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You see a Windows protection error in Windows 95 virtual machine on certain host processors (817)


When I run my Windows 95 virtual machine, I get a Windows protection error. What is wrong?


Does your host machine have one of the following processor types?

  • Pentium III (1 GHz or faster)
  • Pentium 4 (any speed)
  • AMD K6-2 (350MHz or faster)
  • AMD Athlon (1.1GHz or faster)

Windows 95 does not perform well on hosts with these processors. You should see one of the following errors:

  • Device IOS failed to initialize. Windows Protection Error. You must reboot your computer.
  • Windows Protection Error. You must reboot your computer.
  • While initializing device IOS: Windows protection error.

These errors can occur even when you run Windows 95 as the host operating system on a system with one of the processors listed above.

Microsoft has identified this as a known issue with Windows 95 and Windows 95 OEM Service Release versions 2, 2.1 and 2.5.

Microsoft Knowledge base article Q192841 related to this issue has been archived. This issue has been resolved in Microsoft Windows 98

Note: Windows 95 is not officially supported by Microsoft on many modern processors, including the Intel Pentium 4, AMD K6 and AMD Athlon. However, VMware recognizes the importance of running this legacy operating system in a virtual machine on such processors even when native execution may be impossible.



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