It may be a good idea for your mental health to check if your CPU - Workstation combination can run a Win98 VM at all by downloading a ready-to-use VMware WS 12 Win98 VM.
Just did the same and it works fine on a host with XEON CPU and WS 12.
But does not that approach kills all the fun of trying to install that dinosaur ?
Yes - its boring and no fun at all just starting it with "play"
But if that one does not work for you then you can assume that Win98 does not like the unknown CPU it sees in your case.
I had the same problem. Windows 10 CPU Ryzen with VMWARE 15 and tested with VMWARE 14. The same errors displayed while installing Windwos 98 SE in Vmware.
I found this solution, i tested and worked (VMWare 15.5.0 refuses to actuate my virtual machine )
”I was able to get at the controls that [my friend] indicated were essential. But once I got sort of into my Win98 virtual machine, I went to Settings/ Control Panel/ System/ File System/ Troubleshooting/ and ticked the Disable all 32-bit protected mode disk drives. Whereupon I was able to resize the screen display to its proper configuration and get VMWare v15.5.0 to come up properly and normally with my intended Win98 virtual machine. YIPPEE!”
What i did: After the error with ”the shell32.dll file is linked to missing export SHLWAPI.DLL :tfileattributeA” i restarted the vm, several F8's for entering in Safe Mode, and from there: Start-> Settings> Control Panel-> System -> select ”Performance” TAB from the System Propetries window, then from ”Advanced Settings” the FIle System button -> select Troubleshooting tab -> Disable all 32-bit protect-mode drivers.
It worked for me.VMWare 15.5.0 refuses to actuate my virtual machine
Sure, disabling "32-bit protect-mode drivers" in Safe Mode via
Start-> Settings> Control Panel-> System -> select ”Performance” TAB from the System Propetries window, then from ”Advanced Settings” the FIle System button -> select Troubleshooting tab -> Disable all 32-bit protect-mode drivers.
Will help you booting into Windows 98, however you won't be able to activate the "32-bit protect-mode drivers" again using VMware 15.x as it will then result again in various error messages.
So you're left with a degraded disk drive performance and you won't have access to a CD-ROM drive inside your Windows 98 installation.
However, you will be able to activate the 32-bit protect-mode drivers again in VMWare 12.5.9, while replacing the file "ESDI_506.PDR" in safe mode, as described here: Re: Windows 98 SE installation fails (This solution won't work in VMware versions > 12.5.9!)
Windows 95, 98 and ME are incompatible with new CPUs.
In order to use these OSes you need either an older CPU or software virtualization.
In order to use these OSes you need [...] software virtualization.
So, I guess we came to the right forum!?
Nobody's taking about installing Windows 98 on real hardware using Ryzen CPUs
As already mentioned, there's a proof-of-concept using VMware 12.5.9: Re: Windows 98 SE installation fails
Since you can't select the virtualization engine manually in VMware 15.x any more, it's just not possible there...
This is a 2 year old problem and that's the greatness of this Community!
Yes, there is plenty of evidence this is a CPU issue, however there are still plenty of workarounds to try (I never had a problem installing WIn98SE and some problems installing Win95 on old hardware hosts.)
The ones I'm thinking of:
- Never overprovision the guest - use 1 CPU, the minimum of RAM, and the oldest Hardware Version possible.
- Don't use the "new" PC (with the recent CPU) to install Win98 from scratch. Find an old PC (e.g. early Core2Duo or Pentium 4) and setup a Win98 guest there, with full updates (there is also an unofficial "last service pack" that works in an excellent way and provides proper USB support).
- Copy the working Win98 guest over to the "new" PC and attempt to boot it (without converting its hardware compatibility) and see what works and what not.
I would not give up so easily - Recently I had to salvage a Win95 installation of a PC controlling a Scanning Electron Microscope and it was a pleasure working with phys2v and v2phys - so many tools available these days for the tinkerer!
PS. I read the comments again and I saw that this is precisely what continuum suggested in August 2019 in Re: Still Haven't Got My Windows 98 VM Up And Running
The virtual machine download seems to still be valid at https://winworldpc.com/download/3dc3943c-c386-18c3-9a11-c3a4e284a2ef
Have you tried that solution and didn't work for you? I want to try myself on your computer if you don't mind.