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Windows 95

Windows 95 Information
Windows 95 Installation
Virtual PC Additions

Windows 95 Information

Windows 95, developed by Microsoft, was the reigning king of OSes during the last half of the 1990’s. It provides support for a wide variety of PC peripherals and was one of the first PC operating systems to incorporate a “plug and play” mechanism for automatically matching hardware with drivers.

There are two primary versions of Windows 95: the original release and “OSR2” (also called “second edition”). OSR2 came with an integrated Internet Explorer web browser, expanded hardware support (including limited support for USB), and fixed many bugs in the original release.

The 1.0 version of Virtual PC shipped with Windows 95, and 2.0 and 3.0 shipped with OSR2. It’s not clear whether Connectix is planning (or is able) to provide a Windows 95 variant of Virtual PC 4.0.

Today, most users are recommended to install and use Windows 98 or Windows Me. However, Windows 95 continues to be a popular choice – especially for Virtual PC users who don’t have a fast G3 or G4. Windows 95 runs much faster on Virtual PC than any of its successors.

Windows 95 Installation

Windows 95 is relatively easy to install on Virtual PC. It requires a small hard drive image (by today’s standards). A 200MB image should be plenty, but you may want to allocate a much bigger drive image (up to 2GB) if you plan to install other applications on the same drive.

Note that Windows 95 only supports the FAT16 partition format, limiting hard drive partition sizes to 2GB.

Installation instructions differ depending on whether your Windows 95 CD is bootable (later versions of OSR2 can be booted directly).

1. Create a new PC by clicking on the “New PC…” button in the PC List window. Let the “New PC Assistant” guide you through the PC configuration process.

2. After the PC and the hard drive image have been created, insert your Windows 95 CD and start up the PC.

3. If your Windows 95 CD is bootable, the Microsoft installation program will start up. If not, you will see a message that tells you that there is no bootable OS present.

4. If your Windows 95 CD is not bootable, you will need to install DOS and a DOS-based CD driver on the C drive. Some versions of Virtual PC shipped with a floppy image that can be used to boot from and install an OS. If you have this image, drag it to the floppy icon in the LED bar (at the bottom of the PC Video Window), then restart the PC. The “OS Install” floppy contains a batch file that will guide you through the process of installing DOS and the CD driver to your C drive.

5. Once your C drive contains DOS and a CD driver, you can boot directly from the C drive (remember to unmount the floppy image by choosing the “Eject Floppy” menu item). Once at the DOS prompt, type “E:” followed by enter. This will switch you to the CD. Now type “dir” followed by enter. This will list all the files on the CD.

6. Type “setup” followed by enter. This should start the Microsoft installation wizard which will walk you through the rest of the Windows 95 installation process.

NOTE: You will need your Windows 95 serial number (usually printed on the CD case or on the accompanying manual) to complete the installation process.

Virtual PC Additions

Virtual PC ships with a number of drivers and background applications that are collectively know as “VPC Additions”. These pieces of software allow for better integration between the Mac and the PC. For example, the “Host Mouse” driver (also called “Mac Mouse”) allows you to move the mouse cursor outside of the PC Video window, seamlessly switching from a Mac to a PC cursor as it crosses the border. Other additions allow for folder sharing and copy/paste between the Mac and the PC.

If you purchase a copy of Windows 95 from Connectix, there’s a good chance it has all the additions already installed. If you upgrade to a newer version of Virtual PC, you may want to upgrade the additions files. Follow the instructions that came with the upgrade. Virtual PC 4.0 is able to tell you when your additions are out of date. It also contains a mechanism that allows future additions upgrades to be done automatically (so your additions won’t ever be out of date again).

If you installed Windows 95 your self, you will need to manually install the additions the first time. Follow the instructions that came with Virtual PC to do this.


If you run into specific problems running Windows 95 on Virtual PC, let us know here. We’ll try to help you with your problem and post your question and answer here.

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