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Need a Virtual Windows 98 running on a Windows XP machine

Posted on 2008-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I have a legacy database on a Win 98 machine, maintained for compliance reasons. The hardware on the Win98 PC failed, and nobody seems to be able to find original software discs.

I am looking for a solution to
1. extract the image of that Win98 disc to a file, in a manner that will allow
2. a virtual machine to run that Win98 instance, an a as-needed-basis, on one of our regular Windows XP SP 2 machines.

- What software can I use to extract the Win 98 image?
- What image format should I use?
- What virtual machine software should I use?

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Question by:Ronino
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Brum07 earned 168 total points
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I would use norton ghost to clone the Computer then install VMWare on your XP machine and load the ghost image

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by:techExtreme
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What software can I use to extract the Win 98 image?
      - Use acronis true image because it is a disk imaging and disaster recovery application for computers.
 What image format should I use?
      - acronis will do the job for you
 What virtual machine software should I use?
      - you can opt for Microsoft virtual pc, it is a good software.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I avoid everything symantec because, while they are GREAT marketers and know how to make you buy their product, their programmers are AWFUL and can't figure out how to code working, reliable software.  Even the stuff that SEEMS to work, usually has some kind of major bug... and if it doesn't know, it will with an update. (Far worse than Microsoft's record).  So... I also recommend Acronis True Image...

You may need to get a new Windows 98 license as OEM licenses cannot be moved/installed on virtual machines.

There are plenty of Virtualization options right now.  For a 98 install, you're not going to have much if any performance issue with any of it... so Virtual PC is definitely a option as is VMWare Server... both are free.  VMWare generally has a little better performance than Virtual PC, but for this kind of application it's doubtful you'd ever notice the difference.
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by:garycase
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Well ... this can be a bit tricky.

Since the machine isn't running, you'll need to create an image of the OS.   I agree with the comments above r.e. Symantec products (they have managed to destroy more good software than I can remember);  but in this case, you need to create an image with Ghost v9 or higher for one simple reason:   The free VMWare Converter [http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/features.html#c3917 ]  will convert physical machines in Ghost image format to a VMWare virtual machine ... but does not yet support Acronis TIB formats (support is planned).

That process [Image with Ghost; convert to VMWare .vmx/.vmdk format] will let the machine run in a VMWare virtual machine [You can use either the free VMWare Player or the free VMWare Server to run it].

Unfortunately, VMWare isn't the best choice for a Windows 9X virtual machine -- Microsoft's Virtual PC 2007 does a nicer job with the older 9X OS's ... VMWare does not support shared folders in 9X OS's, while Virtual PC's shared folders work just fine with '98.    So once you get the system converted to a virtual machine, you may want to convert the VMWare .vmdk hard disk to a Virtual PC .vhd disk and run the system under Virtual PC.   You can do this conversion with this free download:  http://vmtoolkit.com/files/default.aspx
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by:pgm554
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Actually the Vmware converter can be downloaded as an bootable ISO and if you plug the old disk into a new system ,boot the ISO and run the converter,you can create the vm without having to do a Ghost.
Just copy to external storage.

You can even resize the vdmk on the fly.
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by:pgm554
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As for the VM software ,sorry ,but Vmware is still hands down a much better choice than M$.
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by:pgm554
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And Acronis is supported by the converter.
But that point is moot ,since you don't need to image the disk with the p to v converter.
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by:garycase
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Nice to know you can directly convert a partition with a bootable ISO.   As for the converter supporting Acronis -- that's also good to know.   Assuming you've confirmed this by actually importing from a TIB image, VMWare needs to update their VMWare Converter page -- http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/faqs.html -- which clearly lists ONLY "... Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (formerly LiveState Recovery) and Norton Ghost versions 9 and higher."  and states: "... We will be continually adding support for other 3rd part disk formats in the future releases (including Acronis TIB images and StorageCraft)."

As for WMWare being "hands down a better choice than M$" => Depends.   I have over 20 virtual machines in both Virtual PC 2007 and VMWare Workstation.   I agree that for Linux installs and for versions of Windows from Windows 2000 onward VMWare has some nicer features -- notably the USB support.   But for Windows 9X systems Virtual PC does a much nicer job => primarily because the Virtual Machine additions under Virtual PC work much more seamlessly than VMWare Tools in a 9X environment.   I use both Virtual PC and VMWare regularly -- and both are very good.   Virtual PC is (IMHO) clearly better than VMWare for 9X OS's, and does a better job of utilizing the hardware virtualization support (identical OS installs will boot slightly faster under Virtual PC than VMWare) => but VMWare is clearly better with Linux installs; and has two very nice extended features:  USB support and snapshots.
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by:TCB1
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Also you could give VirtualBox a try.
http://www.virtualbox.org/
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by:Ronino
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Thank you for all the info, this is great - I will test and post results. Sounds like Virtual PC might be the ticket, at least for this Win98 machine.
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by:Ronino
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Installed Ghost 14, and plugged the HDD directly into IDE.

Image of disc created beautifully. Converted to MS Virtual PC format and loaded it. It starts, then it shows the BIOS / RAM detect message on the screen, and then it it stops, with the DOS cursor blinking in the upper right corner of the screen. Nothing after that. Dead.

I then converted to VMWare format. I tried to load both the VMC file, and the SV2i file. The Player (ver. 2.05) tells me for both"An error occurred during conversion". Could there be a problem with the image file?

