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Tips for Running Windows on Mac

(emulation and coprocessors)

NOTE: this is an archival page about older technology. You might still find some useful information. For current tips and information about running Windows on Macs, click here.

Last updated: February 6, 2002
On this page:

For a basic explanation on running Windows on Macintosh, see MacWindows Tutorials.

For more on emulation, see also our tips and issues with Virtual PC 3.x page.

For descriptions of products that let you run Windows on Macintosh, as well as Mac OS on other platforms, see MacWindows Solutions.

Miscellaneous Virtual PC Tips

by Jeff Woolsey
QA Manager
Connectix Corp.
(Posted August 11, 2000)

Using the "shared IP" feature

If a Virtual PC 3 user is using our "Shared IP" functionality (which is enabled by default with version 3) then they shouldn't specifically specify an IP addresses in their network setup. (That's what Shared IP is doing for you.) On the other hand, setting up WinS Settings, Gateway & DNS Settings are fine.

Drag and drop floppy mounting

You can mount a floppy disk image by dragging and dropping it onto the "Eject Floppy" button on the bottom left hand corner of the Virtual PC window.

Configuring a non-Apple USB mouse

If a user has a third USB party mouse (such as the Microsoft Intellimouse) that appears in the USB Preferences, do not enable it. Doing so may cause problems because keyboards and mice are shared with the Mac.

Configuring a USB floppy drive

If a user has a USB floppy drive do not enable it in the USB Preferences. Doing so may cause problems because floppies (like mice and keyboards) are shared with the Mac.

Virtual Private Networking

If you're looking for a VPN client there are many third party clients out there that work with Virtual PC, but remember that both Windows 98 and Window 2000 include one!

[We have more information by Jeff Woolsey on accessing virtual private networking in VPC on our Virtual PC 3 Notes and Reports page

Printing Tips

by Jeff Woolsey
QA Manager
Connectix Corp.
(Posted August 11, 2000)

There are two ways to setup printing.

A. Using your existing printer setup (either a PostScript or Non-PostScript printer).

Advantages: You've probably set it up all ready.

Disadvantages: Limited to 600 dpi output.

B. Using a USB printer.

Advantages: You'll have access to higher dpi resolutions (whatever the capabilities of the printer are...), but keep in mind that printing those higher resolutions will take longer.

Disadvantages: You're going to need to install the USB drivers (it's pretty easy though...)

How to Setup your existing Non-PostScript Printer Mac Printer with Windows:

  1. Make sure your Mac Printer is setup. Go to the Chooser and select your current Printer.
  2. If you have a Non-Postscript Printer you're done. Now, whenever you print, Virtual PC will route it to your printer.

How to Setup your existing PostScript Printer Mac Printer with Windows:

  1. Make sure your Mac Printer is setup. Go to the Chooser and select your current Printer.
  2. Launch Virtual PC.
  3. Open "My Computer."
  4. Open the "Printers" Folder. You will see two available Printers. One entitled "Mac Printer (Inkjet)" and one entitled "Mac Printer (PostScript)."
  5. Select the "Mac Printer (PostScript)." Next, go to the File Menu and select the third option which is "Set as Default."
  6. Done.

Using a USB Printer

Advantages: You'll have access to higher dpi resolutions (whatever the capabilities of the printer are), but keep in mind that printing those higher resolutions will take longer.

Disadvantages: You're going to need to install the USB drivers (it's pretty easy though...)

  1. Launch Virtual PC (make sure you have USB enabled in the USB prefs...)
  2. Power up your USB printer and plug it into your Mac.
  3. Plug N' Play should detect the new device and prompt you for your CD. Insert the CD and install the software. When this is complete, you will most likely be prompted to Restart Windows. Please do.
  4. After the Restart
  5. Open "My Computer."
  6. Open the "Printers" Folder. You will see probably see a few available Printers. Select the printer that you just installed.
  7. Next, go to the File Menu and select the third option which is "Set as Default."

Now, whenever you print, it will be routed to your USB Printer.

General Tips for using Windows on Mac

PC troubleshooting tips for Mac users

Michael Salsbury has a Web page that relates typical PC troubleshooting to Mac problems (and visa versa). For instance, he equates Windows DLL, VXD, and SYS files to Mac extensions and control panels. This page is useful for people running Windows on their Macs, as well as Windows users trying to figure out the Mac.

