MS Virtual Machine

Tinkering, in an ignorant but happyish way as I do with operating systems and old computers, I realised that playing a Win95 game on an old, tiny but beautifully proportioned Toshiba Portege wasn't the satisfactory experience it could be. So I downloaded MS Virtual machine onto this beast of a gaming desktop monster and tried to load Win95 into it.

Not a chance. Fdisk and format of the virtual C disc was fine, and so was the floppy install, but then suddenly everything stops when the CD drive (and all the others) doesn't make an appearance.

Linux was OK, and so was DOS 6.22, but neither of them need to use the CDROM drive to get installed (.iso is good for Linux) - Win95 needs a startup floppy and a CD, and for whatever reason, I can't get the CD drive to be recognised (it's also "Drive I:\, as there's a few other drives scattered around , but the virtual drive doesn't see anything except A/B floppies). The web search of the obvious words gave me an expert who makes no mention of this problem whatsoever.

jinxy said:
When you load up your 95 boot disk are you booting with cdrom support?
I thought I was (the "use physical drive I:\" line is greyed out as I've clicked on it); I've tried rebooting, aiming the system at an iso of W95 on the C drive, etc etc but no luck. The system obviously can see an iso on the c drive (otherwise the linux os wouldn't have worked) but for some reason when w95 is tried the farthest I can get is with A/B drives.
Your 95 boot disk may not have a cdrom driver compatible with your cd drive. Also I expect your ISO is on a NTFS file system partition, Win 95 will not have read/write to NTFS.

Perhaps if you use a Win 98SE boot disk you'll have more luck?
It's going back a bit, but ISTR that Win95 was available on EITHER floppies (9, IIRC) OR CD.

I have a vague recollection that when I loaded my Win95 CD (in, oh, it must have been 1995, or thereabouts), I was prompted to make a back-up and I elected to do it onto floppies, just in case.

The floppy that came with the CD (when you chose the CD install version - not all PCs had CD drives in those days) was just a boot disk and (IIRC, again) played no part in the actual installation of Win 95 - it just saved you creating a boot disk.

Ignore the above, I've just kept it in as part of my thought process.

Perhaps you need to install Win95 by floppy. Is your "Start-up" floppy actually a boot disk, as mine was, i.e. not to be inserted as a prelude to inserting the CD.

If you've created a virtual Win95 machine, bear in mind that some PCs at the time didn't have CD drives - ISTR that both a colleague and I who bought an ESCOM 75 had to join the queue at the shop to find out how to get the PC to read the installation CD as CD reading wasn't a default enablement.
I think you've put your finger on it there, puttees.
Damn. More buggering around to do...
Also try going into the BIOS and see if you can change your first boot device to the CD Drive. This will allow you to boot from the CD and run the installation.
Speaking of loading Win95 games, do you really need to install Win95 to play them?

This may sound like a silly question, but when I bought my Gericom laptop in 2000 (Win Me), I tried to load Allied General and was met with a response that Me didn't support Win95 games. Undeterred, I dug about a bit and eventually found that AG was short of a system file. I did a Windows Explorer search and found a file with the same name in a different directory. I copied this file into Windows/system and tried again. It worked. The only problem was that when I finished the game, I had to reset the screen resolution.

When I bought my current laptop (Win XP), I loaded AG and it played without having to adjust anything. (Though, IIRC, there was a one-off instruction to allow the machine to work in Win95 mode). I don't even have to reset the screen resolution when I've finished. However, while the game is running, any other open windows display at 800x600 pixels.
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