I know the Win98 installation is not damaged, because the original HDD boots when inserted in a PC.

also

If I try to load the sv2i file in VMware converter, it tels me "unable to load source virtual machine or image. the file may be corrupt, or of an unsupported format"

If I try to load the MS Virtual PC 2007 VMC file in VMware converter, it says "Unable to determine guest operating system"

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by:pgm554
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When using the Vmware converter,use the latest (rev 3.03).
Why are you using the Ghost image at all?
I would make the ISO boot disk for the converter ,run a chkdsk on the old W98 drive and then use the boot ISO to run the conversion to .vhd file and then try the player.
If that doesn't work,see if you can try to open it in a Workstation version of Vmware.(remember that when converting the disk you need to specify which version of Vmware you will be using.(5 or 6 )

The import utilities of Vmware workstation don't always work very well when trying to import image files.
The converter ISO is the best way to go.
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by:Ronino
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> Why are you using the Ghost image at all?

I used Symantec Ghost to create an image of the HDD.

I have Converter 3.01 Enterprise.

Pgm554, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I know my copy includes the Converter Boot disk, but I can't find how to create it - or any documentation on it. I do see I have a E:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Converter\Resources\bootrun.exe and such.

I don't have any physical media, the software was purchased and downloaded.

How do I make the Boot disc?
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 168 total points
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There should be an ISO file or image included with the P2V converter.

You then get a hold of something like Roxio or Nero and it should gove the option of selecting to burn a disk from an ISO image.

You then go ahead and burn the CD and the disk itself becomes bootable just like ant other bootable CD ROM.

Should say like p2v-boot-xxx.iso or something like that.

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by:Ronino
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Well, pgm554, now at least I know I am not crazy.

Thanks for the detailed instructions, I am comfortable burning and ISO and such. The problem is, I can't seem to find this ISO anywhere (and I'm buying more and more VMware products).

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware P2V Assistant 2.0
c:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Converter

No ISO in either one. Not a single link on their website.

Not only that, but when I start the P2V assistant in cloning mode, it lets me know I should use a 3rd party! (see attached file)

One would think in this day and age, with all the hype about virtualization, creating 1 virtual machine wouldn't be a 20 hour project anymore. What am I doing wrong?


p2v-error.jpg
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by:garycase
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I suspect you're using the free "Starter Edition"

... the standalone bootable is part of the Enterprise Edition  (not free)
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by:Ronino
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Not at all!
Converter, Enterprise, 3.0.1
Workstation, ACE, Enterprise, 6.0.5

But coming back to the question above, and ignoring for a minute the idiosincracies  of VMWare products:


Symantec and VMWare agree it is fully 'legit' and technically feasable (VMWare actually seems to recommend) using Ghost for Image creation.

- I have performed an FDISK on the image.
- Created image with Ghost 14
- Tried to convert with both Ghost and VMWare Converter to VMWare image (I get various error messages, as seen above)
- Tried to convert with Ghost and load in MS Virtual PC 2007, only to see it hang before the "Win 98" splash screen.

All this from a HDD which boots up fine if I shove it into a PC case...

So... what can I do to virtualize this disc?
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by:garycase
garycase earned 168 total points
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Since you're licensed for the Enterprise version, I'd at least get the current version (3.03) ==> just click on "VMware Converter Enterprise Edition" at this link [http://www.vmware.com/download/converter/ ] and you can download "VMware Converter 3.0.3 (Standalone Enterprise Edition)"

This is called the "cold clone" version by the various VMWare forums --> since it lets you clone a system that's not actually running.

I agree that you SHOULD also be able to convert from a Ghost image ... but as I noted earlier, VMWare's support for converting from the various imaging utilities is a work in progress --> which may explain why it's giving you fits.

Another thought ...

Since you're working with a hard disk that "...  boots up fine if I shove it into a PC case... "  you might try this:  

(a)  Copy the entire working disk to a folder on the hard drive on the system you want to load it on.   Be sure to include all hidden files and folders and all system files.   You may want to use "XXCopy /Clone" to do this (See #f below);

(b)  Create a virtual machine and load a new copy of Windows 98 in the VM [This could also be ME, XP, 2K, etc. -> you just need any OS that is supported by Virtual PC Additions];  

(c)  Install Virtual PC Additions;  

(d)  Enable shared folders in the new '98 system => sharing the folder that contains the system you're trying to clone;  

(e)  Create a 2nd virtual hard disk in the VM;  

(f)  Use XXCopy to copy the entire shared folder to the new virtual hard disk with the /Clone option [http://www.xxcopy.com/index.htm ].  Repeat the "XXCopy /clone" command until there are no uncopied files --> since you're not actually cloning the running system this should happen on the first try;  

(g)  Now shut down the VM;  (h)  Create a new virtual machine, and assign it the hard drive you just cloned the system to [Don't forget to remove it from the settings for the machine you created in (b)].

... The new virtual machine should boot fine :-)
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by:Ronino
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garycase, how many different steps and contraptions does it take for your eggs to make it to the frying pan in the morning? ha ha.

Thank you for the solution, tomorrow morning I'll start the motions.
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by:garycase
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Don't forget to do the same "repeat until no uncopied files" bit with XXCopy in Step (a) as you do later in step (f)  ... if you're not familiar with XXCopy, it's like XCopy on steroids !!

... cooking eggs is a lot easier than what you want to do here :-)
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