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Old OS's on modern PCs: Win95 and DOS

I have a client who's super old computer finally gave up on him and he is getting a new one. I didn't really pry to much on why, but he wants me to install Windows 95 and DOS on his new computer (in addition to win7/8 that it comes with).

The oldest OS that I am familiar with is WinXP (I know not that old, but neither am I).

Is this possible? Will modern hardware run such antiquated stuff? Are their drivers? How does it install? Floppys?

Better yet, is there a way that I can download what I need and virtualize it without actually having to partition a hard drive and install it?

I am really out of my element here!

Thank you
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Jonathong
Asked:
Jonathong
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2 Solutions
 
Manuel Marienne-DuchĂȘneITMCommented:
Yes Virtualise With VirtualBOx it's free

https://www.virtualbox.org/

I've a VM with dos and Windows 3.11
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CompProbSolvCommented:
I had a similar circumstance recently with a client's old Win 98 computer that died.  I searched through my used computers (mostly 2.8G P4s) and had a very difficult time finding one that would support Win98 completely.  Most of the problems were with the sound and video cards, which he required to work properly.  I was able to resolve it with the oldest of the computers.

I suspect that you will have a VERY difficult time finding drivers for a new computer if you need everything to work properly.  Manumd's suggestion about virtualizing is very likely to be your best choice.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
yes, it works on, we still have old OSes on virtual platforms for testing.

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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
I have DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, 98, NetWare etc. VM's playable in VMWare Player.  Works great.

Unless applications are very old 16 bit DOS applications they will work upto XP level anyway in many cases, "DOS" wasn't seperate in Windows 95 anyway, though it was more DOS + Windows than the Windows NT stream which turned into 2000, XP, 7 etc.

There are also other apps like "DOSBox" which run actual DOS applications easily.

I'd say give him a Windows 7 64 bit machine install "Windows XP Mode" - free download from Microsoft and it will give you an XP machine.  In there frankly you can run a whole load of DOS and other older apps.

WIndows 7 as you know isn't a massive amount different for a user still having a Start button / menu of sorts, perhaps bit of a jump to Windows 8 at the moment?

If all he does want is Windows 9x then you can soon find a computer being thrown out from a Corporate for nothing or a few quid at local computer shop, anything upto about P4 should be fine with Windows 98SE.

Windows XP Mode --> http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/products/features/windows-xp-mode
DOS Box --> http://www.dosbox.com/

Steve
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys,
I will experiment with your suggestions on my computer before i start goofing with his computer.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
Ok so I have VMware player. How do Install DOS?
I got an ISO for Win95, how do I install that too? Do I really need a floppy drive?
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
You need the physical floppies for DOS or an image of them, or a CD or the image of the CD for Windows 9x most easily, then just boot off that device in the new VM you create.  I imagine they are posted somewhere available but are copyrighted licensed software and all that...

http://www.freedos.org/ is another alternative

You don't need DOS to be able to use Windows 95, it is self contained with it's own "DOS" version underneath.  Windows 3.x before that DID go on to of DOS.

If you are going for Windows 95 go for Windows 98SE instead, it is the last (decent, then we got Windows ME) version of that stream of Windows and should run anything DOS/Windows related.

Steve
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
Ok, I dont know if I should start a new thread for this but once I get to step 7, i have problems. (I am using VMware player right now)

I have have the win95 iso mounted on drive e:
I also burned the win95 iso to cd and it is in the physical drive d:

When I try to complete step 7 i get the error "invalid drive specification"
I have also tried drives E though I

What do you think?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Missing CDROM driver in the OS?
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
How do i check that?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
is a driver for the cdrom, in the config.sys file?
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
I ended up using virtual box instead of vmware. Worked much better, and the user interface was much easier to use.
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your time guys. The DOS problem solves itself since you can reboot a Win95 machine into DOS mode.
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
Glad you got there.  No need to boot into DOS with Windows 95 for most things, just start a COMMAND.COM DOS prompt within '95.

Steve
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JonathongAuthor Commented:
Great!
Thanks Steve!
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