference.
  7. Finish with wizard — let it search and then swear at Microsoft. :)
  8. Right click on scrantic.scr and select ‘install’.
  9. Right click on scrantic.scr and select ‘configure’. ‘adjust’ to taste.
  10. Although it won’t show in ‘screen properties\screensaver’ johnny will now do his job — wait and see.
  11. To put Johnny away, select another screensaver.
  12. To resurrect Johnny, repeat steps 4; 5; 8; 9. XP will remember wizard settings.

Johnny will use whatever timeout was set previously in ‘screen properties\screensaver’. Although the value is dimmed out (because the dialogue box above shows ‘none’ selected as screensaver), it is still active. To modify it for Johnny you must change it with another screensaver selected and apply and then reselect Johnny, or XP will kick him out.

Joshua points out that his installation of XP Pro is an upgrade from XP Home, and he has some evidence that there are differences in the system directory structure between a ‘never anything else’ and an ‘upgrade’ XP Pro installation. We don’t think this should affect Johnny, though.

Method 5

Chris Buchanan has had success with the following method:

I went to Control Panel/Display/Screensaver to try & select Johnny from the list, it wasn't there.
I did a search & found the Winzip icon under Windows & when I clicked the icon I was asked do you want to install, I chose Yes & was told that the download was sucessful.
I went back to Control Panel/Display/Screensaver & (none) had been selected (I did previously have a screensaver selected) — this was the PC's way of selecting Johnny Castaway.
Just wait the selected time & the screensaver kicks in.

Method 6

Joe Diaz has unearthed a program designed to run 16-bit screen savers under 32-bit operating systems, such as Windows XP. It is called Screen Control, and it's produced by Galt Technology. You can download a trial copy from www.galttech.com/screenshots/screencontrol.html. It will cost you US$29.00 if you want to keep it.

Method 7

David G Cooper has found another (cheaper) program that will do the same thing. He writes: [You can use an] older theme manager, similar to Microsoft Plus, called Desktop Themes from Left Side Software. 10 bucks (actually US$15, last time I looked, but still pretty cheap - Dave).http://www.lss.com.au/lss/lss_main.htm

Method 8

Neal A. Cyr has fpund yet another program to do this. You can run johnny under XP if you dowload the "Screen Saver Chooser" from http://www.risoftsystems.com and run it through that screen saver program. Next turn screen saver to "NONE" under your display panel and activate it under Screen Saver Chooser. If that address doesn't work search for it or download the "Liver Dance" screen saver, it comes with the "Screen Saver Chooser" program. Good Luck!

Method 9

Allan Sørensen suggests:
1) Install as usual
2) Goto c:\WINDOWS and rename "SCRANTIC.SCR" to "ssSCRANTIC.SCR"
3) Right click on the ssSCRANTIC.SCR file and click "Install"
Bingo !

Running Johnny under Windows 2000

The installer may not work properly with this version, so you may have to extract the nine files (see above) with a program such as WinZip, and then run setup.exe

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v 3.20. Last updated on 16 August 2005 at 10:06