JoshSommers
Contributor
Contributor

Windows 98 Image

I have a windows 98 PC that I need to create a virtual machine from.

I used CloneZilla to create an image and then restored that image into a blank VM in Player.

I am able to boot the VM now, but that is where the fun stops. I am plagued by an inability to get the drivers functional.

When I first boot, windows detects a bunch of new hardware and starts installing drivers, and eventually tells me I need to reboot. If I allow the VM to reboot, then it comes back to the windows 98 loading screen, and just hangs there forever.

So then I reset the VM, and boot into safe mode, and that works- windows 98 loads into safe mode and I can do some stuff, but not much.

The only way that I have found from this point to be able to boot again without safe mode is to delete a certain key from the registry.

The key in question is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ENUMS/ROOT/*PNP0C08

The device associated with this key is "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) BIOS".

If I delete this key and reboot, I can get back into windows without safe mode, but I'm essentially back at square one. None of my drivers are installed, I go through the add hardware wizard it picks up a dozen or more devices (one of which is the ACPI) installs them and then says I need to reboot. If I reboot, I go back to the situation where it just spins forever on the windows 98 loading screen.

Basically it seems that this APCI issue is preventing all other drivers from getting installed. That means I can't insert a floppy, I can't load a CD/DVD I can't connect to the internet or network, I can't install the integration features, I basically can't do anything of any use.

I've tried coming at this from various angles, but none of them really get me anywhere except back to square one- no drivers installed, and if I install anything and reboot, then windows just hangs at the loading screen. I've tried incremental loading, always fails immediately after l allow it to load vserver.vxd. I've tried using logging, then resetting, rebooting in safe mode and reviewing the log. In this case the log is filled with a bunch of font load failures, but that's about all I can see that is abnormal. The fonts do not fail if I remove that registry key and reboot again with logging enabled, so I have no idea how that factors into this issue, or if it even does.

There has just GOT to be some way for me to clone a functional windows 98 machine into a virtual machine, and I'm hoping that someone here has the know-how to get me pointed in the right direction.

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14 Replies
indicium
Contributor
Contributor

What version of Player are you using? You may need to get a version that supports Windows 98. Try this link and select Version 3.

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_player/5_0|PLAYER-502|produc...

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JoshSommers
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I am using 5.0.2

It seems to support Windows 98, at least to some extent, and I thought I had read somewhere (although I can't seem to locate that now) that VMWare Player current version supports windows 98.

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JoshSommers
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Sorry, I misunderstood what you were suggesting. I'll look into the earlier versions, thanks for the tip.

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MarAndreas
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

What virtual hardware version is the VM on?

IIRC, versions newer than 4 (listed as "Workstation 5.x" in the GUI) present hardware that Windows 98 doesn't support.

My own 98SE VM is using HW version 7 ("Workstation 6.5-7.x") - it has an "unknown device" in device manager, but works.

You can change the hardware version simply by editing the .vmx file with a text editor.

JoshSommers
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Contributor

Thanks for the tip MarAndreas. I'll give that a shot.

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JoshSommers
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For windows 98 SE should I try:

config.version = "7"
virtualHW.version = "3"

or

config.version = "7"
virtualHW.version = "4"

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MarAndreas
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Mine says:

config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "7"

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JoshSommers
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I tried with config=8 and virtualHW=7, and still have the same problem more or less. First boot gets me in. Prompts for driver install. Reboot stalls on loading windows 98 screen. Reboot in safe mode, delete the acpi key from the ENUM/ROOT branch, reboot, repeat all the driver installs, reboot, get stuck in loading loop.

I guess physical ->vmware windows98se is just not possible huh?

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JoshSommers
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I tried installing version 3 and have the same exact problem as with version 5, whatever harwareconfig I use. I'm guessing it simply is not possible to go from a physical windows 98 machine to a VM at this point. I've tried with VirtualBox, VirtualPC and VMWare. All have the exact same issue related to the ACPI BIOS driver (or some related sub-driver). About ready to give up at this point.

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JoshSommers
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What I have figured out is that as long as I do not allow windows to install the driver for Intel "82371AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller" the system will boot. If I allow it to install this driver, it will no longer boot. Every time I boot though before it loads the desktop it detencts this hardware and wants me to install the driver. Absent this driver I have no network, no usb, no video card, no sound card, no CD drive, etc. Basically an inoperable system.

Seems to be an issue with VMWare not supporting windows 98se, but others say that they have gotten it to run so I don't know what I am missing. Something in the VM configuration perhaps?

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indicium
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Why do you need to use the physical to virtual machine.  You can go to Microsoft's website and download XP Mode and its all set up to run either on virtual PC or VMware.  If you have an application on 98, can you move it to XP Mode?

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MarAndreas
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Admittedly, my 98SE VM was new-built, not P2V.

But I remember I managed to convert a 98 (non-SE) laptop once - I'll see if I can dig it out.

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JoshSommers
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Because I am trying to create a virtual copy of a physical windows 98 box. It has software on it that can ONLY run in windows 98.

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JoshSommers
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I installed a fresh copy of Windows98SE on a new Virtual Machine and found a few interesting things.

On the cloned VM, windows wants to install Ultra ATA drivers for the hard drive.

On the fresh install, windows installed IDE drivers and not Ultra ATA.

Seems like that could be a clue as to why the cloned VM is having so many issues.

Any idea why the cloned VM wants Ultra ATA drivers but the fresh VM doesn't?

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