VOGONS


Windows 95/98 emulation/VM options?

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First post, by MrGlasspoole

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I never did look at this topic because i have real hardware for everything.
But the thing is that i want something i can take with me (friends house).

So i have a machine for XP where i also dual boot Windows 10.
It's a Haswell PC with a GeForce GTX 960 4GB.
I want to use 10 for all the emulation stuff like DOSBox, MAME, Dolphin, UAE, ScummVM and so on...

Normally i decide whats in the games readme (OS supported, Gilde or DirectX and the DirectX version) on what machine i install the game.

So what options are there for 95/98 emulation or VM that also runs the latest Voodoo/Gilde games?

Reply 1 of 24, by DosFreak

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You should try the games on the host first with nglide or dgvoodoo but if not ideal then:

1. PCEM
2. Qemu if you are a sadist
3. DOSBox w/glide patches if you like to be contrary

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 2 of 24, by Jo22

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I second that. Before PCem existed, I had to go with Qemu. Gratefully, the KQemu add-on saved me from mental breakdown (more or less).
The only other solution at the time was VPC 2004/7, which had guest additions for Win9x but was otherwise pretty limited (graphics had to be software-rendered).

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 5 of 24, by Jorpho

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jmarsh wrote on 2020-03-04, 18:15:
Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-04, 16:52:

There's also boxedwine (wine running in Linux within DOSBox)

Boxedwine has nothing to do with DOSBox.

Perhaps that is indeed an exaggeration and I should not refer to it as such. But it at least has similarities in CPU emulation, as per https://sourceforge.net/p/boxedwine/discussio … hread/75e8e1b0/ .

Reply 6 of 24, by MrGlasspoole

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I did read about PCem on reddit before asking here and it did not sound great.
I was on the website and there are no Nvidia cards or Voodoo 5 and stuff like this.
Also EAX will not work i guess...

Will most 95/98 games run on XP?
I guess compatibility is better then on Win 10 and for Voodoo i then have to use nGlide because dgVoodoo needs DirectX 11?

Reply 7 of 24, by Bruninho

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I am interested in this topic. Particularly in PCem and Qemu on macOS.

There is a v15 of PCem, but sadly there is not a macOS port yet (only for v14, which doesn't even run on Mojave and Catalina because these new OS broke it).

Qemu from homebrew is also broken. Same applies to Qemu on raspbian (raspberry Pi 3). I wasted hours and nights trying to make it work so before I went crazy I just threw the rPi3 into the window... I'm in peace now.

Until I found someone porting Qemu to iOS with a GUI (http://getutm.app). I tested it on my 2nd gen iPad Pro 64GB with a Windows 2000 Pro VM, but its still experimental and far from complete. Networking kinda works, but it's a bit slow and no sound yet. I managed to get to the desktop.

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Reply 8 of 24, by Jorpho

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MrGlasspoole wrote on 2020-03-04, 19:40:

I did read about PCem on reddit before asking here and it did not sound great.
I was on the website and there are no Nvidia cards or Voodoo 5 and stuff like this.

Is there some game in particular you're looking at that needs Win9x but also requires a Voodoo5 or a particular Nvidia card?

If you are searching for a particular solution that will cover absolutely everything you will ever encounter, then you will spend far more time searching than you will ever spend actually playing.

Will most 95/98 games run on XP?

There aren't many that will outright fail to work, but there are lots that might need various tweaks, such as XP's compatibility modes. There isn't really any way of knowing ahead of time aside from consulting the available online lore.

64-bit versions of Windows will often encounter many more problems as they are incapable of running 16-bit code, which is especially problematic for installation programs. Also, compatibility with older versions of DirectX is problematic, which is why dgVoodoo exists.

I guess compatibility is better then on Win 10 and for Voodoo i then have to use nGlide because dgVoodoo needs DirectX 11?

If I'm not mistaken, only dgVoodoo 2 requires DirectX 11.

Reply 10 of 24, by MrGlasspoole

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-05, 16:03:

Is there some game in particular you're looking at that needs Win9x but also requires a Voodoo5 or a particular Nvidia card?

All my real machines are build for the highest performance/compatibility for the specific OS.
That is where my chain of thought comes from.

1. Pentium MMX P55C + Diamond Stealth III S540 S3 Savage4 Pro AGP + Voodoo 1
I use it for DOS games that run too fast on the Pentium III and Glide games that do not work on Voodoo 2/3

2. 1.00 GHz Pentium III + Voodoo3 3000
All other DOS games.

3. 1.4GHz PIII-S Tualatin + Voodoo5 5500
I use it for Windows 95 Glide and max DirectX 6.0 and Windows 98 Glide games.

4. 2.8GHz Pentium 4 HT + X800 XT Platinum Edition
For Windows 98 DirectX games.

5. The XP machine I now want to use for emulation.

Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-05, 16:03:

If I'm not mistaken, only dgVoodoo 2 requires DirectX 11.

