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.