Switching between Windows and Mac OS application

Joe Lewis Wilkins sent in a tip for switching between Windows (Virtual PC, SoftWindows, Blue Label PowerEmulator, Orange PC, etc.) and a Mac application using the Application menu. Hold the option key while clicking the application. This hides everything except the app you've selected. Wilkins surmises "Most important when you have a large screen, but I suspect it may also cause your Mac to run a teeny bit faster, since it doesn't have to worry about anything that might be behind the Active Window."

Emulation Software

Moving files between Windows CE Palmtop and Macs

PDA Concepts offers the WinCE=>Mac Connection Cable (US $21.95) for connecting a Windows CE hand held devices to an older Mac serial port (not on current Macs). The purpose is to communicate with Windows running on a Mac with Virtual PC or SoftWindows. (Thanks to Mark Srebnik.)

SoftWindows--improving Performance on PowerBook 5300s

If performance of SoftWindows 95 is unacceptably slow on your PowerBook 5300, you need to turn off Processor Cycling. To do this, open the PowerBook control panel and then hold down the Option/Alt key while changing the Easy/Custom switch control to Custom. The processor cycling check box will then appear in the expanded dialog box and you should turn this off.

SoftWindows-- Slow CD-ROM Access Using FWB CD-ROM Toolkit

If you use the FWB CD-ROM Toolkit (version 1.5.7) on your Macintosh, when accessing CD-ROMs from SoftWindows 95 you may find a reduction in performance. This is due to the way the CD-ROM Toolkit handles caching. To solve this problem turn off the acceleration of the CD-ROM drive in the CD-ROM Toolkit control panel.

SoftWindows--Hardware hack for running PC MIDI software

Adam Schabtach has a web page describing how run MIDI on SoftWindows:

"It describes how I'm using a somewhat novel hardware hack to run Windows MIDI software under SoftWindows. While the article was written for a specific audience using a specific MIDI synthesizer and its accompanying software, and hence is rather jargon-laden, the method I use is applicable to other MIDI software."

Speeding Virtual PC performance

Connectix Knowledge Base articles 1028, 1252, and 4229 all discuss methods to improve the performance of Virtual PC 3. They include things like turning off MMX emulation and the Mac's virtual memory.

Piet Nutbey of the Netherlands also suggests turning virtual memory off in Windows: "You just have to choose the properties of 'this computer' select virtual memory and select virtual memory off."

Virtual PC -- Mac OS 8.6 incompatible with VPC 2.1.2 and earlier

Connectix warns that if you are running Mac OS 8.6, you, will need Virtual PC Update 2.1.3 or later. (VPC 3.0 will ship in September, 1999.)

Virtual PC -- No CD-ROM Access Using FWB CD-ROM Toolkit

When running Windows 95 on Virtual PC, Windows reports an error "E: \ is not accessible" when a PC CD-ROM is inserted if FWB's CD-ROM ToolKit is installed on the Mac.


  1. Check that you have at least version CD-ROM ToolKit 2.0.6, (available at the Download Center at the FWB site) and check that the "ISO 9660 File Access" extension is loaded.
  2. Launch the CD-ROM ToolKit control panel.
  3. Highlight the CD-ROM (right hand window).
  4. Click "Set-up"
  5. Highlight "Mounting" (left hand window).
  6. Check the "Allow Mounting Of: Any ISO9660 volumes on "dual-format" Apple HFS CD-ROMs" box.
  7. Restart the Mac.

Virtual PC and DAVE 2.0 -- Logging onto NT Server with both Mac OS and Win 95

Although SoftWindows has the ability to let you run simultaneous Mac and Windows network sessions over a single connection (such as with a single IP address), Virtual PC lacks this ability. However, Gregory Newton of Delta "T" Systems, Inc., has figured out a way to have both Mac and Windows (via Virtual PC) logged on to a Windows NT Server via IP at the same time using DHCP.

Using Thursby Systems's DAVE 2.0 installed on the Mac, log onto the server. Next, open Virtual PC and set up the Win 95 OS for Microsoft Networking via TCP/IP, but do NOT set up the TCP/IP preferences for use with DHCP. (With Virtual PC, you cannot have both operating systems using DHCP.)

Instead, on the Windows NT server, assign a fixed TCP/IP address ABOVE the address range allocated for DHCP for each Virtual PC Windows 95 user. The network administrator needs to keep track of which fixed TCP/IP addresses are assigned to which user.

