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3. November 2021 at 20:48 #9237
I stumbled upon Bruenors video a little while ago and figured, hey why not try it myself?
So i dug up some old copys of windows 95 and got to work.
To my frustration i got stuck with the installation in virtualbox.
After it tries to boot windows for the first time i always got a black screen with the message: “Protection error” or “Couldn’t load IOS, Protection error”.
So i began searching through the internet and stumbled upon a unofficial patch called win95cpufix.iso.
You can load this .iso into the virtual diskdrive when windows ask you to remove all disks from their drives and then let windows restart itself. If the boot-order is setup correctly in virtualbox (diskdrive before harddisk) then the patch setup will launch itself. after a neat readme that goes into all the details of the patch it will inform you what you have to do depending on the version of windows 95 you have.
The patch really did it’s magic and i was finally able to boot windows 95 correctly. What the patch essentially does, is to make windows 95 compatible with cpu speeds above 300 Mhz. BUUUUT then sadly new problems arise. After transfering the image to my device and setting up magicdosbox i only got a black screen.
After some testing i found out that the only way to boot windows 95 “properly” is to set the core option from “dynamic”
to “normal”. BUUUT this brings again new problems. Now the dcom95 driver installation will cause a illegal operation error. Weirdly it finishes installing but then i got stuck on the directx 8 installation, again a illegal operation error. After that the image is often completly corrupted. I began to try many different combinations of dosbox settings, every time with a fresh image file, to varying results. Bottom line: A proper driver setup is impossible, because of the myriads of errors i ran into, and tons of differnt bluescreens often resulting in a corruption of the image.
So i concluded that the win95cpufix.iso patch is not an option. Then i went a little crazy. I possibly tried every windows 95 release version (1.0 2.0 2.5 oem versions) i could get my hands on, with different virtualbox configurations (different virtualization technologies, reducing cpu cycles etc..), just to see if can get it to behave without the unofficial patch. After what must have been close to a hundred tries i gave up. Slowing down the CPU got me further in the installation without a patch but eventually it would crash with a protection error anyway. CPU’s will get faster as time goes on, and i can bring down mine to a minimum of 800 Mhz, but then virtualization with a severly slowed down cpu is terrible. you could possibly undervolt and underclock even further but that could potentially be dangerous or very very unstable.
Later i watched bruenors video again and paid close attention which version of virtualbox he downloaded in his video. So i downloaded version 5.0.10 and to my surprise the installation went very smoothly without any errors! Also the installation in magicdosbox went through without any errors at all.
So why am I posting this? I wanted to share my experience for future users, who may get stuck with the same errors as i did. Also i think it would be wise, if possible, to make a notification on the youtube video about the version of virtualbox and it’s improtance, to safe others from frustration. Also i think it’s a bit scary to think about that, in the future, certain version of virtualbox may not be available anymore, thus making the process potentially impossible, which is sad because how awesome is it to preserve old tech on a modern device..
So all in all it was a very fun and interesting process despite all the frustrating parts. Thanks a ton for your work guys, i never thought this would even be possible. Thank you 🙂3. November 2021 at 21:26 #9239
Hi, many thanks for warning, I will add tomorrow note to video description. Probably virtualbox added new options which should be checked or unchecked.
Btw, few days ago i installed win95 in limbo pc emulator, because i was lazy startup vbox and it went very well. This version: limbo-android-x86-6.0.0-qemu-2.9.1.apk4. November 2021 at 13:37 #9241
No problem, i’m glad to help. Never heard of limbo but i will definitly give it a shot, sounds very interesting. Yeah virtualbox added quite a few new options, like nested vt-x/amd-v is now under the processor tab, in addition to the acceleration options. activating or deactivating such options didn’t help unfortunately. i guess they changed how virtualbox works quite a bit, which probably confuses windows 95. Also recently i found out that microsoft, with their constant updates, sometimes messes with the accessebility of hardware resources. Which could potentially interfere with virtutalization. For example; before an update i was able to over- or underclock my cpu, with the official tool of the cpu manufacturer, now i’m not. For “security” reasons…4. November 2021 at 14:12 #9242
Ah yes…that glory security.., i really like to know who can profit from it. I was completely happy 25 years without this sh.t.4. November 2021 at 14:25 #9243
Oh i almost forgot to mention that there is also another quirk to the windows 95 setup. Most versions of windows, at least those i have, cannot be booted from cd and thus need a bootdisk. The process goes as following. First you start from the bootdisk image. Then you have to create a dos partition on the harddisk, from the commandline. The first command would be: fdisk(without the point at the end). In most cases it will detect that the hardrive is greater than 512 mb even tough the harddrive is only 512 mb in size. It will ask you if you want to support bigger sizes, which you can answer with yes or no. if you answer with no you cannot you use big harddrive images you mount later.
Then it will present 4 options. The first option is: “create a dos partition or logical dosdrive”. if you select this option it give 3 new options, the first one would be: “create primary dos partition”. If you select this option it will ask you if you want to use the maximums available space for the partition and make it active. if this option is selected the program wants you to restart the machine. simply turn it manually off via the virtualbox menue, then start it again. after that you have to format the c drive. this can be done with the command: format c: or format c: /s. After answering the warnig with yes, the setup routine can be started right away with: d:win95/setup. the letter d: can change depending on what version of windows 95 is used, in my case it was r:win95/setup. the corresponding diskdrive letter should be displayed after the bootdisk has installed the diskdriver, which it does every time you boot up the system from the bootdisk. also the setup.exe location can change depending on the version. a quick search with (for example) d: dir should spit out the folder structure of the installation disk.4. November 2021 at 14:29 #9244
This is why i keep my old install cd’s of windows, because sometimes the constant update bombardment can mess up so many things. it’s kinda sad4. November 2021 at 20:46 #9245
Last time I used win95 bootdisk and install process was easy. Was not necessary to play with fdisk. I booted from floppy and then I started installation from iso
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