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smurfy March 28th, 2010 09:13 AM

Tutorial - Virtual Windows95 for old games
Tutorial: Installing Windows 95 in a virtual machine to run old games:

Objective - Install Windows 95 in a virtual machine (in a WindowsXP Host) to enable old software to be used that does not otherwise run in newer Windows versions.

Pre-requisite downloads required:
Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Setup:
From Microsoft
Note: Newer versions of Sun VirtualBox are not easy to get Windows95 guests to behave nicely (hardware incompatibilities abound!)

Win95 Bootdisk (CD) Images
Win95a from here (Link broken 2014 - now try This page)

Install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.

Run VirtualPC Console.

Start a new VM Wizard:

Select Windows98 as the O/S Template:

Create new Virtual Hard Disk

Your new VM is ready to use.

smurfy March 28th, 2010 09:30 AM

Start your VM
As it tries to boot (it will fail) select CD menu and "Capture ISO Image" and browse to your downloaded bootdisk image.

Verify you have captured the Win95a.iso bootdisk image (Do not click on this, just view to confirm it has captured)

From the Action menu, send the Three-Finger-Salute to your VM to restart it

Your VM should now boot from the bootdisk and Drive R (virtual CD Drive) will create a fake A drive

You can now run FDISK to prepare your virtual disk for Windows

Restart using Action menu

smurfy March 28th, 2010 09:36 AM

Run FDISK again to verify your work:

Exit FDISK and restart.
Now you can FORMAT your virtual hard disk:

Now use the "SYS" command to transfer the basic DOS system to the C drive

Now copy the CD drivers to the C drive to enable access to the real CD drive without the ISO image

smurfy March 28th, 2010 09:45 AM

Release the Bootdisk image (Click on it this time).
VirtualPC console should automatically revert to the Physical drive, but if it doesn't you may need to manually select this option from the CD menu.

Restart the VM, Don't get too excited about the splash screen...

You should now be at a C:\> prompt with a CD drive R.

Insert your Windows 95 CD in your physical CD-Rom drive. Navigate to the R: drive and start Win95 Setup

Ensure you tick the hardware detection options

Do not create a startup disk

Setup will prompt you to restart

smurfy March 28th, 2010 09:53 AM

Windows95 Setup restart

You'll need to provide some networking information

Setup will copy the Win95 networking components

Cancel the printer installation

Setup completes and prompts for a restart

You MAY see the following message on restart due to the DOS level cd-rom driver, don't worry about this

Restart when you see the following

Over-ride Safe Mode and boot direct to Normal

smurfy March 28th, 2010 09:55 AM

You should now have a Virtual Windows 95 environment to enjoy

Merv Wiz October 14th, 2010 12:37 PM

Many Thanks
At last I can run 95 on a virtual Machine.

lunavagrant December 13th, 2010 08:29 AM

could you help me?
hi, thank you soo very much for the tutorial, it was very easy to follow, and helped A LOT. i installed the win95 perfectly with it.
but...may i ask for your help at something, or if you have any advices for me ?
e recently wanted to relieve some nostalgic ideas and got one of my oold favorite games, earthworm jim: special edition (the win95 version of the game) and, the sound doesnīt work perfectly on xp (sound effects vanish after some events, like picking an extra life up, or using the helicopter jump and donīt come back), it happens with every xp windows. a lot of people told me that i should play on w95, using microsoftīs virtual pc and....i tried such, to no avail, same thing happens. perhaps itīs the audiocard ? or thereīs something else i should do inside virtual w95, after installing it on the virtual pc?
if you have any ideas, advices or something, i would appreciate.
thank you for your time, and for the awesome tutorial.

violetlass December 21st, 2010 03:32 AM

I have a question, I have it installed perfectly, but how can I get COM 1 port to turn on, it is recognized by my program, but the hardware at the other end isn't recognizing that the port is opened. On set up it says the value is none, how can I change that with out it being com 3 or 5 and it being unrecognized. I am using a USB to 9 pin(male) serial port.

