Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby Timelord » 9. Mar 2011, 21:43

VB is like a new standalone pc, so if your standalone pc will run Ghost, so will VB.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby FrodoHobbits » 9. Mar 2011, 22:11

No one has mentioned using Clonezilla yet. I used this on my work laptop to create an XP image before I installed Win7, now I can run my old laptop as a guest when I realise I have missed some files and need to transfer them to the host.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby glnz » 9. Mar 2011, 22:23

Frodo - Does that mean the answer to my preceding question is "Yes, the ghost image of your old PC is all you need to install or run the guest OS on VB, and you don't need any OS disks"?

Timelord - How can I know whether my standalone PC would run Ghost? (I think you intend "standalone" to mean "without an OS"?) MY PC's have always come equipped with Windows. I have no idea what my Dell Optiplex could or would do without an OS.

Thanks to you both.
glnz
Dell Optiplex 755 with WinXPPro SP3
4GB RAM -- Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 -- ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro
(and I still have my old Toshiba Satellite Pro 4300
with Win98SE, 320MB RAM, 12GB hard drive and a dim screen)
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby Timelord » 9. Mar 2011, 22:36

Do it, it will work, trust me.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby FrodoHobbits » 10. Mar 2011, 09:51

I don't want to tread on anyones toes as I'm sure all the advice they have given will work for you, I was just offering another solution.
For the record, you would not need the OS CD to make the Clonezilla solution work.
One word of warning - It worked for me on a VBox supported OS, 95/98/Me are not supported.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby Etepetete » 10. Mar 2011, 11:21

Hey glnz,
it's not only all about VBox, what you are getting into is a complex subject. It has to do with OS's, file systems, software and hardware virtualization, third party tools and the list goes on. I spent hours a day for ca. 3 weeks just reading documentation and (re)searching before I installed and started using VBox. In my opinion, you won't get as much out of VBox until you have at least a basic understanding of all elements involved. I can't speak for Oracle but I don't think they will favor a certain third party tool such as Ghost in lieu of other similar tools. It wouldn't be a good idea. VBox the way it is already gives the user an enormous amount of flexibility and capabilities, which can be implemented according to the user's specific needs.
Also, there is much to be learned by making mistakes. You will understand a solution that you came up with yourself far better than just implementing a solution that works but without knowing why. Just make sure you practice basic principles such as backing up data before attempting something new and you will be on the safe side. I prefer clonezilla for backups; create an image, do something, if one screws up, restore the image and everything is as it was before the fatal error. By the way, your next weekend won't be ruined irrelevant of the outcome. You will definitely have learned something and that is something that no one can take away from you.
Go for it! And enjoy your weekend. :)

P.S. I converted my laptop installation to a VDI so I could compare performance between host and guest using a known entity. (I knew how my host performed and differences in performance of the cloned OS were immediately evident.) I don't have it anymore as it was only for initial testing purposes. If you can read German, you will find the steps I performed here. (I didn't bother writing it up in English, because all the information contained therein is already available on this forum.) By the way, if you have installation CDs /DVDs, it makes working with VBox much easier.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby mpack » 10. Mar 2011, 12:02

Incidentally, in my experience Win98 prompts for the setup disk every time there's a change in the hardware. Hopefully the "setup disk" is actually located in a folder on the hard disk, but if not then you will need the CD.

@glnz: "Ghost" is the name of a particular commercial disk imaging application. It is not a generic term, and it is not part of VirtualBox. I favour Acronis myself - also commercial. Others have mentioned CloneZilla as a free alternative. The basic idea is to boot Ghost / Acronis / CloneZilla or whatever from a CD on your old Win98 PC, and image the disk to an image file on a big external drive. Later on you will build your virtual PC using VirtualBox, and you will boot that virtual PC up using the same CD used earlier (or a .ISO virtual image of it), and use the Ghost / Acronis / CloneZilla or whatever app to "restore" the disk image from the external drive file onto the virtual hard drive of your virtual PC. Your virtual PC drive is now a clone of your old physical PCs drive.

