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Author Topic: Win 95 Compatibility?  (Read 6601 times)

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Amats

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    Win 95 Compatibility?
    « on: January 15, 2017, 01:10:05 PM »
    Hi I had 3 old computers that I use for old programs and games for Win95C, Win98se, and WinXP.  I took all the hard drives out of them and got rid of the cases and other components because they got contaminated with formaldehyde which started causing problems with air quality.  I'm thinking instead of finding a computer for each operating system, to find one computer with a cpu that would be compatible with all three systems and install a hot swap tray for the hard drives.  I think I may have found one but I have a question.  I found a Dell Dimension desktop with a pentium 4 that is 1.3 ghz.  I know it will run win98se and winxp but not sure if it will run win95c.  Anyone know about this?
    American Pro (Comp USA) 1998 custom order
    Pentium Pro 686 processor, 150 - 200MHz
    Socket 8
    Sound Blaster 16
    Windows 95

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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 04:21:09 PM »
    The pentium 4 is compatible with all Windows systems.
    The issue will be the chip set used on the motherboard. But even if it has a unknowns chipset, windows 95 with install a generic set of drivers. The down side is that your VGA resolution may be very limited.
    This might help:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_chipsets

    camerongray



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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 04:29:12 PM »
    Have you looked into running virtual machines on a much more modern computer to run the old OSs?  This would usually be your best bet as you'd be working with modern, reliable hardware.  The only potential issue you may have would be if you need to connect specialised hardware to the Windows 9x machine.

    patio

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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 04:36:03 PM »
    You saying he can just run an existing HDD in a VM ? ?

    Not sure thats what he's lookin to do...and it didn't think it could be done.
       
     
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    BC_Programmer


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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 04:38:52 PM »
    The pentium 4 is compatible with all Windows systems.

    Beyond a certain speed- a little over about 2Ghz, the Windows Kernel will crash  with a divide by zero error.
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

    camerongray



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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 03:06:52 AM »
    You saying he can just run an existing HDD in a VM ? ?

    Not sure thats what he's lookin to do...and it didn't think it could be done.

    You can definitely pass a physical drive through to a VM, or you can take an image of the physical disk then boot the image on the VM from modern, faster, more reliable hard drive/ssd.

    Sure it's not the best option in all cases (specialised hardware being one) but if it's just to use a couple of old applications occasionally it may be more practical than relying on an old machine and even older hard drives.

    BC_Programmer


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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 10:11:39 AM »
    Just to clarify what I posted: I'm talking about Windows 9x in my previous post! More recent versions of Windows obviously run on CPU's that run at 2.1Ghz or higher.
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

    patio

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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 10:16:56 AM »
    Thanx Cameron...never knew you could simply pass thru a HDD with a pre-installed OS in a VM.
       
     
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    DaveLembke



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    Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
    « Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 10:36:10 AM »
    Quote
    Hi I had 3 old computers that I use for old programs and games for Win95C, Win98se, and WinXP.  I took all the hard drives out of them and got rid of the cases and other components because they got contaminated with formaldehyde which started causing problems with air quality.

    Curious how these got contaminated with formaldehyde... were these originally in an industrial environment?

    For the fact that you want to run old games on these OS's, Virtual machines dont work out too good for gaming. Speaking from own experience. I tried to get some games to work in virtual environments and most dont work, others that do work the fps is horrible. Unless your using DOSBOX which works fine for most DOS games.

    Do you have any of the OS installation discs or only the drives?  ( *Situation with these drives on different hardware is that your going to have to satisfy drivers for completely different hardware. Additionally if the CPU is too different from that of the original CPU That was used when the OS was installed you could get into boot loop BSOD and other issues. ) If you knew the exact model or very similar model of computer that each drive came out of, your best bet would be to pair the drives back up with their hardware in systems that are non contaminated.

    Lastly many games that were made for 95 and 98 will play fine on an older computer running XP... is there any games that you know of that you have that wont play on a 32-bit Windows XP system?