Fixed it, my PC has it listed as COM 5.

stateofpsychosi May 15th, 2014 02:08 PM

here's an alternative method for if you have a dos installation floppy and win95 cd but not a windows 95 setup floppy

installing windows 95 and CD driver manually without the floppy setup disk

what you need:
.DOS on a floppy or on an image (.flp .img)
.Windows 95 cd
.VMWARE player (it's free) or virtualpc (I recommend VMWARE)
.Magiciso (the free trial version will do)
.a copy of MSCDEX.EXE and oakcdrom.sys (both can be found online)

step 1

create a new virtual machine (make sure to add a floppy image drive if you are using vmware)

step 2

put your dos floppy/image in or mount it and install dos

step 3

download and install the free version of magiciso
open magic iso
go to new - floppy - 1.44

find a copy of mscdex.exe
find a copy of oakcdrom.sys (generic cd rom driver that works with dos.. might have to try another if it doesn't work)
RENAME the oakcdrom.sys to cdrom.sys

drag both these files into magic iso on the floppy disk we just created

save the file

close magic iso

find the file we just saved in your explorer

change the extension from .ima to .flp (if you are using vmware) or .img (if you are using virtualpc)

(if you can't see the extensions you're going to need to change your folder options to show extensions)
google it. it's easy to do

step 4

go back to your virtual machine
mount the floppy image we just created

copy mscdex.exe c:\
copy cdrom.sys c:\

(don't forget to rename oakcdrom.sys to cdrom.sys in step 3)

step 5

find config.sys in your c drive


edit config.sys

now add a line that says this

device=c:\cdrom.sys /d:mscd001

exit and save

step 6

find autoexec.bat in your c drive


edit autoexec.bat

now add a line that says this

c:\mscdex.exe /d:mscd001

exit and save

step 7

restart the computer or virtual machine

step 8

we're still not done yet

now move to your c drive and type

mscdex.exe: /d:mscd001 /M:5 /V /L:d /S /K

(this part /M:x refers to the amount of buffers your drive has.. it's either 4 or 5. usually 5)

step 9

create a blank floppy image either in vmware or magic iso then mount that new one

put your windows 95 cd in the cd drive



step 10

it should be booting windows 95 now

now you might run into troubles when it tries to install the other drivers
it might ask you for windows floppies even if you're using the cd version
which I never understood

but anyways, you can find all of these drivers on the windows 95b cd if you have it
they're all in cab files

so you'd need to extract them 1 by 1 and put them on floppy images to use them.
(huge pain)

but I actually just got it to load the drivers off the win95 cd by just trying it over and over again until
it worked. it might have been because I either did or didn't restart after putting in the windows 95 cd
can't remember, but I'd try both if you're having trouble

all in all windows 95 is incredible wonky to install in a virtual machine. I highly recommend using VMWARE
and not virtual pc for this one.
If you didn't have a hard time installing this.. you got incredible lucky

make sure you check to make sure windows95 is seeing your cd drive
if not go to the add new hardware wizard in the control panel and see if that detects it

Michael MacDonald
State of Psychosis

The Dude May 20th, 2014 02:56 AM

Thankd you and welcome to CTH...... I hope you will stick around and enjoy the site :)

Polkldui89 June 5th, 2014 12:56 PM

<a href="">Black MK</a>
I'm an idiot :)

Wifey360 July 28th, 2014 12:36 AM

The link that you have to go and download a windows 95 bootdisk (cd) no longer works and I was wondering if you can direct me to a good site to go to so I can get it downloaded.

smurfy July 28th, 2014 01:45 AM


Originally Posted by Wifey360 (Post 1272870)
The link that you have to go and download a windows 95 bootdisk (cd) no longer works and I was wondering if you can direct me to a good site to go to so I can get it downloaded.

Sure, link added to original post - download tested and checked, seems clean.

apsco17 August 2nd, 2014 10:26 PM

Hello Smurfy,

I've followed your directions for loading win95 onto an XP machine, I had to select the 64 bit download. Win95 loaded okay up to step 3 - restart. As it restarted, I get an error:

"While initializing device IOS: Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer."

I've restarted the Virtual PC using: Ctl/alt/del; close then start; and did a complete shutdown and restart on computer, same error every time whether I try normal or safe modes, safe mode command prompt does not give me the error.

Any suggestions on what might be causing this error? I did not use a boot floppy, just the original win95 cd-rom that came with my other computer.

Thank you,


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