Ok i see now there is a old dgVoodoo from 2007. But its beta and no support anymore.

I'm just looking for the most stable option that can run the games on best settings.
So many emulators for every system these days but running 95/98 stuff on a modern system seems not to be great.

Reply 11 of 24, by Jorpho

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MrGlasspoole wrote on 2020-03-06, 12:14:

All my real machines are build for the highest performance/compatibility for the specific OS.

Well, none of those machines you've listed have an Nvidia card either, so what does it matter that PCem doesn't support it?

So many emulators for every system these days but running 95/98 stuff on a modern system seems not to be great.

Things are much better than they used to be. Lots of people are quite happy with PCem, except that it has pretty high system requirements.

ETA: I should add that DirectX backwards compatibility got a lot worse between XP and Windows 7, which is why dgVoodoo 2 is not quite as important under XP.

Reply 12 of 24, by robertmo

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MrGlasspoole wrote on 2020-03-06, 12:14:

All my real machines are build for the highest performance/compatibility for the specific OS.
I'm just looking for the most stable option that can run the games on best settings.

None of your machines is good for DOS game Pył 😉

Reply 13 of 24, by MrGlasspoole

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-06, 14:58:

Well, none of those machines you've listed have an Nvidia card either, so what does it matter that PCem doesn't support it?

Its not about Nvidia vs ATI. Its the generation...
The reason for the X800 XT is that the X800/X850 are the fastest cards that still have 98 drivers.

robertmo wrote on 2020-03-07, 03:19:

None of your machines is good for DOS game Pył 😉

What?
This page shows that the S3 Savage4 Pro has good compatibility: https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/

Reply 14 of 24, by Jorpho

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MrGlasspoole wrote on 2020-03-07, 13:39:

The reason for the X800 XT is that the X800/X850 are the fastest cards that still have 98 drivers.

As PCem is running in emulation, you are limited by the speed of your computer and not some arbitrary limit imposed by the particular hardware it emulates.

Besides, depending on what you're trying to run, a faster card won't make much of a difference anyway. And I'd say a game that can make use of an unusually fast card in Win9x is likely to run just as well (or better) in XP. But it's kind of hard to generalize. It is much more useful to decide what, exactly, you want to run rather than spend ages trying to prepare to run anything that might exist.

robertmo wrote on 2020-03-07, 03:19:

None of your machines is good for DOS game Pył 😉

What?

Pył is pretty much the most demanding DOS game ever conceived and if you were setting out to find a Solution That Runs Everything Absolutely Perfectly, the inclusion of Pył would make the task considerably more difficult.

Reply 16 of 24, by antrad

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I just tried PCem for the first time and installed Windows 98 on a Pentium 200MMX machine with S3 Virge and Voodoo graphics.
Voodoo is a must for 3D games because it boosts performance 2-3 times and fixes all graphical issues I had.

But all games I tried run better on my Windows 7 computer and with dgVoodoo 2 or nGlide I have options to force higher resolution, anti-aliasing or anisotrophic filtering.

Except nostalgia, for now the best part of having an emulated Windows 98 machine is I can run 16 or 32 bit applications and installers that don't work on 64 bit systems anymore, and then copy the files to my main computer easily. I hope this project continues improving, you never know when Microsoft will mess something up again and old games and programs will not work anymore on newer version of Windows.

Reply 17 of 24, by Bruninho

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qemu is probably the best choice. I'm still on vmware fusion and Windows 2000 (+ BWC), the most stable version with the "classic" Windows desktop. I'm now trying to build a Windows 98 VM to try out. So far I have a vanilla Win98 VM. I'm following with interest an app called UTM for iOS, it's a gui for qemu on iOS, not even sound works, but I managed to install Windows 2000 with UTM on my iPad Pro 2nd gen. Not fast but not very slow either. I suppose with newer iPad Pro it gets slightly faster. I have DOSPad, with MSDOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 on my iPad Pro, and it's almost reliable. I say almost because DOSPad is not updated since years ago by litchie and runs quite broken on current iOS versions.

I was bfcastello, now I am Bruninho! =]
"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

Reply 18 of 24, by _Rob

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I'm using DOSBox-X for running Windows 95/98. It works quite well these days and includes support for Glide. It works better then VM's as there are no Win9x accelerated drivers for those.

But there are still some issues to be "fixed", such as dynamically mounting Floppy or CD images when you want them, instead of having to specify them before starting DOSBox-X.

Reply 19 of 24, by MrGlasspoole

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antrad wrote on 2020-03-07, 22:23:

But all games I tried run better on my Windows 7 computer and with dgVoodoo 2 or nGlide I have options to force higher resolution, anti-aliasing or anisotrophic filtering.

Is it a x86 or x64 Windows 7?

Bruninho wrote on 2020-03-08, 02:48:

I'm still on vmware fusion and Windows 2000 (+ BWC), the most stable version with the "classic" Windows desktop.

I tried 95 and 98 in VMWare Workstation and it was not reliable and drivers are missing.