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I have a rather strange situation on my hands. You see, here at my new workplace, we have a certain industrial machine which requires several programs and drivers which, in turn, only run on Windows 95. In addition, the installation CDs for said programs and drivers have evidently been missing for the last ten years. Up until now, we have been using a Compaq Prolinea 4/66 which is probably older than I am, but it's on its last legs and so it has fallen to the resident assistant IT tech (me) to come up with a solution that doesn't cost the company any money.

Now, I happen to have an old HP dc7600 lying around with Windows XP SP3 Pro. At first, it was my plan to run a virtual machine (via VMware) with the Win95 image. Unfortunately, VMware requires more than 1GB of RAM which is all I have on hand. If worse comes to worst, I'll pay out of my own pocket for more memory, but I'd rather avoid that unless it's absolutely necessary.

My next best bet seems to be to try and create a bootable USB flash drive with the existing Win95 installation on it. I have found various tutorials for running a bootable DOS prompt which can then be used to initialize a fresh version of Win95, but I can't seem to locate a way by which an existing installation could be utilized.

Any suggestions, either for a flash drive trick or some other method? It doesn't need to be fast, and it doesn't need to be pretty, it just needs to work. I am unsure what system specs one would need to know for this particular issue, but the dc7600 I'm working with has Windows XP SP3 Professional v.2002, 1 GB of memory, an 80 GB HDD, and an Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.20 GHz. If you need any further information, do not hesitate to ask.

Many thanks.

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Grab yourself an install of Windows 95 here at **WinWorld** (Pre OSR is for FAT 16 only, - but maybe that's what you will want to use.)

Partition off your 80GB on the old HP dc7600 so that you have a partition size that is suitable for a Windows 95 install of either FAT 16 or FAT 32. (Google for it and you'll find the correct partition size.)

Format the partition to the file system you have chosen. Install your newly downloaded Win 95 operating system. (Serials for install are on the website.) Once you have got this new install up-and-running you will know that you now have a good base to accept a disk image of the old operating system including programs and drivers for the required install disks that have been missing for the last ten years.

If you cant get a new install of Win 95 to run on the partition, dont expect to get a disk image to run either ! Pay attention to the type of IDE cables you use on the HP dc 7600 (Again, - Google about the problems that can occur, - the answers are all there.)

Disk Image the old operating system taking note of the original file system "FAT 16 or FAT 32 (DOS may be preferable in this instance, although you can go with whatever works best for you.) Plenty of freeware stuff around still, both old and new. Finally overwrite your new 95 install with the disk image.

Will it work ? - Yep. Will it drive you nuts ? - Probably.

If the old Compaq Prolinea 4/66 isn't up to providing a disk image, think along the lines of whipping out the HDD and "Cloning Partition-to-Partition" rather than disk imaging. Start thinking "Retro" and gather some retro software and hardware around you before you start. Floppy drives, Floppy Disks, Boot Floppy's, and a load of old stuff.

Good Luck.

John.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evidently the original install disks for the programs have gone missing Pat. The intention being that he capture the whole partition as an image and carried on using the operating system "As is".

Yet another one for the "Mulder & Scully" team.

John.

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Evidently the original install disks for the programs have gone missing Pat.

Indeed, I missed that part. However, at Win95 times, programs were often not "installed" as they are today, mostly just copied into the Program Files folder. That may be worth a try.

On the other hand it appears that the O/P has lost interest in the subject...

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I've just noticed that you have Windows 7 64bit !

It seems like only yesterday we were trying to get you fixed up by making one computer up out of two that you inherited from your previous workplace. Did the steam pressure fall too low in the end Pat or are they now kept as emergency computers ?

John.

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