With SoftWindows 95, the Windows session shares the Mac's IP address, whether it's obtained by DHCP, PPP, or another method.

Virtual PC 3 networking conflict with DAVE

Connectix' tech support database (article 4318) reports of a problem where running Thursby's DAVE networking software on the Mac prevents Virtual PC from getting a network connection from Windows. See our Virtual PC 3 special report page for more details and a workaround.

Virtual PC 3.0: Sharing an Internet connection with Virtual PC 3.0 and Mac

Jeremy West notes that in order to get Virtual PC 3.0 to share an Intenet connection with the Macs, you need two things:

  1. A static IP address for the Mac.
  2. A change in VPC's Network preferences. The default is to share the IP address with the Mac, but you must change it to separate IP addresses for it to work.

Sharing an internet connection was new to Virtual PC in version 3.0, and isn't possible with earlier versions. SoftWindows has had this feature for some time.

Printing from Windows in Virtual PC or SoftWindows -- using Infowave's PowerPrint

When printing to a DeskWriter from Windows on a Mac using Virtual PC or SoftWindows, the emulation will create 360 dpi resolution, which will not fit the DeskWriter very well, resulting in poor and/or scaled output.

However, using an HP DeskJet and PowerPrint from Strydent will enable you to print as though the printer were attached directly to a PC, using the Windows drivers either from Microsoft or from Hewlett Packard -- the PowerPrint driver on the Mac side will simple "pass through" data when it is properly configured and will sense data from the Windows side.

If you have a DeskJet 850c or 870c, which feature both AppleTalk & parallel interfaces, you have a choice of using PowerPrint to print Mac-like with the HP driver on the Mac side and Windows-like with the PowerPrint cable from the emulated Windows side. (See MacWindows Solutions for info on PowerPrint.)

Roderich Bott

Virtual PC -- using 56kbps modems

Using 56k modems and PCMCIA (PC Card) modems with Virtual PC can be a problem. Connectix engineer John Malm sent this info (April 1998):

"With regards to 56k modems you'll need a modem driver that works with Win95 (so a cross-platform 56k modem would be strongly recommended). Windows 98 supplies generic 56k (95 only goes to 28,800).With a PCMCIA, a 28,000 or 33,600 bps modem can use the generic (Standard) Win95 28,000 bps driver. Windows 98 will include a standard 33,600.

"If the PCMCIA card is a 56k, they may have to wait for Windows 98 (unless the card is cross-platform and comes with 95 drivers). From the VPC Prefs, choose the correct COM port and choose "Internal Modem" or "PC Card" or "PowerPort Platinum pro, etc) from the pull-down menu. Once in Windows 95, choose the "Standard" 28,000 bps modem for 28.8 and 33.6 modem cards."

Virtual PC -- Logging into NetWare with DOS client

Apple TIL article 24546 reports of a problem with Virtual PC 2.0.1 on a Power Mac G3 with built-in Ethernet (driver version 2.0.4) and connecting to a Novell NetWare server using the NetWare DOS ODI client. The Apple article says that you need to use a Ethernet PCI card such as a SMC Ethernet PCI card. (The Apple 10/100 PCI card does not work when using the NetWare DOS ODI client.) This bug seems to affect only the DOS client.

Connectix has confirmed that this is a separate VPC/G3/NetWare issue from the one reported in MacWindows news in April and May of 1998, which was resolved with Virtual PC 2.0.1. For versions before VPC 2.0.1, the work around Connectix recommended is to change the Ethernet frame type of both the Netware server and the Mac from 802.3 to 802.2. The old bug affected DOS and Windows, and centered around changes Apple made in Open Transport for G3 models in the way it handled of 802.3 and 802.2 packets.

Work around from John Malm of Connectix:

Access the server from Windows or if the server has AppleTalk services installed, mount the Novell volume on the Mac and share the volume via VPC's folder sharing.

Virtual PC -- PowerMac 6500 can't access NetWare server

PowerMac 6500's can't access any Novell server (DOS or Windows). Connectix says this is being investigated.

Workaround from John Malm of Connectix:

If the server has AppleTalk services installed, mount the Novell volume on the Mac and share the volume via VPC's folder sharing.

Running USB Zip drives in Virtual PC.

There are two ways to do this. One is to first mount the drive cartridge in Mac OS, start Virtual PC, and designate the cartridge as a "shared folder." The other method (for VPC 3.x) is to install the Iomega's Windows software in VPC.