However, your virtual PC will not be using (simulating) the same motherboard hardware as your old PC. Therefore you'll face a struggle to install proper drivers etc. It's at this point that you may be prompted for the setup CD... or ideally find that it's included in the disk image.

You should know that Win98 is partially 16bit code which will not run very well in the VM. And, because of the age of that OS, it is not important enough for the VBox developers to have written "Guest Additions" for it. Guest Additions (or GAs) are replacement drivers and utilities which take specific advantage of the virtual environment, e.g. allowing one mouse cursor to rove over both host and guest (normally the guest hardware is simulating an independant mouse).
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby Timelord » 10. Mar 2011, 13:27

One thing to think about: is 98 16 or 32 bit ? And Ghost ????
That's the only thing what can go wrong. :wink:

W98 works fine for me in the Vbox.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby glnz » 10. Mar 2011, 13:46

Thanks to all here! Well, if I have the weekend free, there's clearly something to do. So far, when my Win98SE laptop prompts for a file, I can usually find it in C:\Windows\System32 or similar. (First it asks me for a file and prompts to insert the disk, instead I do a WinKey+F search for the file, then I point the prompt to the folder where the file is.) Hope the same will happen in vb.

Now for a really dumb Q - what's a VDI?

Timelord - thanks for the encouragement.
glnz
Dell Optiplex 755 with WinXPPro SP3
4GB RAM -- Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 -- ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro
(and I still have my old Toshiba Satellite Pro 4300
with Win98SE, 320MB RAM, 12GB hard drive and a dim screen)
glnz
 
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby mpack » 10. Mar 2011, 15:15

Timelord wrote:One thing to think about: is 98 16 or 32 bit ? And Ghost ????
That's the only thing what can go wrong. :wink:

Ghost / Acronis / CloneZilla etc will in this case run from a live CD, hence it doesn't matter (much) what OS is installed on the hard disk - that OS isn't being used. For some operations, such as unused space elimination from the disk image, things go more smoothly if the tool recognizes the filesystem used on the hard disk. But Win98SE uses FAT32, which everybody recognizes, hence again there should be no problem.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby Timelord » 10. Mar 2011, 15:46

Dear mpack, don't talk shit !. Ghost is installed on the harddrive. :roll:
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby mpack » 10. Mar 2011, 16:15

Timelord wrote:Dear mpack, don't talk shit !. Ghost is installed on the harddrive. :roll:

I don't see anywhere in the thread where that was established. I would also advise you to look at the post count of the people you accuse of talking shit. The count is certainly not definitive, but IMHO it can still be used as a rough guide as to the experience and relevant knowledge of the person you are addressing. And in my case I like to think that I know do a thing or two about disk images, file systems and related tools, especially in a VirtualBox context.
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby glnz » 10. Mar 2011, 16:24

Gentlemen! To your corners!

You've both been helpful.

What flavor of VB is good for me - OSE or PUEL? My host is WinXPPro SP3 and as you know my first Guest will be Win98SE. My second Guest might be Win2000Pro SP4 and maybe some day a Guest of WinXPPro.

Thanks.
glnz
Dell Optiplex 755 with WinXPPro SP3
4GB RAM -- Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 -- ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro
(and I still have my old Toshiba Satellite Pro 4300
with Win98SE, 320MB RAM, 12GB hard drive and a dim screen)
glnz
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 8. Mar 2011, 17:28
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Re: Can I easily dump my old Win98SE laptop into Virtual Box?

Postby mpack » 10. Mar 2011, 17:17

glnz wrote:Gentlemen! To your corners!

Experience tells me that it's rarely wise to gage emotion from text. Nothing which Timelord said was upsetting, despite his poor choice of words.

glnz wrote:What flavor of VB is good for me - OSE or PUEL?

AFAIK the question is misplaced. Since v4, OSE and PUEL are effectively the same in terms of capabilities (proprietary modules such as USB 2 having been hived off into extension packs). Basically it's a question of whether you want VirtualBox to come to you in source code or precompiled form, and on a Windows XP host I can't imagine source code being your preferred option - which means you'll be using PUEL.
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