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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Fusion and Windows 98 Second Edition

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Member Since: Feb 11, 2008
Location: Leavenworth, WA
Posts: 4
gregb is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: four 20" aluminum 2.0 GB Imacs

gregb is offline
OK, good people, I need some advice. Please bear with me as this may be sort of a long post as I explain my situation. I want to say at the outset that I have been impressed by the tenor of the discussions in the MacForums. As a new "switcher" it was encouraging and the forum a welcome discovery. I have two interrelated problems.

Problem #1 involving VMware Fusion
As I was investigating the Intel Imacs at the end of last year at the fervent encouragement of our webmaster(oh, don't buy another Dell!) I was pleased and surprised to find that there were several ways of running Windows applications in OS X. I was upgrading (definitely!) from a Dell XPS D233 which is still running 98se. Cool, I can have my cake and eat it too! The Windows apps I would be using are Office 97 Professional suite (we really only use Word, Excel, and Access) and Quickbooks 2004 (which is 98/ME/2000/XP compatible). Based upon users reviews in the Apple Store website along with user postings I found in this and other forums I decided that VMware Fusion sounded the most usable. I would install Windows 98 as a virtual machine in the new Imac to run these applications with and life would be good.

However, the reality is I haven't been able to create a windows 98 virtual machine in Fusion. I have submitted a support request to VMware and I'm on my 4th email exchange of suggestions from tech support trying to get Fusion to detect bootable files. I also have been searching Fusion's user group discussions for similar problems and have found several threads of the same problem but there doesn't seem to be real clear solutions. ( & ( It all seems to revolve around what type of installation disc one is using. I have a genuine Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition ("for PC's with Windows") installation CD, and the boot disc files on a floppy. Without going into all the gory details Fusion creates a virtual machine but then doesn't find bootable files, and exits ("PXE-E53: No boot filename received" "PXE-MOF: Exiting Intel PXE ROM"). From what I've gleaned from searching VMware users groups Fusion doesn't recognize boot files from floppies, but Tech Support hasn't told me that and yesterday had me trying a disc image I made of the boot files as a .flp extension. Another dead end. (I have a USB powered external floppy disc reader.) I also have tried .iso disc images of the installation disc. I also burned the boot files on to a CD-R. Couldn't find the disc. I have literally tried dozens of combinations and setting changes in Fusion's installation assistant to no avail.

Problem #2 involving Microsoft Access 97
So, depending on what VM tech support comes up with next or what I find out from other Fusion users (I will be posting a variation of this message in that group) it might be time for plan B. I'm not necessarily ready to give up on Fusion, and if I can find/beg/borrow/buy a newer Windows OS to install what should it be? Quickbooks won't be a problem in newer systems, and I could (probably will eventually) move/convert Word and Excel files over to Page and Numbers. I'd just rather not have to do it now to get to some of that stuff. The problem with a Plan B is my relational database in Access 97. Yes, I know updating the Office suite software would have eased compatibility problems and maybe that is something I'll need to do to keep using Access. Does any one know which of the more recent Windows operating systems would cause the least problems with Office 97? (My copy was supposed to work in NT as well).

Well, thanks in advance for any contributions anyone can make. Oh, just for the record, we have Imac models 7,1 (Mac OS X version 10.5.2) 1 GB memory. And they are great. We are so tickled with them. Quite a change from what we had...

Sincerely, Greg
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Member Since: Feb 11, 2008
Location: Leavenworth, WA
Posts: 4
gregb is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: four 20" aluminum 2.0 GB Imacs

gregb is offline
Just in case anyone ever has to deal with booting from a floppy disc in Fusion. Make a disc image of the floppy, save to desktop, right click (control/click) and select "Get info". In "name and extension" change the file extension from .iso to .flp VMware tech support gets all the credit for clueing me in. In the Fusion virtual machine assistant there are some setting changes necessary to install a virtual floppy disc drive, as well as deselection of "automatically detect cd/dvd drive", but that could change with updates I suppose. My mistake, due to unfamiliarity with mouse and keyboard commands, was not changing the image extension name in the correct dialog box, just changing the extension on the desktop image label itself. Oops.
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Member Since: Mar 05, 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1
dekafilm is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 15" 2.13GHz 2GB

dekafilm is offline
From a Mac/Parallels user, migrated last year from PC-land:

- In Parallels (not VMware Fusion) under Windows XP, Access97 causes processor spikes for me (100% usage, revving fan) -- not sure if you'll see similar in VMware??? It runs, however. Just don't run it for long!

- Excel97 and Word97 seem to work, as well, and without the processor spikes. Again, this is in Parallels under Windows XP.

- Windows XP is stable and compatible with Office97, both in Parallels and on all my dedicated Windows machines (non-Mac). The only annoyance is that some documents open twice when you open them with a double-click. Just close one of the docs and start working (disconcerting, I know).

I would be careful using Office97 in Vista, though, since many "legacy" features have been dumped. XP may be the last OS for Office97. But I haven't tested Vista, so I don't really know.

Hope that helps.
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