    I did away with 95 many years ago and held onto using Windows 98 SE for a number of years, but I have thousands of games and many of them made for Windows 95 and 98 and they all play perfectly fine on Windows XP 32-bit. You might not need to make the Windows 95 and 98 come back to life. The only situation for needing the Windows 95 and 98 drives to run would be if they have games on them and you lost the installation discs to install the game clean to a Windows XP 32-bit build. XP also has a mode feature to allow older software that is picky with XP NT environment to run more like non-NT 95/98 for backwards compatibility. I have rarely needed to use this feature for games with XP 32-bit that were for 95/98.

    If you decide on still going with removable IDE drives for one computer and your going to install all the necessary drivers for the computer hardware that you go with, you will want to make sure that the hardware completely supports Windows 95 for drivers before buying it. Look up the motherboard and see if the drivers exist for 95/98/XP. You might find yourself having to settle for a computer that is a Pentium III processor. Pentium 4's and Windows 95 I had issues with years ago. Because your requiring Windows 95 that is why I suggest a Pentium III as the fastest CPU. If you did away with 95 and went with 98/XP only then a Pentium 4 would be better performance.

    Games you want to play you will want to look up the specs for the GPU. You might be able to get by with the integrated GPU for 95 and 98 games. For a Pentium III computer if it has integrated GPU you might have a GPU that can allocate 32MB Video RAM, most will be in the 4,8,16MB for integrated. If you do away with 95 and go with 98/XP only then you could go with a Pentium 4 CPU and integrated video with 64MB or more video memory.

    Some older games have hardware detection and very manual sound and video configurations with direct hardware calls. If you have older games that were made for older hardware you might find that they dont work out properly on newer hardware. Example being a game I liked playing called Carmageddon which had audio issues on newer hardware. It wasnt until I installed an older SoundBlaster 16 card into the system and configured it for the soundblaster 16 card on that Pentium III system that I got the sound to work properly. The VIA chipset that the Pentium III motherboard had Carmageddon did not work with for sound. It wasnt able to use the sound that Windows was working fine with, the game was independent from the OS's audio and video drivers with direct hardware calls so the hardware had to match that of what the game was specifically designed around so i had to add an old soundblaster 16 card to a newer Pentium III.

    These days hardware emulation might work for getting non soundblaster 16 cards to work as soundblaster 16. Quick google search shows that some may be out there. https://www.google.com/#q=sound+blaster+16+emulator

    *If you need GPU processing power such as VooDoo Card or something like that then its best to find a video card other than integrated GPU that meets or exceeds the requirements of the game, but has driver support for the OS's you intend to use. *Note: Sometimes exceeding the hardware requirements will introduce bugs in game execution. Games might run faster or might crash as well as might act like they are cheating (NPC targets dodging bullets "matrix like" yet you cant because the logic is running faster in bullet-time and your reaction time is only so fast etc so the NPC has the advantage which can be frustrating because game is running faster but you cant. ) This is somewhat rare to have this situation but it can happen. It was more prone for game timing to be a problem many years ago between friends with 8088 and 286 computers. A game intended for 8088 4.77Mhz run on a 286 12Mhz would run almost 2.5x faster. I have some old games from back in the day that are like PacMan intended for an 8088 4.77Mhz and they will run as fast as the CPU can run them. Nothing like a game that the minute you start the game your instantly Dead. Start the game, flash of pixel activity, and then dead. Some games the Turbo button had to even be turned off to slow the games down back in the 286 and 386 era with the ability to switch between CPU speeds of say 12Mhz and 16Mhz etc.

