Welcome to the Community,
please ensure that the CD is "connected" (use e.g. "Connect at poweron") in the VM's settings, when you try to install the guest OS.
What you may do once you see the PXE boot screen, is to connect the CD-ROM drive, and then reboot the VM using "CTRL-ALT-INS" so that the CD-ROM won't disconnect again.
Hi, thanks for the input. I created a new guest for the windows 95 and ensured the 'connect at power on' box was ticked in the settings.
On starting the installation the system again hung; I restarted the system using ctr alt ins and got the same result. On checking the cd drive status both the connected box and the connect at power on box were ticked.
I tried this under 2 conditions: the network adapter on NAT and then bridge. I got the same results.
These were a line saying
Network boot from AMD Am79C970A, and a couple of copyright notices,
a client mac address, a guid number
then the message
PXE-E53: No boot filename received (with the network adapter on NAT), or the message 'PXE-E51: NO DHCP or proxyDHCP offers were received' (with the network adapter set to bridge).
I did notice that as soon as I entered ctrl-alt-ins and got the copyright notices, the light on the CD drive came on for about a second, but no more.
Are you sure that the CD-ROM is bootable? IIRC Windows 95 required boot disks (floppy disks) for installation.
Ah! Thank you, I should have realised. I still have the old Win 95 manual and yes, it will only install from a dos environment. Luckily I have a usb floppy drive, which is recognised by windows 10 as the A drive. I also have an old set of dos installation floppies. Unfortunately the disks must have deteriorated as they are unreadable. I shall have to do some research and find out how to make a bootable cd rom containing dos - the internet seems to be full of ideas.
But isn't this situation common to every microsoft vm installation? Doesn't every windows vm install from an earlier version of windows in that vm, which in turn can only be installed ultimately by regressing to dos? How have vmware users in the past tackled this problem?
Newer Windows installation images are bootable, so it's way easier to install the guest OS.
VMware only provides the virtual infrastructure to install operating systems. The installation itself requires boot disks, which are usually owned by a vendor (e.g. Microsoft). So you'll unfortunately need to get the installation done as you would on physical hardware.
Thanks for the assistance, Andre. I'm happy to close this thread now that I have a different approach to research and experiment with. I I run into problems again, I'll raise a new query.