Topic: Virtualisation/Emulation of legacy Windows OSes .... which is the best tool?  (Read 3356 times)

Author Message

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline woody.cool

  • I get Woody for Camy
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 1631
  • Kudos 11
  • Gender: Male
  • HADOOKEN!
    • View Profile
Not strictly retro (as in systems) but retro in the sense of the ability to run old OSes.

I'm wanting to run old Windows OSes (namely Windows 3.11/Windows For Workgroups 3.11 and Windows 95) in virtualisation.
I'm wondering which is the best tool to use. I've tried a few and have issues with all the ones I've tried.

I've used the following:
  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1 - runs the VM really fast. Windows 3.11 is no problem, Windows 95 has random glitches (such as the fact it reckoned I had 4 floppy drives from F: to I: even though I didn't have it configured like that)
  • VMware Workstation 6.5.1 - resource hungry as fook .... it hammered my PC to fook constantly for what seemed like no apparent reason (especially as VPC didn't) and also, there's no 3.11 support .... it works, but is fiddly to set up
  • Sun Virtualbox - no 'guest additions' or drivers for anything earlier than NT4/2000/XP so struggled with drivers for VGA (but managed to fudge on a generic VESA VBE driver) and no matter how it was configured, networking just didn't work, no matter what settings I had chosen.
  • Qemu - currently using this at the moment, but my Windows 95 virtual machine runs like s**t and is so slow it's virtually unusable. It crashes/locks up regularly, even when doing the most basic of things (like displaying a dialog box/message box that's built in to one of the Win95 DLLs)
So, any ideas on which I should use? Is there any other, better product?
It's sounds like this is one of those questions that only some may be able to answer (I'm looking in AndyT's direction here ;) )

My PC isn't the best .... specs are as follows:
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2.2Ghz
  • 1GB RAM
  • nVidia GeForce 8500 GTS
  • 2x Hard Drives .... 1x 400GB SATA (partitioned as 80GB XP drive, the rest as data) and 1x 1TB SATA (just one large 1TB partition). There's plenty of free space on all partitions.
I know most people will say 'MORE RAM' but money's tight at the moment, so purchasing more RAM is out of the question until funds permit.

Thanks in advance
(oh, and if this post is in the wrong section, feel free to move it)

Offline AndyRCM

  • >=))))º> GO FEED THE FISH! <º((((=<
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 9675
  • Kudos 50
  • Gender: Male
  • Manic Jet Set Willy
    • View Profile
    • Retro Computer Museum
Mate, doesn't help you but I have used VMware Fusion on the Mac to emulate Windows 98SE, XP and Vista and I believe you can also emulate Windows 7 too!
It was superb - all three systems that I tried were excellent and ran at a good speed too . . . do they do that for PC too?

A

"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

Offline woody.cool

  • I get Woody for Camy
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 1631
  • Kudos 11
  • Gender: Male
  • HADOOKEN!
    • View Profile
Unsure about VMware Fusion, but there is VMware Workstation, WMware Server and VMware Player for Windows.
Unfortunately, VMware don't support running legacy OSes on their software. I intend to be running MS-DOS, Windows 3.11 and Windows 95 (possibly 98, but may just stick with 95) and driver support is difficult for these OSes when running under VMware, much to my annoyance.

Now, running 2000, XP, Vista, 7 .... they all work in VMware Workstation with no problems, but I have other PCs that I run these OSes on and they run a lot better on a real system than under virtualisation.

Offline AndyRCM

  • >=))))º> GO FEED THE FISH! <º((((=<
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 9675
  • Kudos 50
  • Gender: Male
  • Manic Jet Set Willy
    • View Profile
    • Retro Computer Museum
I know VMWare fusion you can definately run older OS's - It even runs dos 6.22 so . . .
"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

Offline woody.cool

  • I get Woody for Camy
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 1631
  • Kudos 11
  • Gender: Male
  • HADOOKEN!
    • View Profile
I know VMWare fusion you can definately run older OS's - It even runs dos 6.22 so . . .
Hmmmm, this requires some investigation!
However, what about drivers for older OSes? Is there SVGA drivers etc.?

Offline AndyRCM

  • >=))))º> GO FEED THE FISH! <º((((=<
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 9675
  • Kudos 50
  • Gender: Male
  • Manic Jet Set Willy
    • View Profile
    • Retro Computer Museum
I believe so yes, as a sort of extended disk that you install afterwards.

A
"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

Offline woody.cool

  • I get Woody for Camy
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 1631
  • Kudos 11
  • Gender: Male
  • HADOOKEN!
    • View Profile
I believe so yes, as a sort of extended disk that you install afterwards.
Right ..... looks like a trip to the VMware website.
.........................................................................

Just had a look. VMware Fusions is a Mac only product.
I've tried VMware Workstation on Windows and it's a resource hog, so may have to look at what alternatives there are.

Offline stiggy2009

  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 1751
  • Kudos 25
  • Gender: Male
  • I eat RetroBrite and Cornflakes for breakfast.
    • View Profile
I use VM mainly but Microsoft Virtual PC runs my Win95 & Win98 images really well for older games. Anything older, I tend to use Dosbox. I've been toying with the idea of getting a dedicated older PC specifically for older gaming. Something like a 486DX or early Pentium with maybe an old 3dfx for some of those early 3d games like Screamer Rally or Interstate 76 (with 3d Patch).

I see PC's like this going on eBay for practically nothing. But....will the wife let me have another beige box in the study...prob not :-)

p.s You call that a low spec PC...hmm, maybe it's time i upgraded!

Offline woody.cool

  • I get Woody for Camy
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 1631
  • Kudos 11
  • Gender: Male
  • HADOOKEN!
    • View Profile
I use VM mainly but Microsoft Virtual PC runs my Win95 & Win98 images really well for older games. Anything older, I tend to use Dosbox. I've been toying with the idea of getting a dedicated older PC specifically for older gaming. Something like a 486DX or early Pentium with maybe an old 3dfx for some of those early 3d games like Screamer Rally or Interstate 76 (with 3d Patch).
I have some old PCs kicking around, a couple of 486s and Pentiums. The VM is for 'testing' purposes, but looks like I'm gonna end up using a real PC for this.

I see PC's like this going on eBay for practically nothing. But....will the wife let me have another beige box in the study...prob not :-)
Well, I'm, running out of room, so it's not a viable option to get another PC.

p.s You call that a low spec PC...hmm, maybe it's time i upgraded!
Oh, I thought I was the only person running a machine of the specs quoted ..... everyone I ask has much better PCs than I do :D