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Struggling to install Win98 with VirtualBox
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:58 pm    Post subject: Struggling to install Win98 with VirtualBox Reply with quote

I need to run Windows on my Mini for the purpose of capturing screen-grabs/screencasts of Windows apps 'in action'.

I planned on buying XP and VMWare Fusion, but I've no experience of virtualisation, so I wanted to just take things slowly (translation: "avoid expensive mistakes"). Accordingly, I've upgraded the Mini to 4GB of memory, downloaded VirtualBox and dusted off an original Windows 98 CD-ROM that I've had for years.

VirtualBox installed without incident, but I'm not having the same luck with Win98. My first mistake was to try to start the virtual machine before I'd got the Windows CD out of it's case (I know, I know... Rolling Eyes ) but once I'd inserted the CD and mounted the Mini's optical drive, the restarted VM found the Windows installer and ran it. But it's really fragile, falling over without warning....



I don't know how to stop this from happening. Has anybody else had similar problems and overcome them? I'd love to hear any advice that you might have.
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cheef
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used virtualisation a fair bit mate, and ironically I've installed VirtualBox today myself for the first time, but I'd seriously doubt whether Windows 98 is going to be compatible.

Happy to be corrected, but many virtualisation software packages will see Windows XP as a minimum and not much before.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I've done it. I stopped using the mouse to click buttons during the install process, and instead used "Tab" and "Enter" on the keyboard. Seems to have made the difference.

It's a very limited installation. At the moment, the Win98 desktop measures 640x480 in 16 colours. As for speed, well it's.... painful. The last time I saw Windows running this slowly was when I managed to get Windows 286 running on the 8MHz 8086 of my IBM PS/2 Model 30. No, I'm not exaggerating -- a window re-draw takes between 1 and 2 seconds.

So I've now got to work out how to turn this virtual PC into something useful, because it's nowhere near that at the moment.


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cheef
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I clearly stand corrected, well done.

Smile
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheef wrote:
I've used virtualisation a fair bit mate, and ironically I've installed VirtualBox today myself for the first time, but I'd seriously doubt whether Windows 98 is going to be compatible.

Happy to be corrected, but many virtualisation software packages will see Windows XP as a minimum and not much before.

Thanks, Cheef -- it looks like we both posted at the same time. So you think that I would have far fewer problems if/when I try this with XP?
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cheef
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most definitely.

Bear in mind that Windows 98 didn't have USB support at first until 'SE' (second edition).

XP should always be a minimum for virtualisation, in my opinion.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, "SE" is the edition that I've installed. But like I say, it's appallingly slow considering the speed of the processor in my Mini.

Well, it looks like I need to get hold of an XP disc. Do you think that I can stick with VirtualBox, or should I really be using Fusion?
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MacDSmith2
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Do you think that I can stick with VirtualBox, or should I really be using Fusion?


I'd like to hear the answer to that question too. Also, the answer to this one: Parallels has a new $100 package out that includes a cable to transfer your whole PC, OS included, to the Parallels virtual box on the Mac. The implication is you don't need a Windows Full Install CD. Does anyone know or can confirm that this product will install Windows from an existing Windows laptop without having to have the original Windows Full Install CD's?
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night, I downloaded VMWare Fusion 3 and installed it today. It immediately recognised the Win98 disk and started the setup program. Once installed, I found exactly the same situation I had had with VirtualBox; a 16 colour desktop running at 640x480 pixels and at a tortuously slow pace.

I thought that this would be my fate, until Fusion suggested that I installed VMWare Tools. So I did. What a difference! Using the correct drivers meant that the display updated very quickly at 800x600 (or any size above that) in 32-bit colour.

I'm really happy with the outcome, and will seriously think about buying a copy of Fusion. I found it to be much better than VirtualBox for my needs.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't any experience with Win 98 since Virtual PC, but I have previously installed Windows 2000 Professional in a virtual machine and it worked all right. In your case, JohnnyBoy, I can see a few reasons why it's not working so well:
(1) too little RAM. You only gave it 64mb. You can adjust that upward in VB or Fusion, but only when it is allowed to shut down (i.e. no saved image).
(2) too little VRAM. You only gave it 9mb. Again, this can be adjusted upward.
(3) In the case of VB, did you ever get around to installing the tools package? It gives you almost the same functionality as VMware Tools, including the ability to expand the vm window on the fly.

My experience with VirtualBox and VMware Fusion has shown that both are very capable and at least with Linux, which one is better varies with the distro. By the way, a new version of VB just came out (version 3.1), so you should try it if you haven't already.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can explain the issue..

Do you remember when the first amd processors came out and people needed a patch for windows 95 in order to understand the processor that was installed.

Well in windows 98 it is looking through the driver cab and finding that the processor type doesn't match then it is trying to find the usb controller driver which it cannot find causing windows 98 not to install.

This is quite common running a older os on a new processor type that the os was never designed for.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox, Macman, thanks for the assistance. I've done some digging around on the VirtualBox website and uncovered the reason why Win98's GUI is so tragically slow:
Quote:
Poor graphical output in Windows 98 Unlike more modern systems, Windows 98 does not come with a driver which will work with the VirtualBox graphics card, so it falls back to using it as a 16 color VGA card.

...at the foot of the User FAQ page. There's also a link for VESA drivers for Win98, but I honestly wouldn't know how/where to begin installing those.
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DonCarlos
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacD wrote:
Quote:
Also, the answer to this one: Parallels has a new $100 package out that includes a cable to transfer your whole PC, OS included, to the Parallels virtual box on the Mac. The implication is you don't need a Windows Full Install CD. Does anyone know or can confirm that this product will install Windows from an existing Windows laptop without having to have the original Windows Full Install CD's?


I am sorry if this hijacks this thread...................but this is an interesting question that I'd like to hear the answer to as well, so I thought I'd bump it.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have confirmed that the Switch to Mac box from Parallels will install a clone copy of your existing Windows XP laptop into the Mac Mini virtual space without the need for the original full install XP disks. Parallels doesn't advertise this much but they did confirm that this is one way to get your existing XP OS onto the Mac Mini WITHOUT any full install disks. Once you've done that, you can upgrade to the new Parallels 5 without cost, as the switch to mac is version 4.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Parallels, Vmware Fusion can make a virtual machine from an existing real Windows installation.

Regarding Windows 98 on VirtualBox, I was reading the manual today and discovered that the VirtualBox tools won't install on 98. (They will on 2000.) That makes VB not a great choice for a Win 98 virtual machine.
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