How to Install Windows 98 Virtual Machine


VMware Player--the free version of VMware for Windows--is able to install many operating systems automatically using the "Easy Install" feature. However, Windows 98 is an exception to this; after a new virtual machine is created, Windows 98 must be installed manually. This can be a confusing process for someone who has never installed Windows 98 on a physical computer, as the installation process for Windows 98 is not as self-explanatory as in newer Windows versions. However, after you get past the first few commands for which no help is offered by the installation CD, you will find that the majority of the installation process for Windows 98 is not so difficult.

Things You'll Need

  • VMware Player
  • Windows 98 installation CD or ISO image
  • Launch VMware Player. If you do not have VMware Player, it can be downloaded free (see Resources). Click the "Home" link in the upper-left corner of the screen, then click "Create a New Virtual Machine."

  • Click the "Installer Disc" radio button if you are installing Windows 98 from a CD. If you are installing from an ISO image, click "Installer Disc Image File," then click the "Browse" button, navigate to the image file and double-click it. Click "Next."

  • Select a location and name for the virtual machine. By default, VMware Player names the machine Windows 98. Click "Next."

  • Enter the amount of storage space in gigabytes that you want to devote to the virtual machine. Click "Next," then click "Finish."

  • Click in the virtual machine window as soon as it opens, and press the "Esc" key to display the boot menu. Use the keyboard arrow keys to select "CD-ROM Drive" and press "Enter."

  • Select "Boot from CD-ROM," press "Enter," select "Start Computer with CD-ROM Support" and press "Enter." This brings you to an MS-DOS prompt.

  • Type "FDISK" and press "Enter."

  • Type "Y" to enable large disk support and press "Enter."

  • Press "1" to create a DOS partition and press "Enter" twice.

  • Press "Y" to use the maximum hard drive space available for the partition and press "Enter."

  • Press "Esc" to exit the FDISK utility, then click the "VM" menu at the top of the window. Click "Power" and "Reset."

  • Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to boot the virtual machine from the installation CD or image again.

  • Type "FORMAT C:" and press "Enter." A message appears reminding you that all data on the hard drive will be lost. The virtual hard drive does not have any data yet--press "Y," then press "Enter."

  • Type "D:" and press "Enter" to switch to the CD-ROM drive (real or virtual), then type "SETUP" and press "Enter." A message appears explaining that the setup utility needs to perform a check on your system. Press "Enter." After this process is complete, the graphical installation program loads and the mouse becomes active.

  • Click "Continue," then click "Next."

  • Select the optional components of Windows 98 that you would like to install or simply select "Typical," and then click "Next."

  • Give the virtual machine a name that should be used to find it on a network, then click "Next."

  • Select your keyboard layout, then click "Next." The setup utility begins copying the files for Windows 98 to the virtual hard drive. When the process is complete, the virtual machine must be restarted for the setup utility to continue. Click "OK."

  • Enter the name that you would like to use when logging in to Windows. Click "Next."

  • Click the "I accept the Agreement" radio button and click "Next."

  • Enter your Windows 98 product key. Click "Next," then click "Finish."

  • Select your time zone, then click "Close." After a few more moments, the virtual machine restarts and the Windows 98 desktop loads. The installation is complete.

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