Will windows 95 run on a 64 bit pc

Hello, can I run Windows 95 or 98SE on an Emachine with a 64 bit AMD processor? I have a DOS based program that doesn't have any windows equivalent that I must continue to use, but I want to install it on a new computer. What can I do???
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  1. Yes, but you will need to set the hard drive to emulate PATA/IDE, and you will likely be limited to ugly 256 color VGA for a desktop.

    Have you considered using a virtual machine?
  2. Assuming your computer is relatively new and already has an existing Windows OS on there, you will probably run into difficulties having both on there. Running 95 on a modern computer (with no driver support) will give you a bare minimum system that does virtually nothing (sound, video, internet, media, etc) a computer usually does. You may even lose the ability to use your keyboard and mouse (assuming they are USB based and you have one of the versions of 95 not updated to use USB) as a side effect.

    There are other issues with 95 regarding processor speed (requiring hacks) and memory limitations that 95 was never intended to address. You'd basically end up ruining a newer computer with an older OS to run one program.

    As PhilFrisbie said, a virtual machine would alleviate a lot of the issues (since you can control the emulated hardware to a certain degree and limit the memory), but you still may have some issues regarding CPU speed.

    I would recommend getting a $25 pawnshop computer and just using it as a dedicated 95 machine if you can find one old enough. I'd even recommend trying something like BOCHS or DOSBOX. Hope this helps.
  3. Same opinion: for lack of drivers, you'd have to put your Bios in Legacy disk access mode, which would ruin the efficiency of the newer OS. A separate machine would be better.

    Then, Win Me is an excellent OS and runs DOS programs as well. I took this option for a gaming PC running stone-old games. Both ME and the corresponding hardware are cheap on eBay. ME is less archaic than 95 (dX9.0c, ie6.0sp1, usable Usb...) and has drivers for much more recent hardware, around Athlon 64. It's easier to install and more people can help you.
  4. As the others have said, use a virtual machine. Virtual PC 2007 is free for download from Microsoft's site - I'd recommend this over Windows Virtual PC for running Windows 95 in a VM. Virtual PCs support serial and parallel ports, so if your application uses those, you'll still be good.
  5. You need to check out your motherboard specs. Many just will not run 95 at all. I doubt that there is any advantage to be gained by running a 95 program on modern hardware (even if possible). The programs were designed to be run on the hardware of their era. Buy an old computer on eBay for next to nothing and run it on that (or use the VM route that others have suggested).
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