Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby trlkly » 13. Jun 2012, 15:35

I just want to add that you can also enable ACPI after Windows 98 is installed, just in case you didn't know about the setup option ahead of time. I did this on Windows 98 SE, so the instructions might be slightly different on Windows 98 or ME.

1. Boot Windows 98 to the desktop.
2. Open the Control Panel and choose Add Hardware Wizard.
3. Keep clicking Next until you are offered a list of Plug-and-Play devices. Choose "No, the device isn't in the list" and click Next.
4. The next screen will mention finding non-Plug-and-Play devices. Choose "No, I want to select the hardware from a list" and click Next.
5. In the list that follows, pick "System devices" and click Next.
6. In that list, choose "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)" and click Next.
7. After several dialogs indicating that various devices are being installed, the ACPI driver will install. A restart will not be required.

To check and see if it worked, try turning off the VM using the Machine > ACPI Shutdown command in VirtualBox. If it works, then the installation was a success.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby trlkly » 13. Jun 2012, 15:44

rauli wrote:On VirtualBox Windows 98, 98se and ME (but not 95) machines, there's a hidden file C:\VIDEOROM.BIN

The file contents are the same on those 3 Windows versions, and the date/time is the Windows installation date.

I was surprised to find on the 1st bytes of this file the string "VirtualBox VGA BIOS"... What is this file? Does it belong to Windows? Or is it added by VirtualBox?


It's somewhat both. The file itself is created by Windows during the installation. But the contents come from Windows scanning the virtual machine's hardware. VirtualBox does not emulate a real graphics card, instead claiming to be a special VirtualBox brand graphics card.

If you'd have installed Windows on real hardware, the first part of that file would list whatever graphics card that computer had.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby The Pro » 21. Jun 2012, 15:54

Hi all,
When you're trying create a Virtual Win98 or other antique OS box. You have to first think about what kind of hardware that OS was designed for. Its unlikely that it had any of the advanced features we take for granted today, so when you create the Vbox make it as simple as possible to start out. After you get it going, you can mess with it.

Another great trick especially for WinDoze is to copy an image of the Install CD to the VXD as a start. Here's an example of what I do to build a Virtual Win98SE Box:

1) Obtain a Win98SE Startup VFD and a Install CD or ISO image (Know the code).

2) Create the VXD, Say 2-10 Gb.

3) Create the VBox, Say 64-128 Mb RAM, 16 Mb Video, Audio=Soundblaster16, PAE/NX, VT-x/AMD-V and all the other advanced features off for now. Set boot sequence Floppy, Hard Disk, CD/DVD.

4) Boot it from the Startup VFD, format it as a System disk and copy the entire Install CD to a directory on the VXD i.e xcopy E:\*.* C:\WIN98CD /s/e/v and reset the boot sequence to Hard Disk, Floppy, CD/DVD. Hint: xcopy can be found on the CD.

5) Reboot it and run the setup program from the image on the VXD. This will dodge a lot of problems that many of you have experienced and can't explain plus you'll have an image of the install media handy whenever you're tweaking your new Virtual Win98 Box. FWIW youcan turn some of the advanced features on now as Win98SE can actually use them once installed, you can also increase the system and video ram numbers to whatever you like.

The reason this works is historical, even though you have a fancy hot computer, smokin' Host OS, etc. The Win98 install software doesn't know squat about that, it thinks it's in a world somewhere between MSDOS and Win7. It's especially fragile during the transition from boot to when It's finally installed and problems show up then. Copying the install files to the HD dodges a lot of add-on software in the install like memory managers, disk caches, CD drivers and greatly simplifies life. FWIW this strategy will probably work for a large number of Antique OSes. I just did the above using VBox 4.1.16 (Win7 Host Win98SE Guest).

A final note, one of the problems with Win98 is finding a suitable hi-res generic video driver. The best one I've found is something called "VBEMP 9x Project - Universal VESA/VBE Video Display Driver" look it up, I can't do everything 8<)

Hope this helps.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby The Pro » 22. Jun 2012, 23:23

I have to admit that I wondered about what role ACPI might play on a VBox unless the Host was a laptop. I found out. I recently upgraded from VBox 3.1.2 to 4.1.16 and all went well. There was however one old W98 Guest that I use a lot and I found that if I left it idle beyond the ACPI timeout settings of the Win7 Host, it would crash and the Host would note the fact, record a crash dump and shutdown. This was despite the fact that the Guest had a timer based APM scheme and it's timeouts were intentionally shorter than the Host which worked at VBox 3.1.2. Obviously during the upgrade something changed and it indeed involved ACPI. I got it working again but learned some stuff along the way.

1) The old Guest APM scheme used a pair of 3rd party files that were W98 .vxd and .drv files. The upgrade broke the link between them and the virtual hardware and I detected a new ACPI system device with no associated driver had also showed up.

2) I deleted the APC stuff and tried going through the Control Panel/Install New Hardware drill to no avail and finally had to resort to running Setup /p j which worked but revealed some more stuff that's good to know.

3) The best way to install W98 is with all the advanced features off, you can enable them later BUT! If you later rerun the Setup program you have to turn them back off, then back on after completion.

4) Running Setup from a W98 guest while it's running is futile. Shut it down, reconfigure the VBox, restart it, then restart it again in MSDOS mode. Run the Setup program from there. I've determined that this environment is pretty much the same as if you had rebooted it from a Startup VFD. Anyway it works.

5) I also noted that every time I did an abnormal shutdown/restart, the Scandisk at restart seemed take a lot longer WTF?. Once completed I could rerun it and it would behave normally?

6) Once I got everything figured out and reconfigured, the reinstall went well although when it got to the last (Windows Configuration) phase things got REALLY S.L.O.W, enough so that they were exceeding the Host timeouts. I wound up moving the cursor into the guest screen and clicking whenever it seemed brain dead.

