IlikeOldWin
Contributor
Contributor

Windows 98 SE installation fails

I got a Windows 98 SE iso disc. When I install it it was fine until it comes to the final step of the setup it throws to me those weird errors:

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Some information relating to my VMware Workstation and hardware if it's necessary:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U

OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise build 18363 (November 2019 update, version 1909)

VMware Workstation version: Pro 15.5

33 Replies
Alex_Romeo
Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

Windows 98 is no longer officially compatible. It was up to the version of Workstation 9.0

From version 10 onwards it is no longer supported as a Guest.

VMware Compatibility Guide - Guest/Host Search

Workstation Pro 15.5

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Workstation Pro 9.0

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ARomeo

Blog: https://www.aleadmin.it/
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IlikeOldWin
Contributor
Contributor

I even tried Workstation 6.x - 7.0 compatibility mode, that hasn't fixed the issue.

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Alex_Romeo
Leadership
Leadership

is not the same thing.

In this post they face a problem equal to yours, see if you can be useful:

Problem Installing Windows 98 SE

ARomeo

Blog: https://www.aleadmin.it/
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IlikeOldWin
Contributor
Contributor

I tried going to that, but unfortunately that hasn't worked for me.

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Alex_Romeo
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Leadership

Sorry, 15.5 is not officially supported.

If you want to try, you can download version 9.0 from this official link:

Download VMware Workstation 9.0

ARomeo

Blog: https://www.aleadmin.it/
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IlikeOldWin
Contributor
Contributor

VMware Workstation 9 hardware compatibility on VMware Workstation 15 still has this error when trying to install.

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dariusd
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Virtual hardware compatibility is not designed to exactly clone the behavior of the earlier version of Workstation; It's designed to maximize the portability of the VM from the perspective of making sure that it follows the limitations and capabilities of that earlier product.

I rummaged around the Internet and found similar reports, such as this report of the exact same error occurring on Virtualbox​.  I would guess that it is a compatibility issue between Windows 98 and your CPU... most likely some CPU capability is confusing Windows.

There are some other good suggestions in this thread​: Ensure that your VM is configured to use only one CPU core and a minimal amount of RAM (64 MBytes is probably a generous amount for Win98), and that the hard drive size is also kept reasonable (maybe a few hundred MBytes to 1 GByte).  Using a very old virtual hardware version might also help simply by removing access to the most modern CPU features.

If that all still fails, what else shows up in the "This program has performed an illegal operation" dialog box below the "Bytes at CS:EIP" section?  Maybe scroll it down and grab another screenshot...

--

Darius

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NDLunchbox2
Contributor
Contributor

There have been several other threads on this (including one of mine) - Windows 9x fails in Workstation 15 on AMD Ryzen.  Apparently there is a mistake in AMD's implementation of an obsolete instruction set called VME that causes issues with 32bit real-mode drivers.  Supposedly AMD somewhat fixed the issue with a microcode update in Ryzen and Ryzen+ and 2 have that fix, but it still doesn't work in VMWare.  More info below:

Still Haven't Got My Windows 98 VM Up And Running

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/vme-broken-on-amd-ryzen/

https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=68205

I've tried several of the proposed fixes (disabling the 32bit storage drivers, building on an Intel system and moving the VM over), nothing yields a workable fix.  I have heard that Workstation 12.5 works but newer versions of Win10 don't support it.

So I think we need to wait for VMWare to fix the problem or give us the ability to mask out VME.

-B

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dariusd
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Leadership

Wow... This might be the first I've heard of this rather unusual erratum.

I'll just quote a post from the os2museum comments and suggest trying this:

Soumyajit Debsays:

Thanks for your update. Had the same issue in VMware while installing XP 32bit on an R7 1700. The fix was to disable VME by adding the following line to the config of the virtual machine:

cpuid.1.edx = “—-:—-:—-:—-:—-:—-:—-:–0-“

I would expect that that would work around the problem – for the guest OSes which are capable of running without VME, at least.

--

Darius

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creopard
Contributor
Contributor

Experiencing exactly the same issues as IlikeOldWin, I simply tried VMware 10.0.7 build-2844087 and could install Windows 98 (SE) flawlessly on a Ryzen system even with Windows 10 (1909)!

But make sure the options in "Processors" -> "virtualization engine" are all unticked (which is the default).

Download VMware Workstation 10.0

-- https://www.creopard.de
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IlikeOldWin
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Contributor

It makes VMware Workstation crash.

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IlikeOldWin
Contributor
Contributor

That somehow fixed my problem. But the problem after applying that fix is that I can't install VMware Tools or use my CD drive.

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creopard
Contributor
Contributor

I guess it's best to reinstall Windows 98 from scratch, rather than copying/using an existing VM-image.

The only issue I experienced is that drag and drop does not seem to work properly with Workstation 10 and Windows 10.

cpuz_ryzen.jpg

-- https://www.creopard.de
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dariusd
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Can you share more details of the crash, and/or post the vmware.log resulting from a crash?  I don't have access to a Ryzen processor to test with.

--

Darius

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IlikeOldWin
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Contributor

I did remember one time I got Windows 98 SE installed with no hassle (without doing tweaks to the Windows 98 SE or the VMX file) on VMware Workstation 15.5.

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creopard
Contributor
Contributor

It still works flawlessly, but only on non-Ryzen systems...

-- https://www.creopard.de
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IlikeOldWin
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Contributor

That is a Ryzen computer.

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IlikeOldWin
Contributor
Contributor

Well, I had to install my Windows 98 into my Windows 7 virtual machine using VMware Workstation 9. That worked without any errors.

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Majinkensword
Contributor
Contributor

Yep, installing VMWare 10 allowed me to install Windows 98, no problems, just remember to disable the Virtualization options (All unchecked) and you should be good to go.

Also remember the following:

1. RAM should not be higher than 256

2. Turn off Virtualization (see above)

My question is, if I upgrade from VMWare 10 to the current one (v15.5), will the Win98SE v. machine I just made still work? Your thoughts?

The things we do while the pandemic is happening all around us, take care everyone...

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