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How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 1

Cheerful Dragon

I have an old PC running Windows XP and I want to downgrade to Windows 95. I have the original Windows 95 CD, but it's not bootable. I also have a Windows 95 start-up disc, but the PC doesn't have a floppy drive and it doesn't recognise my portable floppy drive when I connect it.

I've tried various virtual machine applications but they all have problems. I was able to install Virtual PC 2007 on my Windows 7 laptop and get 95 running with that, but mouse movement in the virtual machine was so slow and jerky that it was unusable. 95 wouldn't install on VMware on my laptop, nor on Virtual PC 2004 on my XP PC. I got the same error both times: Windows setup requires 7342000 bytes for installation on your C drive. (The number may be wrong but it's that kind of value.)

I haven't looked too deeply at the BIOS for my XP PC, so I don't know if it would accept a floppy drive. I suspect not.

I guess there are a number of questions here:

1. Is there a solution/fix for the 'number of bytes' error?
2. Is it possible to do fdisk (or equivalent) on an XP PC an then install from a CD? If so, what would I need on the bootable CD?
3. Should I abandon the XP PC and see if I can resurrect an older PC (currently without hard drive and power supply, but at least it has a floppy drive!).

How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 2

Milla, h2g2 Operations

I don't have a clue to how, but I am beginning to wonder why? smiley - bigeyes
smiley - towel

How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 3

Cheerful Dragon

There are certain programmes, mostly games, that won't run properly on OSes after Windows 98. I've tried Compatibility Mode in XP and Windows 7. Neither works. I have a laptop and a netbook running Windows 7, so I don't mind sacrificing my old XP PC.

I've asked this question again on Ask h2g2 and received some helpful advice there. Thanks for your interest.smiley - ok

How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 4


I'm not an expert at this, but can you install a virtual machine running Win95 onto your existing PC?

smiley - fairy

How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 5

Cheerful Dragon

I added some info when I posted on Ask h2g2. I've tried creating virtual machines on XP and Windows 7. None were satisfactory. I couldn't get 95 to install when I used VMware on Windows 7 or Virtual PC 2004 on XP. It installed when I used Virtual PC 2007 on Windows 7, but cursor movement was so slow and jerky as to be unusable.

I've reached the conclusion that I'll have to create a bootable CD and install 95 (or maybe 98) that way.smiley - erm

How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 6

Gnomon - time to move on

I'm very surprised that a Windows 95 CD is not bootable. Could it be that your PC is configured in its BIOS to not boot from the CD? I know most BIOSes have a setting to say what order you want the machine to boot up. This will typically be:

Boot off A (diskette) or if no bootable disk there, boot of D (CD-ROM) or if no bootable disk there, boot off C (hard disk).

You can change this, for example if you want to get rid of the long delay every time while the machine checks the A and D drives. Is it possible that your computer is set to boot directly off the C drive?

Because any Windows 95 CD I've ever seen has been bootable.

How do I downgrade a PC to Windows 95?

Post 7

Cheerful Dragon

Later versions of Windows 95 weren't bootable. My copy dates from not long before Windows 98 was released, which is why I have a Windows 95 start up floppy disk to boot from. Regarding the BIOS, it defaults to booting from the hard drive. There are options to boot from CD or network, but not from floppy because there isn't one.

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