Windows 95 on a USB drive

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Corbin052198, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Corbin052198, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    Corbin052198 macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #1
    I figured out how to do it, so I thought I would post it:

    Windows 95 on a USB drive
    Create a fully bootable Windows 95 installation, bootable on most modern computers
    Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or 7 (Ubuntu Linux How-To available here)​

    Part 1: Getting Everything
    You must have:
    1. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
    2. WinImage (any version will do)
    3. A floppy of MS-DOS 6.22 (May work on other DOSes) (link)
    4. A USB drive from 256 MB to 2 GB (will also work with SD card if the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool can recognize it)

    Part 2: Extracting the MS-DOS files to a folder
    1. Launch WinImage and click on File > Open.
    2. Navigate to where the you downloaded the MS-DOS floppy to and click Open.
    3. Make a new folder (in Windows Explorer) named DOS and open it.
    4. Drag all the files from the WinImage to the DOS folder.
    5. You can now quit WinImage and close the DOS folder.

    Part 3: Formatting your USB drive
    NOTE: THIS WILL ERASE ALL OF THE FILES ON YOUR USB DRIVE. BACKUP ANY IMPORTANT FILES TO YOUR COMPUTER.
    1. Open the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
    2. Under "Device," select your USB drive.
    3. Under "File System," chose FAT. Your computer will not boot with FAT32 or NTFS!
    4. Under "Format Options," select "Create a DOS Startup Disk," select "using DOS system files at," click the button to the side, then find your DOS folder and click Select.
    5. Click Start. If it gives you an alert, just continue.

    You can now try to boot your computer from your USB drive. There are about a thousand ways to do this, so just try Google. If you see C:\>, then it has successfully booted.

    Part 4: Copying Windows 95 files
    1. Insert your Windows 95 CD into your computer.
    2. Make a new folder on your USB drive called, "WIN95".
    3. Copy all of the files from your Windows 95 CD to the WIN95 folder on your USB drive. Make sure one of the files is SETUP.EXE.

    Part 5: Installing Windows
    1. Boot your computer from your USB drive again.
    2. When you see C:>\, type: CD WIN95 and press ENTER.
    3. Type: SETUP and press ENTER.
    4. Just go through the setup as normal, when it's done, just restart. Make sure your computer boots from USB when it restarts.
    Sometimes when your start Windows 95, it may give you an alert that you have not enough memory when you actually have too much. Read on for the fix.

    Part 6: Fixing Windows 95
    This is only required if you have over 512 MB of RAM.
    1. Boot your computer into your regular install (not USB). Make sure your WIN95 drive is still connected.
    2. Find your flash drive in Windows Explorer, double-click it, and go to WINDOWS, then find SYSTEM.INI.
    3. Open SYSTEM.INI with Windows Notepad or another plain text editor. MS Office will not work.
    3. Go down to where it says, "[VCache]" without quotes (it may be capitalized differently). Make a new line under it and paste this:
    4. Re-boot into your flash drive and you are done!
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Good luck with that. Most Macs won't even boot the official W7 USB installer because they don't like to boot legacy systems via USB.

    B
     
  3. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #3
    This Windows Ninety-fiiiiiiiiive
    It's sucking up my driiiiiiiiiive
    It makes a grown man cryyyyyy.
     
  4. Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #4
    Some PowerPC macs can boot from USB, but like you said, no Intel macs. :mad:
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Most Intel Macs can boot OS X just fine from USB. It's Windows they won't boot.

    B
     
  6. Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #6
    Ubuntu version now available!

    Hello everyone!

    Sorry I still have not got around to Part 6 or whatever yet....

    But I did get around to making an Ubuntu linux version of this tutorial. It should also work with Debian, Fedora, and almost any linux distro. The only catch is that you tend to spend more time in DOS than sweet sweet Linux :(.

    But here it is:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=10543073#post10543073

    Enjoy :cool:
     
  7. Ron N macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    #7
    Hi Corbin,

    I can't seem to get past part 3. The USB has no files on it and won't boot. Does it matter where I put the DOS folder with the files.
     
  8. Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #8
    Sorry, I completely forgot about this thread. When you choose to make a DOS drive in the HP Tool, you just select to use system files from a folder. Then, in the little file viewer, navigate to where the DOS folder is, click on it, and press OK or whatever is there. Also, when you view the USB drive on Windows, some of the boot files for MS-DOS are hidden. You need to copy the files to the drive using the HP Tool, not manually using Explorer.
     
  9. Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    Might be a stupid question but, why are you trying to run Windows 95?
     
  10. steadysignal macrumors 6502a

    steadysignal

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    #10
    +1 on the why.

    retro action? real world reasons?
     
  11. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #11
    If you manage to get this working with Windows 98, AND get a modern computer to boot it AND get 3D acceleration working, that'd be mighty useful, indeed.

    Impossible, I know.
     
  12. Corbin052198, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2011

    Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #12
    Actually, since this involves installing Windows from DOS, you should be able to install any version of Windows based on DOS. That includes Windows 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 95, 98, 98SE, or ME. You can boot modern computers from it. My dad's XP netbook boots it perfectly. As for 3D acceleration, you would need the right drivers. I plan on doing this again in the near future and get around to the last part. :)

    If you have the CD files, you can also install Windows 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 98, 98SE, and ME.

    Correct. I know you can run 95 in a virtual machine to play old games, but it's more fun this way. Back when I had a USB drive with Win95 on it (I will make another one soon), I used to play the DOS versions of Doom and Oregon Trail. There are also hundreds of Windows 95-only games that might not run in a virtual machine.

    And there are practical reasons. You can use Office on the go. You can carry a bootable Windows system to fix someone else's (Although WinPE is better for this).
     
  13. Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
  14. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #14
    Will I be able to install this on my MacBook Pro with either Parallels or Boot Camp and will it be able to run old DOS games/early Windows games?
     
  15. steadysignal macrumors 6502a

    steadysignal

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    #15
    don't cry, don't cry...
     
  16. Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #16
    It might work with Boot Camp, but I wouldn't try it. The Boot Camp drivers Apple provides don't work with versions of Windows older than XP.

    I don't have Parallels (I use VirtualBox), but I don't think this guide would help at all. You would first need to install MS-DOS 6.22 (free boot floppy images are available on the internet). When you install WIN95 (or MS-DOS), you need a FAT16 formatted (virtual) drive less than or equal to 2 GB. Also, if you want to avoid any memory issues, set the amount of memory to 512 MB.

    If you want to run old DOS games on a Mac, I would suggest DOSBox. If you already have a copy of Windows, you can run older games by setting Compatibility Mode for an earlier version of Windows. Keep in mind that Windows games that require system extensions, direct hardware access, or drivers will not work with Windows 2000 or newer. Which means almost all of them :mad:
     
  17. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #17
    Yeah... DOS games aren't what I'm really concerned with, the games I am concerned with are the ones that require 3d acceleration and were built for Windows versions based off of DOS that won't run on XP/Vista/7 without wasting an afternoon looking for patches, hacking, etc.
     
  18. Corbin052198 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #18
    Chances are that's exactly what it requires to find any kind of Windows 95 driver for modern hardware, if any exists. I use my USB install to play games that don't need drivers, like Oregon Trail or Doom. But mainly I use Office 97 and Minesweeper :D
     

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