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I can complete the installation of Windows95 (B version) in VirtualBox, but it has a problem installing some of the drivers (see image below). Even when the installation disk is mounted and I click 'OK', it can't seem to find it, and I have to continue the installation without these drivers.

When Installing this version of Windows in QEMU, it works just fine and it will install all the drivers, no problem. Also, this only happens with Windows 95B. Windows 95C has no problem with the drivers or installation. Is there a way I can successfully install the Windows 95B drivers successfully in VirtualBox?

Screenshot: Error message

  • What options are on your Virtual Machine? It might be a configuration issue. This is very... odd behaviour. – wizzwizz4 Jun 13 '16 at 18:30
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    Can you tell it to copy files from D:\WIN95 instead of X:\WIN95? – snips-n-snails Jun 13 '16 at 18:37
  • @traal Oh good point. I didn't even notice that. I will try later today and see if that fixes the issue. – Retro Gamer Jun 13 '16 at 19:36
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    Usually, when I see this, it is because the CD-ROM driver is not installed. If you try to copy from D:\WIN95, it will fail because there is no D: drive. The standard workaround is to precopy the CAB files to the hard disk before starting the install. As a tech years ago, we always did this on users machines unless they were running desperately low on HD space. This allowed them to PnP new hardware without locating the CD. – Cody Gray Jun 21 '16 at 16:05
  • Heck, I still create an installs directory for all installed software when I build a system. That way even if the system can't reach the company LAN or Internet for some reason I can still reload the software by walking the user though it. – Rowan Hawkins Jan 4 '18 at 23:12
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The Windows 95 installation happens in two phases.

Assuming you are installing from scratch the first phase runs under a stripped down version of Windows 3.x which runs under the DOS environment you (or the autoexec.bat on your boot media) launched the installer from.

The system then reboots and the second phase runs under the newly installed Windows 95 system.


There are three main causes of failure to find files from the CD during the second phase of the install.

  1. The CD was ejected prior to the first reboot and has not been re-inserted. In this case simply re-insert the CD.
  2. The drive letter for the CD drive has changed between the first and second installation phases. In this case you can simply edit the drive letter. Unfortunately you will have to guess what the new drive letter will be (D: is very likely) and the change is not sticky, so you will have to edit it multiple times.
  3. The driver for the CD drive has not loaded. As far as I can tell there is no way to fix this from inside the installer. You could possibly deal with it by rebooting the system and modifying config.sys/autoexec.bat to load a real-mode driver for your CD drive.

All of these problems can be avoided by copying the WIN95 directory from the CD to the C: drive and launching the installer from there rather than running it from the CD.

Ignore the disk numbers; that is a red herring. The WIN95 directory on the CD is equivalent to the full set of installation floppies.

  • for #2, you can use CTRL+C/V to copy and paste the highlighted entry which will save some annoyance. – Rowan Hawkins Jan 4 '18 at 23:14
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I know what the issue is. It asks for multiple disks (Disk 1, 2, ...18, etc) which I apparently don't have. The reason why Windows 95C doesn't have this issue is because it's all packaged together on one disk, which in that case is the installation disk.

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