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Hardware Thread, Windows 95 machine! Any ideas? in Technical; Hello, We had a very old Windows 95 PC which acted as a stand alone machine for a database. It ...
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    oalcock's Avatar
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    Windows 95 machine! Any ideas?

    Hello,

    We had a very old Windows 95 PC which acted as a stand alone machine for a database. It hasn't been used for many years for obvious reasons, but what the end user has asked me to look into is virtualising the PC so that they can operate the old Windows 95 pc how it was, but in a virtual PC window. I have done this sort of thing before, but this time it's a bit different as all I have is the hard drive.

    Any ideas as to what I can do?

    Oliver.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Well the database is probably access so i would copy the files off the disk and try and run it in a modern computer.

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    oalcock's Avatar
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    No it's a piece of software called logiparc

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    What @somabc said, or, if you are mad, use something like trinity rescue kit to get an image of the disk and go from there.. there must be some p2v tools that'll operate on a raw disk image I guess.

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    Support for Windows 95 ran out in December 2001, I personally would not waste my time looking into it, get them to get the new version and install it on a new pc.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Load the disk into one of these?

    drivesinteeth.JPG

    Joking aside, I actually managed to P2V a 95 machine to our vmware environment.

    If you install the disk in a machine, boot from the vmware cold clone cd maybe it could take a copy?

    Although getting it to virtualPC...

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I did this but it took a lot of effort and trial and error to get there!
    Basically AFAIR, I put the physical drive into a working machine and then used disk2vhd to make a vhd of it and then create a virtual machine and replace the created virtual drive with your old win95 one and then hopefully you can get through all the error msgs of wrong hardware and end up with a running W95 VM

    I made it eventually but it took a lof of faffing.

    Si

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Sometimes you need to stamp your feet - here you have good reason. If it's in any way networked, it's a danger to your infrastructure. If not, you can't possibly prop it up any longer - what if it fails? are you going to have to replace it with an equally ancient machine you hope lasts? If they have software that relies on it, get them to sort it out rather than create work for yourself unnecessarily.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    I did this but it took a lot of effort and trial and error to get there!
    Basically AFAIR, I put the physical drive into a working machine and then used disk2vhd to make a vhd of it and then create a virtual machine and replace the created virtual drive with your old win95 one and then hopefully you can get through all the error msgs of wrong hardware and end up with a running W95 VM
    Yeap, exactly what I was going to suggest. I do agree with the others though, a 95 machine now it the equivilent of a typhoid mary roaming about your network. Look at yanking the DB out and putting it in something modern or telling them to get their two decade old ancient junk updated and stop wasting your time.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Yeap, exactly what I was going to suggest. I do agree with the others though, a 95 machine now it the equivilent of a typhoid mary roaming about your network. Look at yanking the DB out and putting it in something modern or telling them to get their two decade old ancient junk updated and stop wasting your time.
    I'd agree with getting them to update the software and sticking said software on a newer machine or at least newer OS on a VM, jobs done, one less security risk on your network and said software will be designed to work on current hardware / OSes. Also get said companies tech support to transfer / import database in case there are any issues there , unless its just a straight copy or it has a wizard to walk you through the import process or something to that effect ?

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    If you just need the database app then a non-networked win95 image with no external (usb) input is going to be pretty safe. Not many win95 viruses in the wild these days, and they'd have difficulty connecting to a machine without any external inputs. As @Tom_netwon said - a raw disk image would do it.

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    Could you transfer the contents of the win95 drive to a Linux drive ? or basically as others have said bin the Windows 95 stuff and bang the DB on a newer machine.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    If you just need the database app then a non-networked win95 image with no external (usb) input is going to be pretty safe. Not many win95 viruses in the wild these days, and they'd have difficulty connecting to a machine without any external inputs. As @Tom_netwon said - a raw disk image would do it.
    You'd want to be sure to disable any disk shareing features of the VM environment also to prevent another infetion vector. This could make it harder to use though as you probably still need to get some of the data out somehow. As to virtual PC mode you may run into troubles as I am reasonably sure the mouse movements will not map over, at least in windowed mode without the integration components - which are not avalible for 95.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    It is possible to use Virtual Box in direct Hard Drive access mode - Chapter*9.*Advanced topics

    That way you wouldn't need to do a P2V.

    All the same....this is something where you need to give a solid no, 95 is just too old to be used anymore just as XP will be soon enough (and I'm sorry to our Schools Science Department but on the last day of XP support your acient PCs are going to be pulled off the desk and put into the mincer).

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