To share a Zip cartridge that is inserted in the drive and mounted:

  1. Open the Virtual PC Preferences from the Edit menu on the Apple menu bar.
  2. Highlight Shared Folders on the Left side of the Preferences Menu.
  3. On the right side of the Preferences Menu select the <Share Folder> option.
  4. Browse for the Zip cartridge on the Mac side and highlight it.
  5. From the drop down menu at the bottom of the dialogue box select the drive letter you wish to assign the shared folder.
  6. Select the "Share 'XXXXX' 3.0" button to share the folder. If you always want this folder to be shared between VPC and the Mac then check the box next to <Share Every Time>.
  7. Select OK in the VPC Preferences menu

Open "My Computer" on the Windows desktop. You should now see a drive with the name of the folder you shared with the drive letter you assigned it.

The second method, running Windows Zip software, works with Virtual PC 3.0 or later. You can download the Windows software for the drive and install them in Windows. Drivers are available for Windows 95/98 and for Windows NT/2000.

Real PC and SoftWindows -- programming the Timex Datalink Wristwatch

(Note: This tip should also work with Virtual PC, but we haven't tested it.)

The Timex Datalink Wristwatch, which can hold telephone numbers, appointments, and other info, is programmed by holding it up to the computer screen running Windows. A series of flashing lines program the info into the watch. Only Windows (3.1 or 95) compatible versions of the Datalink software is included with the watch.

John Hall released a Macintosh "hack" of the software onto the web. It was a beta release, had a few bugs, but didn't support all of the features. Mark Booth wanted all of the features, and figured out a way to get Real PC to run the Timex Datalink software and program the watch. There are some tricks involve, however.

Firts, he discovered that the Datalink software works MUCH better with Windows 3.1 than with Windows 95, which Booth found to produce occasional communication failures between the Mac and the watch. Booth assigned 32 megs of PC RAM to Real PC. Here's the procedure:

  1. In the Finder, set your screen size to 640x480 at 60hz. You MUST use these settings, as Booth found no other combination that works. (It does not work when running Windows within a 640x480 window on a larger Mac screen.)
  2. Launch RealPC and set it to full screen mode. Launch Windows 3.1 and then run the Datalink software.
  3. You will be prompted to go through a setup routine. When you are all finished (the watch beeped at the setup sync signals), the Datalink main screen will open.
  4. In DataLink, choose the File menu and open Advanced. (Advanced Setup features.)
  5. Select the watch that you have and click Next. You will then be given a choice of 5 screen modes (the default is a Windows mode). Although most of these screen modes will make the watch beep to the sync signal, only One of these modes will allow the watch to be successfully programmed under Windows emulation on the Mac.
  6. Select "MODE 5 DOS FRAMED". Although the programming lines flash at a slower pace (input to watch takes a bit longer), this mode works.
  7. Again you will be prompted through another setup routine (watch beeps to sync signal, etc.). Complete this, and you're finished.

Thanks to Mark Booth for sharing this with us.

Virtual PC and Mac OS 8.6

If you are running Mac OS 8.6, you'll need Virtual PC 2.1.2 or later (the current version is 2.1.3) in order to run the PC emulator. Kathy Westergaard, Connectix' product manager for Virtual PC, told us that changes in the MacOS nanokernel in Mac OS 8.6 are the reason for this requirement. Connectix recommends upgrading.

However, you will need to take care how you upgrade. If you upgrade Mac OS 8.5 with VPC 2.1.1 or older to 8.6, VPC will continue to work. But, if you install Mac OS 8.6, then VPC 2.1.1 will freeze.

The trick to use VPC on 8.6 is to install VPC 2.1.1 and update immediately to 2.1.3. Otherwise the Mac will freeze. This seems to be the only way to get it to work with 8.6. After installing VPC 2.1.1 and then updating to 2.1.3, VPC will boot successfully on 8.6.

Virtual PC, Mac OS 8.6, and keyboard layouts

Andrew Glennie noticed that within Windows with Virtual PC, his tab key stopped working after upgrading to Mac OS 8.6. Turns out that he was using an Australian keyboard layout and then non-Australian-localized version of Windows defaulted to a standard 101 keyboard. Glennie changed to an International layout, and the Tab key began working. That fact that this wasn't a problem with OS 8.5 seems to indicate that OS 8.6 is a bit fussier with keyboard layouts.

