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Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Walt Disney Biography CD-Rom (1998)

Author (and editor of the legendary Funnyworld magazine) Michael Barrier wrote on his blog a posting called Incompatibility, about not being able to run the 1998 "Walt Disney: An Intimate History of the Man and His Magic" CD-Rom, as it was made for use under Windows 95 or 98. I figured out a fix years ago, and some days ago I made Mike aware of a free way of being able to run the CD-Rom under newer Windows. I reiterate it here for those of you who are interested in running the CD-Rom also:

First, there are emulators available (like VMware Workstation) which act as an “empty PC” in which you can install Windows 95 or 98.
VMware is not free, however, but: I found a free way of running the CD-Rom in case you have Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise (not Home or Starter editions, however).

Here is a little guide—it is relatively simple, and easier than having to install Windows 98 in VMware (with usage notes here):
1) install Windows XP Mode
2) install Windows Virtual PC (and reboot)

Start Virtual PC first. Not much happens, but then start Windows XP Mode (in the Applications menu under Virtual PC ).
After running this for the first time, you can run Windows XP Mode. Looks like XP.

In this XP mode—in other words, in this Windows XP window—run setup from the CD-Rom. Install all sub-programs: the Motion Pixel Viewer and QuickTime 2.12. These are only installed on the virtual PC’s “hard drive.”
Then find DISNEY.EXE on the virtual PC hard drive in “C:\Program Files\Walt Disney\Walt Disney Biography” – right click and choose “Properties” – on tab “Compatibility” check “Run this program in compatibility mode for” and choose “Windows 98/Windows Me.”
You can now run DISNEY.EXE to start the CD-Rom (which must be in the drive). (You may have to check the Virtual PC settings for the drive settings. I didn't have to).
You will find a shortcut to the application in the Virtual PC menu on the Windows 7 machine, but in my machine I have not been able to run from this. Just start XP Mode from the Virtual PC menu and run the program from the icon on the Virtual PC desktop. I know this works, as I tried this on a machine that natively runs Windows 7 Pro Sp1 (64bit).

The CD-Rom will work in either VMware or Virtual PC, though video might not run smoothly, depending on your setup. On a Mac there are Windows 98 emulators, too, and those seem to work, as well. Enjoy!



Blogger Bill Cotter says...

Wow, I hadn't looked at that CD in years and didn't realize it wouldn't run directly under Windows 7. I'll have to give your solution a try. Thanks!

Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 10:59:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Daryl Boman says...

VirtualBox is free and works on any version of Windows 7 - 8 - or 10 and is available here:

I use it all the time to test new versions of software before sending it to the actual customers. It runs Win 95 and Win 98 SE without any glitches. It's also great for that old copy of 'DOOM'!

Friday, September 4, 2015 at 11:08:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Hans Perk says...

Great, Daryl - I will certainly look into it. However, it does mean having to install the OS, and there are those that haven't kept their Win98 installation disk which case the "Win98-on-Win7" is a relatively easy solution.

Friday, September 4, 2015 at 12:13:00 PM PDT  

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