PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95.

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winnt32
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PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95.

Post by winnt32 »

Use 86box or PCem. Jeez, they work better because they actually emulate systems not use hardware virtualization, which can cause things to break because of CPU-speed issues. (Think, say you have a 3.5Ghz processor, and you put it to something that wasn't designed to handle that speed, it'll break. E.G Windows 95 original with 480MB+ RAM or a processor above 2.1Ghz. 1Ghz processors did not appear until March 2000, let alone 2.1Ghz.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by Win7 »

Uh, take it easy, mate... Looks like you drank a bit too much coffee! Also, not to backseat-moderate, but I think there are plenty of posts concerning this – one more thread seems unnecessary. Once again, I didn't mean to offend you...

Anyway, I have to prove you wrong. Operating systems before Windows 95 work pretty well on both VirtualBox and VMware, and I have been using Windows 95 and 3.1 on VirtualBox without a hitch. Betas are not guaranteed to work on VirtualBox, but they usually do on VMware, except for a few older operating systems from around the '80s that require specific hardware (and thus an emulator).

Win7

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by vbdasc »

VirtualBox and VMWare (and even VirtualPC) work quite fine with a number of pre-Win95 OSes. There's no need to generalize.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

NT 4.0 tends to run with its cores maxed out on VMware. This is a throwback to cpuidle on DOS and how the platform/architecture is emulated. With virtualization, some calls still must be trapped and perform manual and heavy lookups to stop-gap some SoI circuitry which is otherwise missing or inaccessible. With Charon AXP in SMP mode, the ES40 emulator will peg 2 host cores because of the timing loop. DOS programs used timing loops aggressively in the early 80's, and were generally tied to the frequency of the CPU; for a while the 4.77MHz variant of the 286.

The more important issue unless you're on a laptop and have heat problems with VMware and legacy Windows or DOS releases is that its integration such as hgfs (Virtual Shared Folders) depend on upstream functionality that may not be available in those releases, or has been retired for whatever reason. It appears hgfs requires NetBIOS functionality which in NT 4.0 and earlier could be disabled and/or removed completely, but not in later releases. Other integration features such as automatic screen resizing depends on video BIOS extensions which weren't available except via specific calls in protected mode or were made possible in later driver models.

Aside from the CPU halt not existing/working under VMware for NT 4.0 (Also 95), NT 4.0 SP6a with IE6.0sp1 is that oldest that still has all functionality that you can pull off with VMware. Anything older doesn't run well or not fully to spec under either hypervisor. Some people swear by DOSBox for Windows 3.1, 86Box or PCem for Windows 95/98, etc. VMware doesn't support 3D acceleration lower than DirectX 8.0a on Windows 2000 with hwcompat=9, so running Windows 98 is almost completely pointless if you're trying to run GLIDE or DirectX titles. I've had better success using non-accelerated Windows 95/98 VM's to get at the data, use the built-in compatibility layer in XP SP1 (Not SP2/3) to try to run the title; and trace/fix with tools from sysinternals, etc.

VMware works fine for non-Windows systems, even for rather old/odd configurations with the exception of Solaris x86 and NeXTStep/OpenStep for Intel due to the ide controller support. I personally use PIIX (440FX) era for those odd cases, but PCem and derivatives emulates that completely at cost, but has much better compatibility because it can fool even the most frustrating of installers. For 3d video acceleration on 95/98 you can't use a hypervisor; maybe with the exception that VirtualPC 2007 with the S3 drivers should be 2D accelerated and consume less cycles, but at a loss due to lack of Windows 10 compatibility. 86Box is capable of booting the IBM AIX 1.2 release for x86 from ~1988 but lacks the BIOS calls to store the country code into the NVRAM so it cannot complete because it cannot toggle; if this were fixed would be one of the oldest UNIXen capable of running on IA32 with networking (Realtek 8029 ISA afaik)

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by Battler »

On modern hardware (read: Skylake and later CPU's), old OS'es have increasing problems under virtualization, and even on hardware as old as my Pentium Dual-Core, Windows 95 and 95 OSR 2.x like issuing the Windows Protection Error under virtualization. The point is to run old software as is, without patches or fixes that work around issues.
but lacks the BIOS calls to store the country code into the NVRAM so it cannot complete because it cannot toggle; if this were fixed would be one of the oldest UNIXen capable of running on IA32 with networking (Realtek 8029 ISA afaik)
Well that can be fixed by giving me the name of a motherboard that had such a capability, its BIOS, and what chips it uses, as well as their datasheets, so I can then emulate that board. 86Box itself has no control about what the BIOS does or does not support.
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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

