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Windows 95, the "new" feeling is back.


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Just installed Windows 95 in VMware for shits a giggles. Just wanted to see how hard/easy it would be not having a floppy drive. I used a win98 boot img file and got it installed(all of it) in about 20minutes. I am now here on the forums using windows 95 and of all things, Opera. Opera works like a charm on win95 and is fast as hell. The machine boots almost instantly. I get the initial device screen on boot, a quick windows95 clouds and BAM, desktop.

This is how quickly a pc should load. No bloted 60seconds until actual desktop screen, no waiting to actually run something because programs are starting in the background, etc. It's kinda scary how fast it is, even if it is Windows 95. I gave it 1 processor(of the two I have) 512 meg of ram,  and a 4gig hdd. Total install plus the cdrom(I copied it to the hdd) is 741 Megabytes. Subtract the 596 meg fro the cdrom, you get a wopping 145meg OS. Lean and mean(for win95, anyway) I am thinking about deleting the CDROM folder and just running this guy off a thumbdrive. Maybe use it as a "safe" web browser app.

I only planned to set it up just to see how it would run and if I could get it running, but I was surprised at how simple and quick it is. With the addition of Opera, it should be pretty safe for the most part. I also disabled Active-X. Now I just need to find a firewall that will work with win95. I am using www.virustotal.com as my virus scanner at the moment. Not sure what I plan on doing with this, but as much as people bash windows, it kinda brings back that feeling of "new" for the PC again.

I am going to just fart around with it and see what kinds of things I can just totaly mess with and change around.


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Windows XP MCE 2005 is the host system. Total Win95 boot is something like 10 seconds flat. I am now installing BartPE to see if I can make a live cd of it.

Another thing I noticed, no WGA bullshit or prompt for me to register windows. It is an OEM disk I had from my First ever PC, and works great. No sound, due to the fact that the sound card I guess was not available when 95 was made, but hey, I can live with that. Only want it to surf the web and play around with.

EDIT: Looks like it is not possible to make a Win95 bootable disk with BartPE(only WinNT, XP and 2000 or later), but I have been reading up on it and others have been able to create live Win95 CD's. I have to leave for work soon, but will play around with it when I have time.

Mindows looks promising: http://winimize.com/instructions.html and there looks like a hack to add NTFS support to it. (http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=10213) but I am not sure at this point. That would be wicked cool to have win95 with the ability to read NTFS systems.

Imagine a Win95 Thumbdrive with NTFS read ability as a switchblade to copy over sam files or other needed files when installed on a U3 drive.

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I almost have a live version of windows 95 working. I managed to use a few peices of instructiosn from several different places. Got the RAMDISK setup and able to copy all the Windows contents over. I even get so far as creating a registry from an exported file I created, changing all references from c: to r: (R: is my ramdrive)

Everything is set, but I get a windows protection error when I type "win" to boot the sytem. I think it has to do with the video settings. I may have to do an isntall with the base color and vga settings, as I did the initial install in vmware, and I suspect it is using the drivers from VMTools. I will have to try this again when I have time. I am burnt out at this point though. I spent the past 2 days getting this far only to realize I may have killed it by using vmware's dispaly drivers.

I will post any news if I get it working, and possible post the ISO of the finished product for people to test and see how it works for them. I will not be posting the link here, but I will PM links for any requests of the file once I get it working.

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