In this article, we will examine how to install and configure Microsoft Windows 95 on a new virtual machine using Oracle VM VirtualBox on the Windows 10 64 Bit operating system.
How to Install Windows 95 on Windows 10 using Oracle VM VirtualBox
Microsoft‘s biggest sales success is the Windows 95 operating system, which was released on August 24, 1995.
With the development of Windows 95, peripheral devices were easier to integrate thanks to their plug-and-play feature, and new hardware installations became easier. In addition, the user interface, one of its newest features, was significantly improved. Another important feature of this operating system is that it makes network connections easier with TCP/IP protocol support.
Microsoft ended support for the Windows 95 operating system on December 31, 2001. Although this system is not used today because it is old, it is a nostalgic operating system that is not forgotten by most users. If you still want to use this system, you can run and use it on a virtual machine on your computer with newer current technologies.
Today, with the increase in Internet security, the vulnerabilities of operating systems are eliminated almost every day. Therefore, we recommend that you use a system that has expired on a virtual machine with virtualization software such as VirtualBox or VMware.
How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows 95
After installing Oracle VM VirtualBox on your host computer, you can run all old Windows or Linux systems on the virtual computer. But when installing old systems of Windows, you need to configure some settings of the virtual computer correctly.
To create a new virtual machine for all operating systems, you must first start the virtual machine creation wizard by clicking the New button in the Oracle VirtualBox virtualization program.
You can start the wizard by clicking the Machine / New option from the tool menu of the program or pressing the Ctrl + N keys together from your keyboard.
After typing Windows 95 in the name of the virtual PC, the Type and Version fields will be automatically configured.
You may get an Insufficient memory to initialize Windows error when you specify a RAM size larger than 512 MB for Windows 95. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to configure the RAM size of the virtual machine as 512 MB.
Since you will be installing a system from scratch, select Create a virtual hard disk now in the Hard Disk window and click the Create button.
Select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) recommended by VirtualBox for the virtual HDD file type and click Next.
If the hardware of your host computer is not very performance or the write and read speeds of your host disk are very low, you can use the virtual machine with more performance by configuring the virtual disk as Fixed Size.
Because the disk space that the virtual PC will need will be allocated before the system setup, and thus the host will not try to allocate space from the disk again.
If you have a computer with new technologies such as SSD or NVMe, it would make more sense to choose the Dynamically Allocated virtual disk structure.
You can configure a higher disk capacity by addressing the size of the programs or games you will use, the virtual disk size automatically determined by VirtualBox.
Click Settings to add the Windows 95 ISO file to the virtual PC and adjust the hardware settings.
Configure the optical drive as primary in Boot Order in the Motherboard settings of the virtual computer and enable the I/O APIC feature to enable multiple virtual processors.
After enabling the I/O APIC feature, configure the Processor device value as 4.
Check that hardware virtualization is enabled on the virtual computer. If you encounter various errors in the system setup, you can try turning off the virtualization feature.
Select USB 1.1 (OHCI) Controller because Windows 95 system does not support USB 2.0 controller.
Remove the Floppy device from the virtual PC.
Click on the disk controller of the virtual HDD and check that the Host I/O Cache feature is enabled.
Select the Windows95.vdi virtual disk and configure the IDE disk as Solid-State Drive (SSD).
After configuring the virtual hardware settings, select the optical drive to add the Windows 95 ISO file to the guest machine, and then click the CD/DVD icon and then choose a disk file.
Select the ISO file you downloaded to your computer from the table below the article and click Open.
After checking the last settings, close the settings of the virtual computer.
After preparing the virtual computer correctly, you can continue from this step as if you were installing Windows on a physical computer.
After starting the virtual machine with the image file, you will see the following screen. On this screen, you need to run the FDISK tool and edit the virtual disk before installing Windows.
If your virtual PC has a disk size greater than 512 MB, you need to enable large disk space usage.
After confirming the large disk usage, the FDISK tool will open. Since you will perform a clean system installation, you must first create a new partition on the disk.
On the FDISK Options screen, select Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive and press Enter.
To configure the new partition as the primary partition, select Create Primary DOS Partition and press Enter again.
