Windows 95 documentation covers information on how to install the operating system in a virtual machine. For additional information about the operating system, refer to the instructions included in the installation media.

Windows 95 documentation includes the following topics:

Installation Instructions

You can install Windows 95 in a virtual machine using a standard Windows 95 boot floppy and CD-ROM.


Before you begin, verify that the following tasks are complete:

  • Read General Installation Instructions for All VMware Products.
  • The recommended memory size for Windows 95 is 64MB. If you use more than 512MB you might encounter problems. Consult the Microsoft Web site for a workaround. See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;253912.
  • You must run the FDISK and FORMAT utilities on the virtual hard disk drives before running Windows 95 setup. (Some Windows 95 distributions provide instructions that do not include the steps to FDISK and FORMAT a C: drive).
  • The installation instructions are for the simplest case of one virtual IDE hard drive and one virtual IDE CD-ROM drive. If you configured the virtual machine with more than one IDE hard drive, run FDISK and FORMAT utilities on these drives before installing Windows 95. If you configured the virtual machine with more than one virtual hard drive or more than one virtual CD-ROM, you might need to use device letters that are different from those in the instructions.

Installation Steps

  1. Insert the Windows 95 CD-ROM Setup Boot Disk in floppy drive A: used by your virtual machine and insert the Windows 95 CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Power on the virtual machine.
  3. After the virtual machine boots, if you are presented with a choice of CD-ROM drivers, select the first IDE driver option available (even if your computer has a SCSI CD-ROM drive).
  4. Partition the virtual disk.
    A:\> FDISK
  5. Answer the questions when prompted.
  6. (Optional) If you create a primary partition that is smaller than the full size of the virtual disk, mark the partition as active.
  7. Reboot Windows 95.
    1. If the cursor is not already within the virtual machine window, click in the virtual machine display, and then press Ctrl+Alt+Ins on a Windows host or Ctrl+Alt+Del on a Linux host.
    2. If prompted on reboot to select a CD-ROM driver, select the first IDE CD-ROM driver from the list.
  8. Format the C: drive.
    A:\> FORMAT C: /S
  9. Start the Windows 95 installation.
  10. A:\> D:\WIN95\SETUP /IS
  11. If the virtual machine's Ethernet adapter is enabled, manually add an Ethernet driver because Windows 95 does not detect it during the Analyzing Computer phase (even if you selected the Network Adapter detection option).
    1. Continue with the Windows 95 installation until you get to the Windows 95 Setup Wizard/Setup Options screen. Change the default setting from Typical to Custom and click Next to continue.
    2. From the Network Configuration screen, click Add, select the Adapter component, select Advanced Micro Devices from the manufacturer window and AMD PCNET Family Ethernet Adapter (PCI&ISA) from the network adapter window.
    3. If you need TCP/IP networking, add it from the Network Configuration screen (Windows 95 Setup does not enable TCP/IP by default).
    Caution If you do not do this, the first phase of the Windows 95 installation does not copy some of the files it will need later, and the entire installation fails.
  12. Verify that the Microsoft NetBEUI protocol is installed. It might not be installed by default.
  13. Finish the Windows 95 installation.
  14. Install VMware Tools.

After installation, consider the following configurations.

Enable DMA Transfer Support

VMware virtual disks support DMA transfers for better performance. The feature can be enabled after you have installed Windows 95 on a virtual IDE disk.

Installation Steps

  1. Right-click My Computer and select Properties.
  2. From the System Properties dialog box, click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Double-click the Disk Drives device category.
  4. Double-click the GENERIC IDE DISK TYPE01 device.
  5. Click the Settings tab and select the DMA check box.

Enable Networking After Windows 95 Installation in a Virtual Machine

If networking was disabled at the time you installed Windows 95, you can enable it after installing the operating system.


Before you begin, verify that the following tasks are complete:

  • Shut down Windows 95 and power off the virtual machine.
  • Add the network adapter to the virtual machine's configuration.
  • Install the network driver in the Windows 95 guest operating system.

Installation Steps

  1. Power on the virtual machine.
    When Windows 95 reboots, it auto-detects an AMD PCNET Family Ethernet Adapter (PCI&ISA) and prompts for the Windows 95 CD-ROM to install drivers.
  2. Accept he default Ethernet adapter settings.
  3. Double-click the Network icon in the Control Panel to view or change network settings.
    For example, you might want to add the TCP/IP protocol because Windows 95 does not install it by default.

Troubleshooting Windows 95 Installations in a Virtual Machine

An intermittent problem can occur during Windows 95 installations in a virtual machine. Shortly after the Windows 95 Setup program is started, Scandisk runs to completion, and when the Windows 95 Setup program should start its graphical user interface, the virtual machine returns to an MS-DOS prompt. Reboot the virtual machine and rerun Windows 95 Setup. You do not need to run the FDISK or FORMAT utilities on the drive again. If this problem occurs and it is reproducible, report it to VMware technical support.

VMware Tools in an Windows 95 Guest

For information on VMware Tools, see Knowledge base article 1014294, General VMware Tools installation instructions, at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1014294.

Knowledge Base Articles for Windows 95

The following link refers to knowledge base articles on operating system specific issues. See VMware Knowledge Base for a list of known issues about the operating system.

VMware Compatibility Guide

The VMware Compatibility Guide Web site lists supported guest and host operating systems and provides related support information.

Copyright (c) 2006-2014 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved.