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Can u boot off a disk image in Microsoft Virtual PC.

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have a windows 98 machine that has programs that are no longer available.  I cant find the installation disks to these programs either. Im trying to create an image of the windows 98 hard drive and boot to it through virtual pc on my xp pro machine. When I select capture image in virtral pc nothing happens
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Question by:avswaney
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 24063591
Use a Dual boot setup
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 24063624
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by:avswaney
ID: 24063665
i have programs on the windows 95 that i cant reinstall. The program is no longer availible.  so i cant install windows 95 with xp on a dual boot system because i would have to install the programs again
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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 24064077
A few comments ...

r.e. "... use a dual boot setup ..." => This wouldn't work even if you DID have the installation media for your old programs.   Neither Windows 95 nor Windows 98 (You indicated '98 in your question; but '95 in your last comment) will not install on ANY modern chipset -- there are no chipset drivers for '95/'98  (and won't be).    You could, of course, install Windows 95 (or 98) in a virtual machine IF you had the installation media, but as you've already noted, that's not an option.

Capturing an ISO image in Virtual PC is the same as putting the CD/DVD that your image represents into the virtualized optical drive.   If it's a bootable CD/DVD, the system will boot => but if it's simply data (e.g. an image of your Windows 98 OS) it won't do anything (if you did this inside of a functioning virtual machine, you could browse the CD/DVD from there).

You MAY be able to use VMWare Converter (the free standalone version) to convert your '98 system to a virtual machine => but this product does NOT offiicially support any OS prior to Windows 2000, so I don't expect it will work.   I wouldn't even mention it, but some folks have reported success at converting Windows 98SE systems with it (I have not personally done so).   If this does work, you'll then have to load the VMWare virtual machine in Virtual PC 2007 [or else just use the free VMWare Server as your virtual host].

The most reliable way to do what you want is the following:

(1)  Install a fresh copy of Windows 98 (or '95 if that's really what you're using) in a Virtual PC.   Note that if you're using Windows 95, Virtual PC 2007 does not officially support it => but it will work fine with a couple of setting adjustments and with the Virtual Machine Additions from Virtual PC 2004.

(2)  Be sure you have your Windows 9x virtual machine working well (I'd go ahead and do all of the updates to it if it's a '98 system) ... you don't want to move your programs to it before then.

(3)  Buy a copy of PC Mover [http://www.laplink.com/pcmover/index.html for a detailed description ... the download edition is less expensive here:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681375167SF ].   You can then use PCMover to move the software from your old ("real") system to your new (virtual) system.

Once you have everything moved and the virtual system working well, make a backup of that virtual PC [You simply have to copy the .VMC and .VHD files to backup the system].   You'll now be able to use this on ANY PC that's running Virtual PC 2007, so you've just "future-proofed" your old system and software :-)

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