Now, I DO have Windows 7 on here, and don't mind using what works. SO, first thing I do - Install VMWare Workstation. VMWare Workstation has some very nifty advantages over everything I have tried - namely RAW hard disk support. So after I install DOS, and a few CDROM drivers, I decide - hey it is time for some games! Oh wait... need a cdrom ISO for that. OR I can use my handy 1GB SD card formatted to Fat 16 as a temporary additional hard drive! KICK BUTT! Cool - games are installed, lets fire one up! Ta-da!!! wait... where is the sound? Oh there is none, as they removed Sound Blaster emulation. Well... not so short lived, but not productive either.
SO I attempt again for Virtual Box, and run into similar problems (turns out Virtual Box has issues with EMS calls, and a few other Real Mode limitations), though add to it that it has ZERO raw hard drive support, forcing me to download magic ISO (15 day trial) to create an ISO for my software...
I then remember that Microsoft created this wonderful thing called Virtual PC. Which is the most unfriendly, asinine, backwards thinking software I have EVER come across. Why is there no option to select boot device? Why is there nothing telling you WHAT the virtual machine is doing while it starts? Why are there so very few configurable options?! AND what is with the half complete Windows integration? I like how this software SORT OF integrates into Windows - the parts that were done correctly are WONDERFUL! Other parts... not so much. Also, is there a reason that ONLY VMWware knows how to provide raw disk support?
Any how, interesting thing this Virtual PC... I installed it, and the "XP mode" as well, and actually LOVE how XP runs in the VM. It takes XP about 2~3 minutes to boot on my Single core 1.6Ghz chip, but it runs in 256MB of ram quite nicely, and resumes from hibernate in a few seconds. Once it is running, it is darned near invisible as well (my machine is currently running FireFox, XP VM, and DOS VM, and still using less than 1/2 of my 2GB of ram!) It has access to all my current files (through network access!), and allows me to access my Dos virtual disk. This is why I am using XP to copy files from my Host OS to a different guest OS. Why NONE of these will give you direct access to the guest file system is beyond me... It cannot be that hard.
So here I am, with 3 different Virtual Machines on my poor laptop, wondering how it is that ONLY MS could provide something that actually works.
I have not tried Qemu, Dosbox, or similar emulators yet, as I was trying to avoid full blown emulators as I don't have an extremely powerful laptop at my disposal here, just my little single core laptop...
SO - after all that, I want to know a few things. First off, have any of you tried running your old games via virtual machine? What was your success rate? What did you use for software/hardware? Any other related experiences you would like to share? I really want to know what to know what does and does not work. Hopefully this helps others as well. Knowing what people HAVE tried can sometimes lead others down the right path... and there is no sense repeating the same test hoping for different results.
This post has been edited by coastie65: 18 January 2011 - 09:53 AM