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In 1998, I wrote a CD with the contents of the C drive of my Windows 98 machine. I found that CD recently and I'm interested in turning it back into a running VM. (I'm using VMware Fusion 4 on Mac OS X.)

Is there a method to turn the files into a VMDK and then load a MBR onto it? Would I be better advised to create a basic bootable Windows 98 installation, mount the VMDK, and replace all the files?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Installing Windows 98 on a VM is quicker than I remember it being on a Pentium 200 MMX :-)

After I had a clean Win98 VM, I mounted the VMDK file, copied the CD content, and after detecting all the drivers - including the beautifully-named "PCI PCI to PCI bridge" needing to be installed ~32 times - I had my old machine back!

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... 32 times? o0 – Journeyman Geek Jan 22 '13 at 15:15

If the CD was created with some backup utility, then just create a new virtual drive and boot the recovery software CD. That recovery software should prompt for the recovery media and juggle between the recovery cd and the recovery media cd (your potential backup). You could also copy the backup to a 2nd mounted virtual drive if the old recovery software can't handle multiple cds.

But if your cd is just the contents of your windows 98, and not a backup, then creating a new Win98 virtual machine and copying your backup files is the way to go. The advantage of creating a new install is all the drivers for the VM will be set up during the install, avoiding problems if your old win98 machine had some hardware that doesn't match the Virtual Machine etc.

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