Disaster recovery for computer with windws 95

We have an old computer with windows 95 which has a custom application that sends and recieves data (design codes) to a mechanical machine. We have made a clone of hard drive for disaster recovery purposes. We would like a swapable computer also incase the motherboard components go out on the inital computer. I have tried to configure the cloned hard drive into another computer but getting the motherboard drivers for components is difficult. The PCI bridge is not getting installed correctly. Does any one know of an easier method to get the cloned hard drive to work on another computer. I have also tried converting an image of the hard drive into vmware with no luck. We are planning to replace the software eventually but in the mean time would like to have this computer backup for disaster recovery working.
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red3001Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You could visualize the pc with an application like VM Ware.  It should have the tools to use both any hardware you make and visualize the pc.  I have had experience in using acronis true image and the tool we have converts that full image backup to VM Ware perfectly.
nappy_dConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The best thing to do is to use the VMWare converter and convert the OS to a virtual machine.  I highly doubt you will find a manufacturer today that still produces drivers for their current line of motherboards for Win95.

What happens when you try to convert the machine to VMWare? (What errors do you experience)
If the application doesn't require any special hardware, then the application will probably work with Windows 98 too. Try installing the clone disk as a 2nd disk into a Windows 98 computer - there are plenty of these still around. You may have to set a jumper on the drive to make it operate in slave mode. Also, this setup would change the drive letters, however, so you may run into problems if the application is configured to reference C:.  If so, try dragging the application files over to the C: drive and see if it runs.  

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paul_techyAuthor Commented:
For the VMware process I connected the cloned Win95 hard drive as a primary slave then created an image of it. The primary master which has WinXp is used to run the vmware converter. The Win95 OS is NOT listed as a compatiable OS for VMware converter so I didnt continue.

Is there a guide for VMware converter for Win95 OS.
timhlConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Windows 95 has "experimental" status in VMware Workstation, but it will still work.  Here's a blurb from the VMware Workstation 6.5.0 Release Notes:

If you use File > Open or File > Import to convert a virtual machine or system image that contains a Windows NT 3.x, Windows ME, Windows 98, or Windows 95 operating system, you might see the following warning: Cannot configure the source image. You can ignore this message. These operating systems are supported only experimentally. You might need to modify the configuration of the destination virtual machine before using it.
The steps itemized in http://communities.vmware.com/message/346233#346233 look promising if creating from scratch; however converting from the disk image should work. Try forcing it through.

dnilsonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As much as I like VMware server, and virtualization IS the best way to move in my opinion,  you will probably have better long term sucess moving this to Virtual PC and looking at the Microsoft product line to continue its support for its product where others dont.

On the other hand ....
Maybe you can get an older copy of this free tool, but Virtual PC 2007 only supports Windows 95 "sometimes"

So perhaps a hybrid procedure.

1) take your clone drive , boot Windows, and upgrade to Windows 98SE (SE nothing earlier)
2) Virtualize this with Virtual PC and / or vmware free server which will replace al lthe hardware devices with VMware (etc) virtual drivers.



paul_techyAuthor Commented:
I want to provide an update on this question:

I have found an old computer similar to the one in production. I have been able to find the chipset drivers and so far the nic card and all drivers are working so this computer would serve as a physical backup swap. I am going to put it into production this week and test it out further.

However I am still going to look into the vmware suggestions because that is my preferred option.

timhl:   I do not have a computer with windows 98 available yet.

dnilson : If I upgrade to win98se wouldn't that erase or break the custom program I am trying to conserve.
No, the win98 upgrade probably wouldnt break the program, but there is no way to tell without doing it on the copy of the disk.

Think of Win98 as Win95 SP9 , architechturally they are quite similar inside, with Win98, andwin98SE in particular having better support for old apps, and is better supported by the virtualization platforms
paul_techyAuthor Commented:
thanks for all your help

my physicall computer backup is working so I will use that for now but the advice given about virtualization helped for other issues.
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