Installing Windows software in Virtual PC on Macs with no floppy drives

Stuart G. Kern sent us a simple but effective tip for installing Windows software on Virtual PC on a floppiless Mac:

My new G3 Powerbook has no floppy drive. I do some Windows-based database development work and needed to install the database application on Virtual PC. Here's how I did it:

1. Make disk images of the DOS-based installation disks using Disk Copy (used my G3 minitower).

2. Transfer the disk images to the Powerbook (I used Appletalk; could have e-mailed them to myself).

3. Mount the disk images on the desktop using Disk Copy.

4. In Virtual PC's Preferences, assign each disk image a drive letter. VPC allows six such drives, but I had seven disks to be installed. VPC let me remove and add drive assignments on the fly, so halfway through the install I removed disk #2 (G:) and added disk #7 (L:).

5. Execute the installation in Windows 95. For each prompt for the next installation disk, I browsed to the drive assigned to that disk.

The actual installation flew, much faster than installing on a Windows machine.

John Malm of Connectix says there is an easier way:

"[The above] method will work, but an even easier way is described in the Virtual PC manual on page 69.

You can drag a floppy image to the "Eject Floppy" button on the toolbar (at the bottom of the VPC window). When an installation program asks for a new disk, eject the floppy image and drag the next one to the toolbar. Floppy images must be in the read/write format and uncompressed."

The problem with this method is that it can crash the Blue and White G3s under certain conditions. Fortunately, Malm sent us a workaournd, described in the next item.

Virtual PC toolbar and Blue and White G3s

John Malm of Connectix sent us this tip about workaround regarding a problem with VPC disk :

"On Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White) machines with the ATI Rage 128 video card, a freeze will occur when dragging a folder or disk image to the toolbar (the buttons at the bottom of the Virtual PC window). As a workaround, share folders by way of the Virtual PC preference dialog (from the Edit menu). When using the floppy image feature, disable the ATI Graphics Accelerator extension with the Extensions Manager and restart. After finishing the VPC session, remember to turn the ATI Graphics Accelerator extension back on and restart in able to get the fastest performance from the ATI video card. Connectix is aware of the problem and is working with Apple and ATI to resolve this issue. The date for a release of a fix is unknown."

Virtual PC and Epson 900 printer

Connectix Knowledge Database Article # 4194 describes a printer problem with Virtual PC and the Epson 900 printer that produces a "Resource not found" error message when attempting to print. The problem is that Epson printer driver 5.5 (which currently ships on the Epson CD-ROM) has a conflict with Virtual PC. Connectix recomments upgrading to Epson driver 5.6 AE. Connectix also gives this advice:

"Be sure to use the pre-installed "Mac Printer" driver in Windows 95/98. Also make sure to turn off background printing on the Mac. In some cases having VM or RAM Doubler on can cause the file to spool but never print. If this occurs disable extended memory on the Mac."

Virtual PC won't boot in beige Power Mac G3

Adrian Walti discovered that Virtual PC is affected by an apparently unrelated problem in the biege Power Macintosh G3. The problem is a loose I/O card, called Personality Card, can cause problems with the Monitors & Sound Control see (Tech Info Library article 24503). Walti discovered that this loose card also prevents Virtual PC from loading with the error message:

internal error -1856. program is terminating

However, Walti says VPC only has this problem in Mac OS 8.5.1, but not OS 8.1. The fix is to reseat the I/O card.

Walti describes the problem:

[The loose Personality card] causes the complete loss of sound-output of the Mac (including startup sound). I guess with MacOS 8.5+, VPC is getting terminated if it can't establish its sound output (o.s.s). The loosening of the personality card seems to happen pretty often, due to opening and closing the Mac case.

Remarkable: in the above described case, VPC worked under MacOS 8.1, but not with MacOS 8.5.1 .

...The link is not obvious between the VPC-startup error and the loss of sound (which I didn't realize at first because my Mac is set quiet except when I'm playing). I already wanted to contact Connectix when I noticed the complete loss of sound and the very same error number when trying to play (double-click) a system sound.

Configuring Virtual PC BIOS

NOTE: The below link to MRBIOS no longer exists. A reader, Pauline Hernandez, noted that the PC Bargain Hunter site has some useful information about bios here.

Victor Yanagida sent us this tip on configuring the MRBIOS of Virtual PC:

As you know, all PC's on the market contain a BIOS, usually burned into ROM and occasionally in FlashROM. Anyway, I knew from the Connectix manual that VPC used MRBIOS by Microid Research, but I've always wondered IF you could get into the firmware based setup utility and just what changes (if any) would actually DO anything. Well here are a few facts:

VPC on PowerBook, 2000 keys.