Battler wrote:Well that can be fixed by giving me the name of a motherboard that had such a capability, its BIOS, and what chips it uses, as well as their datasheets, so I can then emulate that board. 86Box itself has no control about what the BIOS does or does not support.
Wikipedia:
IBM PS/2 releases
AIX PS/2 v1.3, October 1992
Withdrawn from sale in US, March 1995
Patches supporting IBM ThinkPad 750C family of notebook computers, 1994
Patches supporting non PS/2 hardware and systems, 1993
I wouldn't know the BIOS call(s) unless I setup the VM again but yeah I'll do that and reply here. It happens early on. My tested release is likely the original PS/2 1.3 version without the non PS/2 patches hence the problem. I own an IBM Personal System/2 Model 30 with an external 5.25" and 10" VGA but the gigantic 30mb HDD has been dead since 2008, although it's still using the original RTC battery from around September of 1988. I noticed PCem is working toward PS/2 support including MCA but I suspect barely anyone has a working system considering I'm the same age as the machine.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by Battler »

The PS/2 Model 30 is actually ISA and already emulated in both PCem and 86Box. You might want to try your software on that.
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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

I use Daniel Hamiliton's IBM-PC website for these hard to find system specific files. [1]

What version of PCem adds the IBM PS/2 Model 30? So far all builds I've tried support PS/1. AIX PS/2 1.3 works on systems listed by http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca ... index.html but specifically not the model 30 but rather starting from the 35, presumably due to memory since my PS/2 capped out at 1MB back in the day and only have 640K ought to be enough RAM installed. I remember most AT&T UNIX for 386/486 required something like 4MB minimal 16MB recommended (Maximum on 386) whereas Apple's A/UX for m68K ran on ~2MB. The release I'm using (1.3) has a mention that said support ended for AIX PS/2 1.3 around 1994, so the requirement hardware is mid-range x86 in 1989, which the model 30 isn't since it was released September 1988.

You are correct about it not using Microchannel architecture, and is/was probably one of the only PS/2 models not to, but yet is known for introducing the ports and VGA over HD15 capability when Sun and other systems were using other connectors still. It has a 9600 baud ISA card installed, but has no gameport capability and doesn't even come with Adlib 1.0. What was the earliest ethernet card to work with x86 UNIX ports back then? Was it Novell NE2000 ISA since NE1000 came out in 1987 for IBM PC AT's ISA slot? The earliest supported by IBM is on the IBM-PC site which is 3com 3c529 released with DOS/Windows 3.x/Windows 95/Netware drivers starting in 1991 which you can find under the network drivers section on the PS2 files page. [1]

[1] http://ibm-pc.org/diagnostic/ibm/ps2/ps2files/index.htm

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by ArtiomWin »

sparcdr wrote:I use Daniel Hamiliton's IBM-PC website for these hard to find system specific files. [1]

What version of PCem adds the IBM PS/2 Model 30? So far all builds I've tried support PS/1. AIX PS/2 1.3 works on systems listed by http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca ... index.html but specifically not the model 30 but rather starting from the 35, presumably due to memory since my PS/2 capped out at 1MB back in the day and only have 640K ought to be enough RAM installed. I remember most AT&T UNIX for 386/486 required something like 4MB minimal 16MB recommended (Maximum on 386) whereas Apple's A/UX for m68K ran on ~2MB. The release I'm using (1.3) has a mention that said support ended for AIX PS/2 1.3 around 1994, so the requirement hardware is mid-range x86 in 1989, which the model 30 isn't since it was released September 1988.