    Amats

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      Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
      « Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 10:37:39 AM »
      Thank you all for all that interesting info and Thank you Dave for that dissertation on gaming and computers from the stone age and beyond. ;D  I don't quite go that far back but I started with an old custom tower I bought in 94 that had a 486 dx 66mhz chip and a 90mb hd with win 3.11. In order to play new games we had to compress the hard drive or unload a game so we would have room on the hard drive.   We played games like Xcom, Wolfenstein, Lords of the Realm and such and the whole thing was pretty much magical.  When 95 came out we considered it space age technology and it has been my favorite operating system since so I'll experiment with this Dell and see if it will work and if not I'll find an old system to work with. 
           We lived in an old mobile home for a few years that had a serious formaldehyde problem during the summer from the materials the mobile home was made of.  The computers were in the room that had the worst problem with it.  After we moved and I started using the computers again it started making me sick again (that stuff is bad) so I pulled one of them apart and cleaned it out thoroughly but it still had the problem so I pulled out the hard drives and threw the rest away.  I'm going to copy the hard drives over to other hard drives and throw the old ones away too which is a lot easier than installing win95 again.
           I know 98se and XP will work great on this Dell because that is what this computer was designed for and if I have to put another one together for 95 it is really no problem.  I just ebay components until I have everything I want for it.  I did load Sim City 2000 on the XP computer and it had no problems with speed.  I loaded it on one of my fast computers awhile back and it ran so fast it was unplayable but 1.3ghz is a very playable speed for it.  I would like to know if you know the best sound cards and video cards to use in a 95 computer.  THX!  ;D
      American Pro (Comp USA) 1998 custom order
      Pentium Pro 686 processor, 150 - 200MHz
      Socket 8
      Sound Blaster 16
      Windows 95

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      Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
      « Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 11:07:25 AM »
      Quote
      f you know the best sound cards and video cards to use in a 95 computer.  THX!  ;D
      As I recall, Sound Blaster was very popular. Sound versions came with software that let you do some  good effects.

      DaveLembke



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      Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
      « Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 03:13:30 PM »
      Sounds Blaster from Creative Labs was pretty much the #1 sound card going for the time of Windows 95.

      As far as video cards the biggest concern back then was with video memory meeting or exceeding the game requirements. Some games needed considerable GPU processing power, but could be configured and would play ok on lesser video settings as a means to not exclude game play from the majority of computer systems/customers wanting to play the games on a budget off the shelf computer. Around 1995 3dfx was what some friends would buy video cards from for top of the line at the time gaming. My one friend had the first VooDoo card and payed a mint for it to play Quake and Quake II with maximum performance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3dfx_Interactive
      I was running the ATI Rage 3D video card which was the much cheaper video card for the time, but better than whatever the motherboard had on it which may have been just a SiS (silicon graphics) 4MB, 8MB, or 16MB etc.

      Hope this info helps... additionally interesting that the mobile home had a formaldehyde issue. I owned a 1973 12x64 Mobile home from 1994 to 2015 and its pretty scary that building materials in it could have been toxic like that without being aware. Bought my place for $6000 in 1994 when a guy got a divorce and needed a quick cash sale when it was worth $12000 and sold it for $2000 in 2015 after banking some money to buy a house. Roof failed and floors failed, replaced floors and roof in 2006 Gave it away pretty much at $2000 for a quick sale to get out of the mobile home park and $477 a month lot rent since I now had a $1200 a month mortgage payment. I dont miss the mobile home park at all. It was a financial trap. So easy to get in and hard to get out. Lease agreement signed pretty much required you to find someone else to take your place or else your paying lot rent or getting lawyers involved to break the lease after removing your home off the property. I thought I was going to have to pay $6800 to have it destroyed and removed from the lot and get lawyers involved in breaking the lease. But realtor that I bought house from knew of a guy who needed a place and didnt have much money and it worked out for us.

      Good to hear that you got out of that toxic environment!

      *Some of the video cards from 3dfx are rare and collectable and so they might come at a premium.

      BC_Programmer


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      Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
      « Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 05:18:04 PM »
      For the Sound Card consideration, it's going to depend on specifically what you are after.

