Workstation 17.0 does not honor the hardware compatibility setting that I specify when I create a new VM for a Win9x guest. I want the compatibility to be "Workstation 5.x", but when I create a new custom VM and specify that, my specification is ignored and the VM is created with "Workstation 17.x" compatibility. Worse, after the VM is created (prior to any installation), the compatibility cannot be changed. Trying the change the compatibility to the setting I want yields the attached error, with non-working HTTP link.
Is there any way to create a VM with appropriate compatibility setting for Win9x or do I need to downgrade?
Interesting. I just tried this myself, on two different computers.
One with Workstation 16.1.2 - selected Workstation 5.x compatibility, Win98. Created VM shows "Workstation 16.x compatibility". VMX file shows config.version = "8", but virtualHW.version = "18".
Other with Workstation 17.0.0 - selected Workstation 5.x compatibility, Win98. Created VM shows "Workstation 17.x compatibility". VMX file shows config.version = "8", but virtualHW.version = "20".
You should be able to manually edit the vmx file and change virtualHW.version = "4" (that's what my one existing 5.x compatibility XP VM shows). When I did that and re-opened the VM in Workstation, it *did* properly show "Workstation 5.x compatibility".
Ah that's interesting, so this problem has been around awhile! Thanks for the info.
I opened a support ticket in order to report the problem ... I don't know why I bother, sometimes. About a week into the discussion, they are still trying to convince me that all is fine and this is the way it is supposed to be. I'm just trying to help them out with their own product....<sigh>.
A very easy workaround, at least, that doesn't involve editing the vmx, is to just create a VM for a different version of Windows (e.g. Windows XP). It will honor your choice of workstation compatibility in this case, and then after the VM is created you can edit the VM and change the windows version to Windows 98 if you're so inclined.
This dialogue is still ongoing with support. The latest message from support is:
Workstation 5.x with VM guest Windows 95 and 98, it's expected to behave abnormally
Ah, it's a design feature to toy with unsuspecting users I guess. I get it.