Explanation: why VirtualBox doesn't work with Windows 95/98

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

Explanation: why VirtualBox doesn't work with Windows 95/98

Postby Technologov » 28. May 2007, 22:23

Many people ask about Win9x (this includes Win 95/98/Me) low resolution/colors and other problems...

Guest additions:
Those are basically drivers for guest OSes. VBox have them for NT-based systems: Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista.

I have asked to support Win9x (95/98/me), but Innotek told me they don't need it, so if community needs it, we should write those drivers ourselves.
Not to mention that there are stability and speed problems on Win9x guests. This is because VirtualBox is very optimized for Windows 2000/XP kernels, but is poorly tested and not optimized for Win9x system.

Overall support for Win9x is very bad in VirtualBox -- it's so bad that I would recommend you looking for other virtualizers for Win9x, and use VBox for 2000/XP virtualization.

One of the problems is the Sound card:
This is the hard topic: Innotek are emulatiing Intel AC'97 audio, which is a mistake, because it's totally unsupported by legacy guests such as DOS and Win9x, and I still need to support such an old systems because I have a plenty of legacy games for both DOS and Win9x systems.
Old guest systems, such as: DOS and Win9x do NOT support AC'97 audio, due to lack of drivers.

The best solution: instead of emulating AC'97 audio chip, we should emulate the Sound Blaster.
As for graphics, VirtualBox should offer instead of VBox graphics card either standard video card emulation (Cirrus Logic for example), -or- write guest drivers for Win9x.
The hardware could be configurable - like a real PC - which video card I want and which sound card I want.

Again: Innotek aren't interested in supporting legacy (old) systems.
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Postby bodhi.zazen » 28. May 2007, 22:56

Well, I am not in any way related to innotek, but ...

I see no reason to support Windows 95/98 .

Microsoft is no longer supporting either OS and I would rather see efforts into supporting more current OS and improving the current emulation.

If you can find community support, more power to you, go for it. Obviously the community to support such as old OS will start small and likely get smaller and smaller.
If is a virtual machine, is it still broken ?
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Postby Technologov » 28. May 2007, 23:07

If you would read carefully, you would know - my reason is: GAMES.

Games is not a normal application, which can be replaced by something that works almost like original.

Each game's experience is unique to that game. It's like an art or video movie - unique creation - irreplaceable.

Unfortunately, plenty of games were compiled for DOS/Win9x systems and were never updated - and only way to run them is find a PC to run the old OSes or get an emulator/virtualizer to do the job. DOSbox emulator solves the problem for DOS games, but what about Win9x games ?

And I agree that supporting modern OSes may be more practical than older ones, but Win9x is important for me.
Sometimes I just testing windows apps for backwards compatibility.
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Postby JusTiCe8 » 29. May 2007, 11:29

Why using only VBox for emulate DOS/Win9x ?

DosBox is the answer, it's work very well for lot's of DOS games and also some Win9X/Dos compatible games. So don't waste time to pray Innotek or try to do it yourself, use the bast which already exists and works.
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Postby Zajec » 1. Jul 2007, 14:35

JusTiCe8 wrote:Why using only VBox for emulate DOS/Win9x ?

DosBox is the answer, it's work very well for lot's of DOS games and also some Win9X/Dos compatible games. So don't waste time to pray Innotek or try to do it yourself, use the bast which already exists and works.
There is my situation:

1) I would like to play "Heart of Darkness" game which is Windows based and doesn't work with XP. It works only with Windows 98 and 95 maybe, so I can't run this in well-supported DOS or XP.

2) I have a accountant DOS application which I tried to run in:
- Wine
- DOSBox (even with recompilling because of poor support for "FILES" parametr by default)
- FreeDOS
It doesn't work in any of above. This stupid DOS application which I had to use works only with MS-DOS. So... I could run MS-DOS as guest but I need to mount samba directory what is impossible because of: http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=702

So I also belive that Innotek should make something about supporting Windows 98 (plus 95 maybe?).
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Postby stefan.becker » 1. Jul 2007, 16:15

For better graphic in WinDOS you can install scitech display doctor 7.

sound is a real problem, dont know any solution.
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Postby stefan.becker » 3. Jul 2007, 03:11

http://www.soundcard-drivers.com/drivers/56/56061.htm

Sounddriver or Intel AC 97. In my Installation start sound comes, next beep the Guest gets a Blue Screen.

Here is a driver for the problem windows 98 gets 100 CPU because of bad scheduling: http://www.vaxenrule.com/Shared%20Documents/amnhltm.zip

Install Driver in the Guest.
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Postby Zajec » 4. Jul 2007, 09:22

stefan.becker: thanks for info, it's nice we have graphic drivers but it's not enought :-|

What about well-shared mouse pointer? In my case there are weird problems with acceleration of mouse in guest OS.

Plus one more thing is still really bad: speed of virtualized Windows 98. It is extremaly slow! Windows 98 runs ever slower than XP for me. Sorry to say that but without help ot Innotek, VirtualBox will not be able to virtualize Windows 98 in any normal way.
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Postby ghr » 16. Aug 2007, 23:48

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Guest OSses: DOS, Win3x, Win95, WinXP, Ubuntu, OS/2

Scitech Display Doctor v7

Postby gnuser » 17. Aug 2007, 07:41

I've heard lots of good things about Scitech Display Doctor v7, and it does indeed give me nice graphics (24-bit, 1024x768) in my Win98SE guest under WinXP host. Only problem is that it's a trial version that expires in 21 days and nags relentlessly. There doesn't seem to be any way to purchase it, since Scitech no longer offers or supports it.

They offer earlier versions free (with published registration codes) at ftp://ftp.scitechsoft.com/sdd/ but I can't get them to work. I suspect that this discontinued v7 beta has a "free use" registration code published somewhere, but I can't find it on Scitech's site.

Does anyone using Scitech Display Doctor v7 know how to register it?
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