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Can I install an earlier version of Windows?
November 13, 2006 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to install an earlier version of Windows from what I'm running now?

I am trying to make a computer that is running Windows 2000 into a computer that is running Window 95 as the OS. Is this even possible? I would say that I am by no means an expert with computers, but I am somewhat proficient. Any help is appreciated!
posted by rickdawg00 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
 
The only thing preventing you from doing this is going to be driver support (and, if you're running 16-bit apps, a 64 bit processor).

But fundamentally there's nothing preventing you from doing so. I dual booted XP, 2000 and 98 on the same computer for some time.
posted by owenkun at 12:39 PM on November 13, 2006


If I understand the question, you want to run Windows 2000 and Windows 95 in the same machine, right?

But, at the same time? If so (and if you are interested solely in MS OSes), you may want to take a look at Microsoft Virtual PC. For more robust and OS independent solutions, go buy VMware.

Now, if all you want is to be able to boot from 2000 or 95 (one at a time), repartition your drive and use a boot manager. As a matter of fact, Windows NT/2000/XP boot loader can be easily configured to boot different OSes from different partitions.
posted by nkyad at 12:42 PM on November 13, 2006


As is often the case with computer-related issues, some details about your setup and information about what you're looking to do might be helpful as well.
posted by owenkun at 12:45 PM on November 13, 2006


Are you trying to support applications that won't run in Windows 2000, but do in previous versions?

You may have some luck with Compatibility Mode. Using those instructions, you enable an extra tab on shortcuts to programs. On the tab, you can choose to run the program in "Windows 95 mode," whatever that means.
posted by odinsdream at 1:29 PM on November 13, 2006


I'm sorry, I realize now my question was a bit vague: I am trying to replace 2000 with 95 -- though running them both at the same time sounds like a best of both worlds answer.

owenkun: which kind of details about set-up would you need?
posted by rickdawg00 at 1:41 PM on November 13, 2006


If you're not, as you say, an expert, there's every chance that there's a way to accomplish what you want to do without needing to descend into unsupported-dead-proprietary-OS hell, possibly messing up a working Win2k box in the process.

What's your motivation for wanting to install Win95?
posted by flabdablet at 1:50 PM on November 13, 2006


I'm not sure about w95, buy when you leave the w2k setup disk in the CD-ROM during boot and you have bios set to boot from there before your hard drive, you have an option to reformat the Windows partition during setup. Do this and the setup disk will know to install on its own. Of course, I'd also have a spare w2k CD around just in case...
posted by jmd82 at 3:08 PM on November 13, 2006


"I'm sorry, I realize now my question was a bit vague: I am trying to replace 2000 with 95 -- though running them both at the same time sounds like a best of both worlds answer."

I don't know why someone would like to do that short of as a punishment in master-slave relationship, but anyway: insert the Windows 95 installation CD in the drive, boot from there, reformat the hard disk and install 95. You are now back in 1995: Internet access requires arcane procedures involving an external program called "Winsock", Java is almost there but not quite, "DLL Hell" is a real place for you, blue is color of choice for screens and the hard reset button is your best friend.
posted by nkyad at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, install Windows 95 as a virtual machine within it.

You'll be much happier in the end, and the apps that require W95 won't know the difference.
posted by cheaily at 10:01 PM on November 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


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