How-To Geek

Geek Fun: Virtualized Old School Windows – Windows 95

Last week we enjoyed looking at Windows 3.1 running in VMware Player on Windows 7.  Today, let’s upgrade our 3.1 to 95, and get a look at how most of us remember Windows from the 90’s.

In this demo, we’re running the first release of Windows 95 (version 4.00.950) in VMware Player 3.0 running on Windows 7 x64.  For fun, we ran the 95 upgrade on the 3.1 virtual machine we built last week.

Windows 95

So let’s get started.  Here’s the first setup screen.  For the record, Windows 95 installed in about 15 minutes or less in VMware in our test.


Strangely, Windows 95 offered several installation choices.  They actually let you choose what extra parts of Windows to install if you wished.  Oh, and who wants to run Windows 95 on your “Portable Computer”?  Most smartphones today are more powerful than the “portable computers” of 95.


Your productivity may vastly increase if you run Windows 95.  Anyone want to switch?


No, I don’t want to restart … I want to use my computer!


Welcome to Windows 95!  Hey, did you know you can launch programs from the Start button?


Our quick spin around Windows 95 reminded us why Windows got such a bad reputation in the ‘90’s for being unstable.  We didn’t even get our test copy fully booted after installation before we saw our first error screen. 


Windows in space … was that the most popular screensaver in Windows 95, or was it just me?


Hello Windows 3.1!  The UI was still outdated in some spots.


Ah, yes, Media Player before it got 101 features to compete with iTunes.


But, you couldn’t even play CDs in Media Player.  Actually, CD player was one program I used almost daily in Windows 95 back in the day.


Want some new programs?  This help file about new programs designed for Windows 95 lists a lot of outdated names in tech. 

 new programs for 95

And, you really may want some programs.  The first edition of Windows 95 didn’t even ship with Internet Explorer.   We’ve still got Minesweeper, though!


My Computer had really limited functionality, and by default opened everything in a new window.  Double click on C:, and it opens in a new window.  Ugh.


But Explorer is a bit more like more modern versions.


Hey, look, Start menu search!  If only it found the files you were looking for…


Now I’m feeling old … this shutdown screen brought back so many memories … of shutdowns that wouldn’t shut down!


But, you still have to turn off your computer.  I wonder how many old monitors had these words burned into them?


So there’s yet another trip down Windows memory lane.  Most of us can remember using Windows 95, so let us know your favorite (or worst) memory of it!  At least we can all be thankful for our modern computers and operating systems today, right? 

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 03/5/10

Comments (13)

  1. CE's GeekBook

    Don’t laugh … but the company I contract for has a requirement of one of their programs. It needs to run under win98 for the printing requirements.

    Well I have their servers are Windows Server 2003 with Citrix. And to have the ability to run the program I have created several Win98 Virtual Machines on the Servers, served up through Citrix. It has its down falls but works great and the client can do everything they need too.

    odd ball gooffed up Frankenstein of a setup but it works.

  2. DiAnne


    As I was trying to teach my parents how to use a computer, they never got the concept of “desktop” so I had to resort to calling it the “cloud screen.”

  3. Patrick


  4. Toby Adams

    A great little article, those were the days!

  5. Gramgeek

    That was fun!
    I relived that moment of terror and “What have I done?” when reading: “This program has performed an illegal operation….”
    Thanks…good for my heart rate!

  6. Jim Chayer

    I want to send webcame files to China and I’m having a hard time attaching them to Yahoo email. Can you suggest a way of doningit or an alternative email provider to do it with ? The files will not attach to yahoo and it just keep trying to when I attach the files. Music emailsdo attach but only if I just send very small files.

  7. JH

    I ran virtual NT4 and was surprised to discover it came with IE2 :) Looked just like wordpad in fact.

  8. calebstein

    @Jim Chayer: you should ask your question on the forums.

  9. damiththa

    wow this brings back so much memories

  10. Hawk

    Excellent! Many remember the past …

  11. Robert

    I am only 15 and I remeber me telling my dad when I was 10 I dont want to have to press the power button to turn off my computer I want one that does it autmaticly! Then I got the BRAND NEW, AMZING oh wait that wasnet me I got the brand new, horrid, and unable to search Microsoft Windows Vista Home Primium. Wait, it didnt even work the graphics card was broken had to get a new one, got home pugged it in guess what broken sound card, so we went back there were two left we broght both to the front geek squad counter and the one had a broken graphics card and the other was not broken at all, wow that was a day four comuters three broken and he even tried to trick me by bringing in the Windows 98 comuter and give it to me.

  12. TechGeek01

    @Robert :P

    Im only 13, and I used to have a Win95. Hated it. Still have it though, and I’m using the monitor to extend my desktop.

  13. Xiao Hanmin

    I have installed Windows 95(OSR2) in VMWare Workstation.And I have installed VMWare Tools under Windows 95(OSR2) successfully.

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