Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby Technologov » 23. Sep 2008, 13:30

[modedit] This is the discussion topic for Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes.
Last edited by Technologov on 23. Feb 2009, 00:15, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby fixedwheel » 23. Sep 2008, 13:58

avoid 100% CPU load

Win9x is using an idle loop instead of HLT: the loop lets the host CPU running the Win9x virtual machine consume 100% all the time. This only applies to DOS and DOS based Win (3.x, 95/98/ME) - NT based Windoze and all other operating systems are not affected

Install rain, waterfall or cpuidle in the Win9x guest - my preference is rain as it only does what is needed -replace the idle loop with HLT execution- and nothing more

here is a link explaining something about, related to real hardware http://estu.nit.ac.jp/~e982457/other/cpuidle/idle.htm


d/l rain from here: http://www.benchtest.com/downloads/index.html
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Postby The MAZZTer » 26. Sep 2008, 00:56

I experience a problem where the display is rendered unreadable (while using the linked video drivers... yes the universal ones, switching between the different drivers in that package doesn't help).

The only workaround I have is to use 256 colors, which still causes the display to stretch but it is possible to still see enough to change the screen resolution back to something sane.

The glitch appears to occur whenever a console program runs, regardless of whether the console window is visible or not. In the second screenshot you can see the .NET framework setup causes it even though no visible windows appear (but it does invoke the CLI ngen.exe tool as part of setup). Opening command.com causes it to happen immediately.

http://x.mzzt.net/2008.09.24.15.38.51.png - Visual corruption in 32-bit graphics mode
http://x.mzzt.net/2008.09.25.18.48.08.png - Visual corruption in 256 color mode

Hopefully this workaround (use 256 colors) will help some people for the short term, but it would be nice if someone could figure out a better solution. :(

[Edit: Don't change the screen res back while a console app is running (even/especially with no window) because the app will hang.]
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Postby postfix » 1. Oct 2008, 03:40

Using "16 bit" mode works fine. :wink:
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Black screen & DOS box

Postby jw23 » 4. Oct 2008, 19:19

Using 16bit mode doesn't work for me either. :(

What does work, however, is switching to full screen mode with Alt+Return and then switching back to windowed mode again -- afterwards the DOS box works just fine in windowed mode.

As a workaround for console apps that do not run long enough to press Alt+Return twice I created a shortcut to "command.com /k exit", specified in the properties that it should run in full screen mode and put the shortcut at the top of the start menu.

Now I can press "Windows key" -> "Down" -> "Return" to make the screen readable again (ugly, but better than nothing ;) ).
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About Rain 2.0...

Postby ionreflex » 24. Oct 2008, 20:38

fixedwheel wrote:avoid 100% CPU load

Win9x is using an idle loop instead of HLT: the loop lets the host CPU running the Win9x virtual machine consume 100% all the time. This only applies to DOS and DOS based Win (3.x, 95/98/ME) - NT based Windoze and all other operating systems are not affected

Install rain, waterfall or cpuidle in the Win9x guest - my preference is rain as it only does what is needed -replace the idle loop with HLT execution- and nothing more

here is a link explaining something about, related to real hardware http://estu.nit.ac.jp/~e982457/other/cpuidle/idle.htm


d/l rain from here: http://www.benchtest.com/downloads/index.html


I was just curious about a thing : the switches for Rain 2.0 apply to very old CPU types... where can we find info about newer CPUs ? (i'm trying VBox on AMD Turion 64 X2, and eventually AMD Athlon 64 X2...)
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Re: About Rain 2.0...

