Possible to attach USB CD reader to Windows 98 Virtual Machine

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Possible to attach USB CD reader to Windows 98 Virtual Machine

Postby wassup2190 » 16. Oct 2021, 09:03


So I am attempting to use my Windows 98 virtual machine as a machine for running old computer games. I am attempting to run said old games which are no longer supported in Windows 10 by running them in Windows 98 via a virtual machine, and plugging their cds into the virtual machine via a USB CD reader. The problem arises though, that I am unable to insert physical disks into the virtual machine as it only picks my cd reader up as a USB device, which older versions of Windows can't find the drivers for. I am wondering how to attach a USB CD reader to a virtualbox vm so that the vm will be able to read the CD inserted in the USB CD reader instead of seeing it as a USB device? Thank you.
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Re: Possible to attach USB CD reader to Windows 98 Virtual Machine

Postby mpack » 16. Oct 2021, 10:38

Unlike Windows versions since XP, Win98 has no native USB device drivers that I know of, all it had was support for a USB controller. Win98 required each USB vendor to supply their own drivers with the device.

Today when you plug in just about any USB device into a Windows PC, there will be a Windows driver to control it. Failing that it will search online and download the best driver.

None of that happens with Win98: it's up to you to provide a Win98 driver for the device.

So assuming that no such driver exists (unless your CD drive is 24 years old and you still have the setup disk) then I'm aware of two options:

  1. You can check if VirtualBox will let you map the host drive to the virtual CD drive. However VirtualBox will not always allow this, as USB drives don't look like optical drives, they look like generic mass storage devices.
  2. Some third party created generic USB2 mass storage drivers for Win98 some years back. If the drive presents as USB2 mass storage then this might work. You have to hunt around for the drivers and instructions, here is where I found them today: http://www.synthmind.com/W98_USB_Drivers.htm.
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