Installing Windows 95 under Virtual PC

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While Windows 95 is supported under Virtual PC 2004 - there are still a few common problems to be aware of when trying to install it.

Firstly - a lot of people forget that the Windows 95 CD is not actually bootable.  This means that you will need to dig up the old boot floppy and use it to install Windows 95.

Secondly - most Windows 95 installation CDs do not have drivers for our emulated motherboard (Intel 440BX).  The result of this is that halfway through installation Windows 95 will start complaining that it can't access the CD-ROM.  The easiest way to deal with this is to not install off of the CD.  Instead you should use the boot floppy to FDISK and format the hard disk.  You can then copy the 'WIN95' directory off of the CD and on to the hard disk and run 'SETUP.EXE' from the hard disk.

After installation you can download and install the Intel 440BX drivers from*+95&lang=eng&strOSs=15&submit=Go%21


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  • Odd - I've installed Win95 on (real) Intel 440BX boards, as well as its siblings - 440ZX, 440LX, 440EX, and the older 430TX. They never gave me losing-CDROM problems. They did require updating the INFs - I even slipstreamed it into the CD myself:
  • Big problem! My laptop does not have a floppy drive. How can I create a diskette image?
  • here's a way to bypass needing a boot disk or a floppy setup disk

    installing windows 95 and CD driver manually without the floppy setup disk

    what you need:

    .DOS on a floppy or on an image (.flp .img)

    .Windows 95 cd

    .VMWARE player (it's free) or virtualpc (I recommend VMWARE)

    .Magiciso (the free trial version will do)

    .a copy of MSCDEX.EXE and oakcdrom.sys (both can be found online)

    step 1

    create a new virtual machine (make sure to add a floppy image drive if you are using vmware)

    step 2

    put your dos floppy/image in or mount it and install dos

    step 3

    download and install the free version of magiciso

    open magic iso

    go to new - floppy - 1.44

    find a copy of mscdex.exe

    find a copy of oakcdrom.sys (generic cd rom driver that works with dos.. might have to try another if it doesn't work)

    RENAME the oakcdrom.sys to cdrom.sys

    drag both these files into magic iso on the floppy disk we just created

    save the file

    close magic iso

    find the file we just saved in your explorer

    change the extension from .ima to .flp (if you are using vmware) or .img (if you are using virtualpc)

    (if you can't see the extensions you're going to need to change your folder options to show extensions)

    google it. it's easy to do

    step 4

    go back to your virtual machine

    mount the floppy image we just created


    copy mscdex.exe c:\

    copy cdrom.sys c:\

    (don't forget to rename oakcdrom.sys to cdrom.sys in step 3)

    step 5

    find config.sys in your c drive


    edit config.sys

    now add a line that says this

    device=c:\cdrom.sys /d:mscd001

    exit and save

    step 6

    find autoexec.bat in your c drive


    edit autoexec.bat

    now add a line that says this

    c:\mscdex.exe /d:mscd001

    exit and save

    step 7

    restart the computer or virtual machine

    step 8

    we're still not done yet

    now move to your c drive and type

    mscdex.exe: /d:mscd001 /M:5 /V /L:d /S /K

    (this part /M:x refers to the amount of buffers your drive has.. it's either 4 or 5. usually 5)

    step 9

    create a blank floppy image either in vmware or magic iso then mount that new one

    put your windows 95 cd in the cd drive




    step 10

    it should be booting windows 95 now

    now you might run into troubles when it tries to install the other drivers

    it might ask you for windows floppies even if you're using the cd version

    which I never understood

    but anyways, you can find all of these drivers on the windows 95b cd if you have it

    they're all in cab files

    so you'd need to extract them 1 by 1 and put them on floppy images to use them.

    (huge pain)

    but I actually just got it to load the drivers off the win95 cd by just trying it over and over again until

    it worked. it might have been because I either did or didn't restart after putting in the windows 95 cd

    can't remember, but I'd try both if you're having trouble

  • You can make a bootable CD (ISO image) in emulation mode FDD. Next put 3 files:


    W.ZIP (compressed folder Win95)

    SETUP.BAT - script make C:\W directory, uncompress files from W.ZIP and run setup from C:\W\SETUP.EXE:


    mkdir c:\w

    pkunzip -d c:\w



    Now simply boot PC from this CD (ISO image) :-)

    On the HDD must be FAT partition size to fit the unzipped files (~50MB) and the same for installation (~50MB). The best example is 500-1000MB for C:/

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Installing Windows 95 under Virtual PC