Installing and using older Windows OS's in VMware Fusion.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by lonesdav000, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. lonesdav000 macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    I've posted this to the VMware forum and several other forums, and no one's provided any real assistance for almost a month! Other people have had similar issues since 2007!!! I know floppy disks are obsolete and anything older than Windows XP may seem useless to own, but VMware claims to support everything as far back as DOS and Windows 3.1. I've run out of patients and I just need this stuff to work!

    1. I NEED the drivers for the SmartDisk USB Floppy Drive (Titanium Edition) for Windows 3.1 (doubt it exists, but still...), Windows 95, and Windows 98. Every download site I can find just links back to the SmartDisk website, which no longer exists!! I have hundreds of disks I need to sift through and I DO NOT want to have to convert ALL on them to disk images just to get them to load!!!
    (I originally needed the floppy drive to install said OS's, but VMware only recognizes it as just another USB device and I can't boot from it... If an OS is listed as "supported", don't you think installing it the logical way would be "supported" too? ...with out the need of extra steps? If VMware would just recognize the floppy drive the same way it does with the internal CD/DVD drive, things would be so much easier!)

    2. Windows 95 wont even recognize the virtual floppy drive. I'm able to boot from it in DOS, but once Windows loads up all I get is an "A:/ not accessible. The device is not ready." error. No matter what disk image I use or how many times I reinstall Windows (using floppy disk images) I can not get it to work!

    3. The Soundblaster 16 driver for Windows 3.1 keeps giving me that stupid "Wrong base I/O" message during the install! I've added EVERYTHING people say to add to the vmx file, but nothing works!
    (Again, if an OS is listed as "supported", why does something as basic as sound require the user to install third party drivers or manually alter VMware's code? Why not just include all the necessary drivers and proper "VMware tools" from the start?)
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Weird. I picked up a new USB floppy drive from Newegg that works great under OS X, W7 and Linux.

    Is there something unique about your floppy drive that this aggravation isn't work <~$20 to avoid? Does it NEED to talk to W9x directly?

    Somewhere I have a Win ME VM that seems to work just fine. So I really don't know where the problem is. I actually made it to test out some of the floppy images I made...

  3. Phantom Gremlin macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2010
    Tualatin, Oregon
    I'm not a VMware expert, but maybe I can point you in the right direction.

    VMware Fusion doesn't claim to support "everything", it's VMware Workstation that supports "everything".

    Check the documentation carefully to make sure that Fusion supports what you want to do.
  4. lonesdav000, Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011

    lonesdav000 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    I stand by that statement... VMware claims to support everything as far back as DOS and Windows 3.1 in VMware Fusion.
    (...well, maybe not literally every single release and service pack, but defiantly the ones I specified and most other major releases.)
  5. lonesdav000 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Yes, there is something "unique" about my situation. I'm just doing it for fun. Even if I could run it in some sort of "classic mode" on a more modern OS, the whole point of this was to see the software as it was originally intended in the OS of its time. I guess I'm just weird that way!
  6. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    DOS/Windows 3.x/Windows 95 pre-date USB existing so you are out of luck.

    Windows 95 OSR 2 (OEM only) and Windows 98 support USB, but you will have to track down the manufacturers driver for the device and pray it's supported. USB support is much better with Windows 2000 onwards.

    USB FDDs are a pain in the proverbial, the only types I've seen over the years that seem to work out of the box or install drivers from Windows update are YE Data or TEAC manufactured drives. Some of the big OEMs like IBM and Toshiba rebadged these.

    Assuming the drive works under OS X the best bet for unsupported operating systems is to rip the disks to .fdd files and attach them within Fusion.

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