Answer the related question with Y to configure the primary partition as the active partition.
After creating a new active partition for the Windows 95 virtual PC, restart the VM. You can use the Ctrl + R keys to reboot directly.
After restarting your virtual system, you need to format the partition you created. To do this, execute the format C: command in the A:\ directory and confirm the operation.
After formatting the C drive, you must create a new folder to copy the Windows 95 system files to the drive on the disk.
Switch to the C directory and first check if there are any folders or files with the dir command. Since you will install a clean system, there will be no files on the C drive.
The mkdir command is used to create a new folder in the DOS environment. Execute the mkdir WIN95 command to create a new folder named WIN95 on the C drive.
The drive letter that the image file automatically gets is R. You need to copy the entire contents of the folder named WIN95 in the R directory to the folder you created.
copy R:\WIN95\*.* C:\WIN95
To start the Windows 95 installation, after executing the setup command in the C:\WIN95 directory, press Enter to confirm the wizard’s system check.
When the Windows 95 setup screen appears, click the Continue button.
You can press Page Down to read the full text of the license agreement of the Windows operating system. Click Yes to accept the agreement directly and continue.
Click Next to continue in the window that states that the installation will be completed in 3 parts.
If the directory where you want to install Windows 95 is on a different drive, you need to continue with the Other Directory option and select the installation directory. Click Next if you want to use the C:\WINDOWS directory by default.
Wait while the setup wizard checks the available disk space and other components to install the system on.
Continue with Typical, which is selected by default in the Setup Options window.
Type your Windows 95 product key and click Next.
Specify and type a new username for your virtual system. Also, if you are going to use your VM in a corporate company, you can also write the company name.
Click Next to have the setup wizard check the virtual hardware installed on your virtual computer.
System analysis may take some time, so do not shut down your virtual machine or press CTRL + ALT + DEL.
Configure the Windows components you want to use in your virtual system and continue.
In cases where Windows 95 running on a real computer cannot start due to an error, you may need a startup disk. However, since there is no need for a startup disk in virtual machines, check the No option and click Next.
Click Next to start the process of copying the system files, which is the 2nd stage of the setup wizard.
Wait while Windows 95 is being installed on the Oracle virtualization software.
Click Finish to restart the system, which is the last step of the installation phase, and complete the installation.
Remove the ISO file from the virtual machine and restart the system by clicking OK.
When your guest machine restarts, you need to type a computer and network name for Windows 95. So click OK in the Network information window.
When the Network window opens, type a different computer name than the existing computers in your network and type the common network name WORKGROUP to determine the virtual machine on the network and click the Close button.
Wait while Windows configures the control panel tools, shortcuts in the start menu, and programs. When the date and time window opens, select the time zone of the country you live in and click the Close button.
If you want to add a printer, you can continue with Next, otherwise, you can close the printer add wizard by clicking the Cancel button.
After the setup wizard completes the Windows installation, click OK to reboot the system.
Wait while the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system boots up.
Type your created username and click OK to log in to the system.
After right-clicking on My Computer, click Properties and check the information of the operating system you have installed on the guest machine.
How to Change Screen Resolution and Color Depth
Normally after installing a Windows system with VirtualBox you need to install the Guest Additions software. However, this software is unfortunately not officially supported for older systems of Windows.
Therefore, in order to change the screen resolution and color depth of the virtual machine, you need to install the SciTech Display Driver or VBE Miniport Driver. VBE Miniport works better than other software because every time you restart your system, a software service will be running in the background.
When you open Device Manager on your virtual PC, you will see that a standard driver is installed under Display Adapters. This does not change the screen resolution on Windows 95 or Windows 98 systems.
After downloading the VBE Miniport driver from the table at the bottom of the article, first, click on the CD/DVD icon on the guest machine and then on Choose a disk file.
Select the Display Driver (VBE Miniport) ISO file and click the Open button.
Double-click on Standard PCI Graphics Adapter to open the Properties window, and then click the Driver tab. In this tab, click the Update Driver button and start the wizard.
Click Next with Yes (Recommended) selected in the driver update window and click Other Locations in the next window.
In the Select Other Location window, click the Browse button to specify the location of the ISO file you added to the virtual machine, then select 032mb from the image file in the optical drive and click OK.
After adding the location of the display driver, click Finish.
When you get VBEMP Driver Disk error, click OK to close the window, then select vbe.vxd from 032mb again and click OK again.
Restart your virtual system after Windows has updated the display driver from the specified location.
Right-click on the desktop, open Display Properties and configure the screen resolution to 800 x 600.
After selecting True Color (32 bit) from the Color Palette, apply the changes and cancel adding a monitor.
After restarting your guest machine, check that the display adapter is updated in the device manager.
How to Install Intel Chipset Driver
You may find that the drivers for some devices are not installed properly in the virtual machine. If the Guest Additions could be installed, these drivers would be installed automatically.
For old systems of Windows, you can fix these problems by installing Chipset Driver on the virtual computer.
When you check the device manager again, you will see that PCI Bridge is not installed. Download the Intel Chipset driver from the table at the bottom of the article and add the ISO file to the virtual machine.
After viewing the CD content on my computer, go to Chipset Driver / infinst_280_win32 / Disk1 respectively and double-click the Setup file to start the setup wizard.
When the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility V2.80.008 program opens, click Next to continue the installation.
Click Yes to accept the license agreement of the Intel Chipset software.
Click Next after checking the supported Chipset types in the Readme window.
After installing the chipset driver, restart your virtual PC for the changes to take effect.
While the Windows 95 VM is booting, you will see the window showing that new hardware has been found. At this stage, Windows will automatically install drivers for new hardware.
When the driver update wizard opens, continue with Next and specify the default driver location.
When your system boots up, you will see that the PCI Bridge driver has successfully installed this time in the device manager.
How to Install Sound Blaster PCI128 Sound Driver
When you want to play MP3 audio files or MP4 video files on a Windows 95 virtual computer, you may find that the audio device is not working properly. This is because the drivers for the relevant hardware are not automatically installed by Windows.
Add the Sound Blaster PCI128 Driver ISO file you downloaded to your computer to the virtual PC, and then run the Setup file after viewing the CD content.
After clicking on My Computer, open Control Panel and then open the Add New Hardware Wizard and click Next.
Check the No option to reject Windows’ automatic search for new hardware and click Next.
To add the audio device manually, first, click Creative Labs in the manufacturer tab, then check Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or AWE-32 and click Next.
After manually installing the sound device of your virtual machine, restart the guest machine and check that the system sounds are working. You can also see that the Sound Blaster device is now available under Sound, Video, and Game Controllers in the device manager.
How to Install USB Driver
Since Windows 95 does not support USB 2.0, you must select the USB 1.1 Controller in the virtual machine creation wizard. Since Windows does not automatically install the USB 1.1 driver during system setup, you must do this manually.
Add the USB Driver ISO file you downloaded to your host computer to your virtual computer. Then, after viewing the CD content, run the Xusbsupp file and click the Yes button in the window that opens.
Restart your guest machine after enabling USB support for Windows 95.
Uninstall the PCI Universal Serial Bus device in the device manager when your virtual system boots up.
After removing the USB device, click the Refresh button in the device manager.
After installing the Standard OpenHCI USB Controller driver, restart your system.
Insert a flash drive into the USB 2.0 port of your host computer and select Devices / USB / Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (Name of Your USB Device) on the guest machine.
After inserting your USB stick into the VM, install the Generic USB Mass Storage Class Device driver.
You can access your USB memory via My Computer and check its functionality. Also, in the device manager, you can see flash memory listed under disk drives.
How to Install TCP/IP Protocol and Configure Internet Connection
After installing Windows 95, you must configure the TCP/IP protocol to be able to access the Internet.
To install the TCP/IP protocol, open the properties of the Network Neighborhood tool on the desktop.
After clicking the Add button in the Network window, select Protocol from the component types and click Add again.
In the window listing the network protocols, select Microsoft / TCP/IP and click OK.
Open MS-DOS Prompt and ping Google servers using the ping 126.96.36.199 command and check the Internet connection.
After opening The Internet, continue to the next window in the Internet connection wizard and select Current from the available options and continue.
Check your connection by visiting google.com when Microsoft Internet Explorer opens.