7) Perseverance paid off, once It finished the W98SE VBox responds normally and didn't seem to lose anything along the way.

The end result is pretty cool, if I leave the W98 Guest idle beyond the Host timeouts, VBox asserts an ACPI shutdown and the Guest goes to sleep. Awakening the Host kickstarts the Guest when the cursor hits it. Not bad IMHO.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby dbird » 5. Sep 2012, 05:13

About the vbe9x video driver with windows 95 guest. Every time I start a command window in the guest, with this driver, the whole guest window goes blank, and the guest appears to freeze.

Anyone know how to fix this?

Thanks,

Dave
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby juron » 5. Sep 2012, 10:34

your command windows are using pif-files. in thread "Windows 98 (Win98) general discussions" someone wrote:

postfix wrote:I searched all *-PIF-files in my Virtualbox-Win98SE-guest-installation and switched the settings to "full sized" sceen with "25 lines" mode; even I do with "_default.pif" in "c:\windows\"

After that, all pif-files works well, even the fall back in windows98se mode after finish programms started by pif-files.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby dbird » 6. Sep 2012, 02:14

juron wrote:your command windows are using pif-files. in thread "Windows 98 (Win98) general discussions" someone wrote:

postfix wrote:I searched all *-PIF-files in my Virtualbox-Win98SE-guest-installation and switched the settings to "full sized" sceen with "25 lines" mode; even I do with "_default.pif" in "c:\windows\"

After that, all pif-files works well, even the fall back in windows98se mode after finish programms started by pif-files.


Thank you. That works quite well. Has anyone explored making other changes to the pifs to maybe get the open in window to work?

Thanks again,

Dave
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby dbird » 6. Sep 2012, 02:57

Thank you. That works quite well. Has anyone explored making other changes to the pifs to maybe get the open in window to work?


I take it back. It works on a plain command window, but not in windows opened by programs during installation. I am still getting the blank screen with the freezup under those conditions. Any comments?

Thanks,

Dave
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby dbird » 8. Sep 2012, 07:15

For installs with no pifs, I had to reboot with the standard vga driver, install and then modify the pifs, and then re-activate the vbe9x drivers.

I found that simply changing the default mode away to a fixed number of lines works fine. This allows the app to open in a sizeable window starting at the fixed number of lines. I use a window size of 800x600 so 43 lines works good for me.

So, unless I run into more problems with this, the issue is solved for me.

BTW/FYI, I have found that it is extremely convenient to make a clone of any given good state of the guest during these adjustments, so that I can go back to a known good state. I suppose that is obvious to all you veteran virtual machine jockeys, but it was new to me and avoids a great deal of trouble when landing in an unbootable situation. Never hurts to repeat good advice I think; may help some other newby.

Thanks for the comments,

Dave
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby dbird » 14. Sep 2012, 00:48

Found that the DOS command prompt will not work with the pif settings. No pif, com instead. Does OK with the full screen setting though.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby TwinHeadedEagle » 22. Feb 2013, 15:19

Thanks, this helped me... :)
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Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 SETUP ON INSTALL

Postby herakles » 1. Mar 2013, 21:39

HI !

My name is caron and I live in Rodrigues Island ( Indian Ocean ).
I am trying since 1 month to install Win98 SE as guest on Ubuntu12.10 then I gave up by replacing Ubuntu by Linux Mint 14 !
I tried to recompile my win98 iso that I use in VirtuBox to create a virtual machine : i always get the same error " FAULT OUTSIDE THE MS DOS EXTENDER with a great deal of numbers ! :cry:
Can you please help me : I'm in most dispair situation !

Thanks in advance :wink:

Caron :!:

p.s : my email is carongangoo_2005@yahoo.fr i you don't mind.........lol!
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Re: WIN98 SE VM WITHOUT ACPI ! FAULT OUTSIDE MS-DOS EXTENDE

Postby herakles » 2. Apr 2013, 16:01

Hi !

Just to add that you can create an " antique" WIN 98 VM on virtualboz 4.1.18 WITOUHT ACPI and on a laptop DELL VOSTRO ( ANTIQUE TOO...lol!!!! )
I was unable to setup the VM because as soon as I started to copy SETUP WIN98 files : STANDARD ERROR -DEFAUT OUTSIDE THE MS DOS EXTENDER !
I changed all parameters day n nignt, many partitionned or nor VXD of all sizes : NUTS ! Till I got the idea to copy files from the win98SE cd to the VXD , restart the machine WITHOUT CD ROM SUPPORT and launch setup from WIN 98 MS DOS ( of course, I formatted the vxd by using the format function of WIN98 SE format ....) :)

Everything runs prefectly smoothly ( I enabled 2-3 d accelaration , soud card -also using SCI TECH DISPLAY DOCTOR on 32-millions colors ...GREAT !) I did even solved sound card driver missing by running " add new hardware " and locating driver on WIN98 SE files copied on. my vxd - I copied the WIN98 folder to run setup from it.

My only question is : by using guest additions , can I share a folder from LINUX MINT 14 to my WIN98SE or share a folder from win98SE to linux MINT 14 ?

CHEERS from Mauritius n Rodrigues Islands !!

Caron :D
Last edited by Perryg on 2. Apr 2013, 16:40, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed unnecesssary large text markup code
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby Perryg » 2. Apr 2013, 16:42

There are no guest additions for Windows older than XP.
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Re: Discuss: Tutorial: Windows 95/98 guest OSes

Postby Antiapplekid » 2. Oct 2013, 01:19

I'm sorry for bumping this thread I just wanted to say thank you this helped allot :-)
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