Thursday, March 13, 2008

Got Dos and Windows 95 installed in VMWare Fusion!

Well I finally made the time to install DOS 6.22 and Windows 95 on my new MacBook Pro under VMWare Fusion. VMWare is a virtual machine that allows you to run different, Guest, operating systems under the host operating system. So now I have Windows XP, Windows 95, DOS 6.22 and Open SUSE 64-bit Linux all under different Virtual Machines.

Why waste space on a perfectly good laptop for old Microsoft operating systems. For me it boils down to one thing: games! I still have a soft spot for all my old Dos and windows games. Most of them will not run in Windows XP, or it will run if I use DOSBox. So now I can run the game I want in the operating system it was designed for.

Dos was a bit of a challenge. The big problem is that notebooks today do not have a floppy drive and that is all that Dos comes on. I got on Amazon and ordered a Sony external floppy drive. The problem with that is that VMWare did not recognize the external drive so I needed to do something different.

I found the allbootdisks website and downloaded bootdisks for Dos and Windows 95. That allowed me to boot and fdisk the virtual hard drive. Then what I had to do was reboot the virtual dos and push fn key and f2 while it started up to get into bios so I could change the boot order to boot from CD first. The reason I did this was that now I had a hard drive set up but it was not formatted. But even then it would not recognize the external drive.

So what I did then was to copy all the files from all three DOS floppies onto one CD-RW then I was able to install dos.

Windows was easier as it came on a CD. The hardest part there was digging through all my old manuals to find the product key.

Now on to installing the games!

Updated: Sorry I didn't come back and update this sooner but I had to consider DOS and win95 a failure. The big issue was sound - there wasn't any. Even VMWare's support site had no sound drivers to solve the problem. But I was able to get MOOII (Masters of Orion II) running on XP so I did not consider it a complete bust (except for the fact that I am taking up half of my laptops resources for a game that needs, at best, an eighth). I still need to get 98 or ME going though because Carmeggdon (I and II) will not run in XP.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The new computer is in!

Monday my new computer finally arrived! I got the new 2.6 Ghz Mac Book Pro.

I almost have it set up. Right now I am ripping all my CDs and after that I need to figure out how to install Windows 95 and DOS under VMWare - I already got Windows XP and OpenSUSE installed. Then I will install all my old games on the appropriate OS.

The biggest thing I like/love about Mac OSX is Time Machine. Its an automatic back up built into the operating system. As long as you have an external drive attached it will do an hourly incremental backup. If the system crashes and you have to re-install you can install from the Time Machine backup. Also its very easy to retrieve previous versions of a file Even though I have not needed it yet its nice to know its there.

The Drobo is VERY nice (I give it four stars). Initialization only took a couple of minutes and the initial Time Machine backup was pretty fast. The only thing I wished it had was a firewire 800 option (it would then have double the sustained throughput).