      The "Diamond Monster Sound MX300" is one of the highest end cards of the time period, so it works great with Windows 95. the MX200, it's predecessor, is a good one as well. Both support Aureal 3D, an early 3-D Audio API, and the MX200 even has a daughtercard you can connect for better MIDI samples. They are effectively rebranded Aureal Vortex 2 Cards, so that could add additional selection while looking for pricing options on eBay.

      The main problem is twofold: first, because they are some of the "highest-end" cards for older computer builds, they tend to fetch a tad more than one might expect on eBay. Another issue is that they have poor DOS support. (the first Vortex   (not Vortex 2) and MX200 do have Sound Blaster Pro emulation/compatibility under DOS, though)

      Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold is a good option For MS-DOS games Sound Blaster support is pretty much a given, and the AWE64 is 100% compatible with the AWE32, which many games have added features for. It does require AWEUTIL.EXE, which is part of the driver set, to get General MIDI support under DOS but that works reasonably well. It also has good Windows Support.

      Another excellent card is a Sound Blaster Live! Card. the only issue with that is that it was a very common "OEM" card, that would be pre-installed, and the pre-installed cards are stripped down and aren't actually SB Live cards for some reason. (My Dell Dimension 4400 had one in it and I could only ever get t he driver that was for the Dell Dimension 4400 to work; the default SB drivers for the Live! failed to install, claiming it couldn't find a Sound Blaster Live! installed), so going that route  you'll have to avoid OEM cards.

      Another card I'd say to avoid would be "Creative Audio PCI". This is a rebranded Ensoniq Audio PCI, and both are incredibly basic cards. They get the job done, so they will do in a pinch and they are cheap, but if you are looking for a more "deluxe" option for the time period, it isn't this card.

      For Graphics Cards you have a lot of options. You can find Cards from NVidia, ATI, Matrox, and 3DFX that will work on Windows 95. 3DFX Voodoo Cards are 3-D Accelerator only and need to run with another video card for your standard desktop display, and use a pass-through adapter. You can also install two of them for SLI configurations.

      Like Dave Says, 3DFX cards are somewhat collectible now and have a cult following. Personally I think they are somewhat overrated in terms of actually making use of them, unless specifically wanting to use original hardware with a Glide-supporting game. You also need another Graphics Card anyway for the Voodoo and Voodoo 2 cards anyway.

      If you want something for all those operating Systems, then something like a Radeon 9000 or Geforce 2MX/Geforce 4Ti should work well. I use an Radeon All-In-Wonder 9000 on my own Pentium 4 PC.
      I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

      Amats

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        Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
        « Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 10:26:44 PM »
        For the Sound Card consideration, it's going to depend on specifically what you are after.

        For Graphics Cards you have a lot of options. You can find Cards from NVidia, ATI, Matrox, and 3DFX that will work on Windows 95. 3DFX Voodoo Cards are 3-D Accelerator only and need to run with another video card for your standard desktop display, and use a pass-through adapter. You can also install two of them for SLI configurations.

        Like Dave Says, 3DFX cards are somewhat collectible now and have a cult following. Personally I think they are somewhat overrated in terms of actually making use of them, unless specifically wanting to use original hardware with a Glide-supporting game. You also need another Graphics Card anyway for the Voodoo and Voodoo 2 cards anyway.


        Thanks BC for that information.  I knew about 3DFX but not about Glide. So some games of that era were 3DFX and some were Glide based?
        American Pro (Comp USA) 1998 custom order
        Pentium Pro 686 processor, 150 - 200MHz
        Socket 8
        Sound Blaster 16
        Windows 95

        BC_Programmer


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        Re: Win 95 Compatibility?
        « Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 01:52:17 AM »
        Glide is the API that software/games were written against to run on 3DFX Cards. Sort of like Direct3D, OpenGL, and Vulkan today, but it only worked with cards made by 3DFX.

        Also worth noting that later Voodoo cards had a 2-D card built in, so you didn't need a "companion"; but they usually aren't as powerful when used for Direct3D or OpenGL as ATI or NVidia cards.

        I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.