Running Win95 programs on Vista/Win7

Started Mar 26, 2014 | Questions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Re: 32 bit or 64 bit Win Vista and 7?

scorrpio wrote:

Jim Cockfield wrote:

You could install Win 95 or 98 in a virtual machine, too. But, I don't recommend that approach, since you'd need to install DOS first, then run the Win 95 or 98 installers; and you would *not* have things like the VirtualBox Guest Extensions that would allow you to do things like share data between the guest and host operating systems, and resize your guest screen as desired. So, using XP in a virtual machine is a much more flexible way to approach it.

I got a Win 98 SE installed as a VM on Win7 Home 64-bit host, using VMware Player. None of the hassle you describe. Installed right off the Win98 CD image, no DOS step. And I can map host locations as network drives. Not that I need to - I mainly need the 98 VM for a few old Win95 games.

Yea... It looks like Win 98 is easier, as it has a bootable CD; and included a lot of drivers.

With Win 95, you needed to boot into a floppy disk (running DOS 7.0, specific to Win 95) first to setup the drive using fdisk, then format it as a system disk. You'd also need to install CD Driver drivers for it to use the CD for the rest of the installation. With Win 98, you can boot directly into a CD image (using DOS 7.1, which was released for use with Win 98), which did the disk setup for you, then rebooted to continue the rest of the installation.

Of course, you can find bootable images that have some of that on the disk image, too (Microsoft just didn't offer Win 95 that way, and required a separate floppy boot disk to format your hard drive and install boot files on it, and install needed drivers for the CD drive your PC was using before you could continue the install from CD).

Either way, it looks like VMWare might be an easier solution without as many driver headaches. Here's an install guide for Win 95 using it:

With VirtualBox, in order to change things like screen resolution with Win 95, you'd need to track down and install different drivers (as an install is going to default to 640x480). You can find generic Win 95 VESA drivers for Win 95 for that purpose and change the resolution to something higher manually. But, you still couldn't just resize the Window that Win 95 is running it and have the resolution change automatically like you can with XP or newer Windows versions using the VirtualBox Guest Extensions and Video Drivers.

Perhaps VMWare Player is better in that area with an old OS like that.

As for sharing files, yea... you could use Windows Network Shares. But, with VirtualBox, I normally just setup sharing between the host and guest OS using the features built into it instead; so that I don't need to mess around with Network shares

The last time I used VMWare Player for anything was test driving one of the Win 8 previews, as they had one of them working before VirtualBox did. But, I use VirtualBox for everything else.

So, perhaps it is better for some Operating Systems that don't have Guest Extensions available for use with VirtualBox.

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