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Guide Microsoft VirtualBox

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox (part 1)

Windows 95 was a revolutionary operating system, released on August 24, 1995 and marketed until 2001. It introduced, among other things, the “taskbar”, a simple and interesting GUI, and “Plug and Play” peripherals. One of the reasons for installing this operating system, even today, is to try for yourself the Microsoft operating system that has inspired and accompanied so many people in their lives. So let’s see how to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox.

Prerequisites

Windows 95 requires an MS-DOS environment previously installed in the virtual machine. It is also necessary to use a specific boot floppy, such as the one that can be downloaded from the WinWorld site.

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox: Windows Setup

We use (or clone) a virtual machine previously created for MS-DOS. If you haven’t installed MS-DOS yet, you can follow this guide.

We insert the boot floppy and boot the machine.

Windows 95 Startup Menu
Windows 95 Startup Menu

The virtual machine will ask us to choose which drivers to load for the CD player. Let’s select the first driver.

At this point, we type the following command to switch from drive C: (local disk) to drive D: (CD-ROM)

D:
DOS screen
DOS screen

We then type

setup

and hit enter twice. At this point, the installation of Windows 95 will start, first of all by performing a ScanDisk of the local disk.

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox: Microsoft ScanDisk screenshot
Microsoft ScanDisk

We correct any disk errors by selecting “Fix It” with the keyboard and pressing enter.

Example of a problem encountered by Microsoft ScanDisk
Example of a problem encountered by Microsoft ScanDisk

Windows will now copy the files required for installation to the (virtual) hard drive.

Windows screen while copying files required for installation
Windows screen while copying files required for installation

This process may take some time. The initial Windows setup screen will then appear.

The initial setup screen for Windows 95
The initial setup screen for Windows 95

We click on “Continue” to start the wizard.

License Agreement for Windows 95
License Agreement for Windows 95

We accept the license agreement and move on. The Windows installation wizard will start.

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox: Start the Windows 95 wizard
Start of the Windows 95 wizard

We select “Windows” as the installation folder and continue.

Directory selection
Directory selection

The wizard will check if we have enough free space to continue with the installation.

The installation preparation screen
The installation preparation screen

We will be asked to choose the installation mode. We can continue with the normal mode (“typical”).

Installation mode selection screen
Installation mode selection screen

We will now have to enter our license key.

License key entry screen
License key entry screen

We specify the Windows user to create.

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox: Windows user creation screen
Windows user creation screen

The insertion of a user is necessary in order to continue with the guided procedure.

Error Example - Windows User Creation
Error Example – Windows User Creation

Let’s proceed with the installation of the network adapter and the sound card.

Installing additional peripherals
Installing additional peripherals

The wizard will proceed with further analysis of the devices present in the computer.

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox: Analysis of the peripherals present in the computer
Analysis of the peripherals present in the computer

We install the recommended Windows components.

Installation of Windows components
Installation of Windows components

When asked to create a boot disk, we can select “No” and continue by skipping this step.

Windows startup disk creation screen
Windows startup disk creation screen

The wizard will then proceed with the copy of the system files. Click on “Next” to continue.

File Copy Start Screen
File Copy Start Screen

The installation procedure will start and will copy the Windows files to your computer. During this procedure, some slides are shown that explain the main novelties of Windows 95.

The installation procedure is now finished. We remove the virtual disk from VirtualBox and restart the machine.

The end of the installation procedure
The end of the installation procedure

The following error message may appear after restarting the machine:

How to install Windows 95 in VirtualBox: Error message
Error message

If so, a simple VirtualBox setting will need to be changed to correct the error. This guide explains how.

Good! We have installed Windows 95. Now we just have to explore it 😉