You are correct about it not using Microchannel architecture, and is/was probably one of the only PS/2 models not to, but yet is known for introducing the ports and VGA over HD15 capability when Sun and other systems were using other connectors still. It has a 9600 baud ISA card installed, but has no gameport capability and doesn't even come with Adlib 1.0. What was the earliest ethernet card to work with x86 UNIX ports back then? Was it Novell NE2000 ISA since NE1000 came out in 1987 for IBM PC AT's ISA slot? The earliest supported by IBM is on the IBM-PC site which is 3com 3c529 released with DOS/Windows 3.x/Windows 95/Netware drivers starting in 1991 which you can find under the network drivers section on the PS2 files page. [1]

[1] http://ibm-pc.org/diagnostic/ibm/ps2/ps2files/index.htm
PS/2 Model 30 emulation was added to PCem in rev. 648, shortly after release of v12. I use 86box since you can try new PCem commits much quicker. It's like cutting-edge version of PCem with some enhancements like SCSI support.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

ArtiomWin wrote:PS/2 Model 30 emulation was added to PCem in rev. 648, shortly after release of v12. I use 86box since you can try new PCem commits much quicker. It's like cutting-edge version of PCem with some enhancements like SCSI support.
86Box dev builds [1] seems to be down. Where can I get precompiled binaries for Windows for 86box these days?

[1] http://polar.rol.im/job/86Box

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by TheCollector1988 »

polar is down for good, but the repo moved to dome.rol.im.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

TheCollector1988 wrote:polar is down for good, but the repo moved to dome.rol.im.
Thanks. 86box is still on 646 not yet 648 though.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by Battler »

86Box revisions do not match those of PCem. 86Box 646 has the PS/2 Model 30 in.
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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

Am I missing BIOS files because I tried the latest successful build artifact of 86box and there is no PS/2 listed under models?

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by Battler »

Yes, you are. I'm going to upload them later and PM them to you.
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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by JYewman »

I have had endless amount of trouble installing DOS based OSs with VMware (mostly with IDE emulation), to the point that I gave up and moved over to PCem, I haven't had a single error with PCem.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

Still waiting on the PS/2 rom files so I can get back to that project. Thanks Battler!

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by vicvan »

@sparcdr

That is IBM PS/2 Model 30 286, Not Model 30 (Original 8086).

Original IBM PS/2 Model 30 (8086) doesn't work on all emulators.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by veso266 »

@Battler can you post 86Box romset here?

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by AlphaBeta »

Win7 wrote:Anyway, I have to prove you wrong. Operating systems before Windows 95 work pretty well on both VirtualBox and VMware, and I have been using Windows 95 and 3.1 on VirtualBox without a hitch. Betas are not guaranteed to work on VirtualBox, but they usually do on VMware, except for a few older operating systems from around the '80s that require specific hardware (and thus an emulator).
Lack of old guest OS support from hypervisor developers still makes it better to use an emulator that accurately emulates hardware from the given OS's time period. With the correct drivers you will find these operating systems working even better inside an emulator!
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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

vicvan wrote:@sparcdr

That is IBM PS/2 Model 30 286, Not Model 30 (Original 8086).

Original IBM PS/2 Model 30 (8086) doesn't work on all emulators.
This is what I have afaik. 10MHz 80286 640K RAM (1MB expandable, not done on my unit)
~September 1988 (Making it a 286, since 386 became common in 1989/1990)

I would like to emulate the PS/2 Model 30 (286) with PCem but you said I was missing rom files for this specific platform. Thanks.

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by sparcdr »

Re: IBM PS/2 Model 30 (286) in 86Box (Since Battler didn't answer yet..)

Create a directory inside 86box\roms with the name: ibmps2_m30_286
Grab 33f5381a.bin from PlanetEmu.net and put it in the ibmps2_m30_286 directory.
Run 86Box, and it should show the system/model now.

Learned by searching his Github: https://github.com/OBattler/86Box/searc ... S2_M30_286

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by Battler »

If you download the latest 86Box and the updated ROM set: http://dome.rol.im , you can also emulate the PS/2 models 50, 55SX, and 80, complete with MCA.
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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by thunderbird32 »

Battler wrote:If you download the latest 86Box and the updated ROM set: http://dome.rol.im , you can also emulate the PS/2 models 50, 55SX, and 80, complete with MCA.
Battler, maybe I'm being a complete dunce, but the ROM set on that page (the only one I see is in the "workspace" folder) doesn't seem to include any of the PS/2 models. Am I just missing it?

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Re: PSA: Don't use VirtualBox or VMWare for things pre-Win95

Post by AlphaBeta »

thunderbird32 wrote:
Battler wrote:If you download the latest 86Box and the updated ROM set: http://dome.rol.im , you can also emulate the PS/2 models 50, 55SX, and 80, complete with MCA.
Battler, maybe I'm being a complete dunce, but the ROM set on that page (the only one I see is in the "workspace" folder) doesn't seem to include any of the PS/2 models. Am I just missing it?
http://tinyurl.com/rs86b
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