Postby fixedwheel » 24. Oct 2008, 21:02

the rain switches are not essential, IIRC - the HLT instruction which replaces the CPU consuming idle-loop is the same on all x86
ionreflex wrote:AMD Turion 64 X2, and eventually AMD Athlon 64 X2...)

sorry, this is kind of a hardware bug: the newer AMD chips (from Athlon? the K6 K6-2 K6-III was ok) lost the HLT - the instruction exists but has no function. They want to be clocked down by a powernow driver, i dont know if that works in virtualized environment
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Postby TuxRug » 1. Mar 2009, 21:14

It also seems that, though the first part of the install will work with hardware virtualization, at least on my Turion, a 95/98 guest will freeze on first boot at the logo.sys splash. Disabling hardware virtualization dramatically increases the time it takes to install, but offers better compatibility. If you're having trouble with the first boot, turn off hardware virtualization and PAE.
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Re: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby pascalgienger » 3. Apr 2009, 13:12

Firefox 2 runs on Windows 95, I managed to get it working under Windows 95 under VirtualBox 2.1.4:

http://southbrain.com/south/2009/03/firefox-2-on-windows-95-sun-xv.html

I am using RAIN.EXE to reduce unnused burned CPU cycles for my VM host...
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Re: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby big_John » 14. Apr 2009, 16:16

Followup to installing WIN 98, does one have to format the "drive" assigned in the VirturalBox to a FAT 32 since Vista (the host) is in NTFS?
OR, can one just use FDISK in DOS to setup the partition to a DOS primary, bootable before putting in the WIN98 CD?
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Re: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby col48 » 24. May 2009, 22:10

(Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy host, Windows95 guest)

Getting data to and from the guest.


This is an issue for me as I do not have a physical floppy drive on the machine and W95 does not support writing to CD (at least, mine doesn't)

Creating a virtual CD file as mentioned above is good for larger files (remember I am talking Windows 95 here!) being passed from host to guest, although it is a lot more awkward than just drag and drop.....

But for passing files (up to 1.4Mb) in both directions you can use a virtual floppy disk.

On the Ubuntu host, create an empty virtual floppy as follows...
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo  dd  bs=512  count=2880  if=/dev/zero  of=[myfloppy.img]
sudo  mkfs  msdos  [myfloppy.img]

(replacing [myfloppy.img] with a name of your choice - including a path if need be)

One-off, create a mount point on the host for the floppy. This could be anywhere, but I think it makes sense to put it in /media. The name myflop is arbitrary.
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo   mkdir  /media/myflop


When you want to access the floppy on the host, it must be mounted..
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo  losetup  /dev/loop0  [myfloppy.img]
sudo mount  -t msdos  /dev/loop0  /media/myflop

again, with the appropriate substitution for [myfloppy.img].

It can now be accessed (read/write), via /media/myflop just like any other folder on the system. This works as root (using sudo) - I am not sure which bits root access is essential for.

When finished with, unmount it
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo  umount  /media/myflop
sudo  losetup  -d  /dev/loop0


My experience on the Windows95 guest is not so easy and I don't know why - (NB that isn't a request for help!). When I have VirtualBox (2.2.2) running and Mount the floppy image the A: drive is never ready in Windows95. However, if I reboot the VM in MS-DOS mode I can copy files to and from the floppy image with no difficulty.
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Re: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby Poofonch » 28. May 2009, 02:29

I know that this is a mite off-topic and odd, but I figured out that only DOS-based versions of Windows are unsupported(not just 9x), and that I was able to successfully install Windows NT 4.0(1996 release, just so you know) and the guest additions without problem.

Windows 98 is obviously unsupported, and old, but 4.0 came first, and it runs fine.

I know this is stupid, but it's just an FYI.
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Re: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby Technologov » 28. May 2009, 09:21

Note: This topic exists only for tutorial. All discussions must be moved to other topics, and this topic closed.
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Re: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby ppgrainbow » 26. Jul 2009, 19:48

I just want to warn you that the the link to the VBEMP x86 Project video drivers that are hosted on Yahoo! Geocities. Yahoo! Geocities is going to be shut down on the 26th of October 2009, meaning that people who want to get the generic video drivers for Windows 9x/Me will no longer be able to do so after that date. :(

The correct link to the VBEMP x86 Project homepage is right on this page just incase Yahoo! Geocities shuts down this fall: http://bearwindows.boot-land.net/vbe9x.htm

You might want to consider updating the topic soon.

Anyways, I might want to try out running Windows 95 guest in VirtualBox once more and I'll post the results if you don't mind. :D
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