Reader Victor Y. send this tip for using the Windows Insert and Delete keyboard functions in Virtual PC on a PowerBook G3 (Pismo), which doesn't have these keys.

Here's a Virtual PC tip for PowerBook G3 users that I haven't seen posted anywhere. It concerns the lack of the standard PC 'Insert' and 'Delete' keys on a PowerBook Pismo keyboard.

My previous PowerBook G3, a WallStreet II actually had silk-screened keys for the 'Insert' and 'Delete' functions. (they were accessible using the Fn modifier key)

I was a bit disappointed then, to find that these two keys had been removed on my new Pismo (and possibly Lombards). Now I admit that the absence of these two keys may seem like a minor inconvenience, particularly in the context of word processing and such. There are, however certain PC programs I use under VPC (notably many early NetWare admin utilities) that are impossible to operate without them.

After a bit of poking around, it came to me that on a real PC keyboard, the 0 and . keys on the numeric keypad often double for these two functions. I wondered if this behavior applied to VPC as well. It does!

Delete = (Fn + Period key)
Insert = (Fn + M key)

This works regardless if the keyboard is in 'Num lock' (Fn + F5) mode or not.

These functions work under VPC emulation only (i.e. Fn+M won't work as an Insert key in a Mac word processor). However a widely known PowerBook G3 fact is that Fn+(backspace) does the same as Delete in the MacOS.

However, Victor Y as found that an another key command is sometimes required:

I have found several cases (both under MS-DOS and Win9x emulation) where they don't work. However I have found that if you hit Fn+6 (Function Modifier Key and '6') first, the above sequences will do fine thereafter. I admit that I'm at a loss to explain why it works, though.

 Installing Linux on Virtual PC 2.0, 3.0

Connectix stopped supporting Linux with version 2.1.3, and continued with v3.0. With earlier versions, Linux is possible, as well as with VPC 3.0 or later.

They easiest way to install Linux is to buy a copy or Red Hat from Connectix, which began to offer it with VPC 3. If you'd like to install your own copy of Linux, these tips may help. (For more about Linux on VPC 3.0, see our Virtual PC 3 page.)

Linux Pro

Bill Reynolds sent us thes notes on how he successfully installed Linux Pro 5.4 on Connectix' Virtual PC 2.0 DOS emulator.

Two things are important regarding the drive size: you need room for the packages you choose to install, and you need to pick a size whose (emulated) cylinders don't exceed the maximum (0 thru 1023) useable by Linux. Reynolds created a 700 MB D VPC drive file, which had heads/sectors/cylinders at 32/63/711, with the latter number being the important one.

During the install, he used LILO on the D drive (he left the C drive, /dev/hda1, alone) to create the following partitions:


Boot Begin










DOS etc




132 (= +64M)


Linux swap






Linux native

He didn't install any C/C+ development files, or any server packages other than web server. He picked networked workstation, X-windows (but not multimedia), games, text editors, etc. (Space was the consideration re choices.)

Reynolds did NOT configure networking or PPP. For video, he chose the S3 Trio 64 (generic) driver. He told the installer that he had a Sony 15" multisync monitor.

He saved the LILO boot to the MBR. Linux is the default, with DOS and floppy as options.

Command line boot is fine (a few errors). Reynolds couldn't create a new account (adduser), so he stuck with root. "startx" took heim to X-windows, which displayed a black screen with thin horizontal white lines. He thought he hadn't chosen the correct video driver, but when he moved the mouse cursor to the upper left corner and "opened" a menu (nothing showed), he created a new X-window. Moving the mouse around showed the issue was one of refreshing/redraw. Reynolds was able to open the File menu now, but text was illegible. From the icons, he was able to select Exit fvwm (Quit), and return to the command prompt.

Typing "shutdown -h now" at the command prompt shuts Linux down properly. (You still have to Quit the Mac VPC 2.0 app and ignore the warnings.)

More on Linux on Virtual PC 2.0

(7/30/98) Christopher Schobert told us about his experience with Linux on Virtual PC 2.0. Before attempting this, he had some experience installing Linux on various Macs. He said "The Mklinux flavor from Apple was just about the "easiest" to install. Preparing the hard drive was the most difficult stage. But, if you usean old version of FWB, 1.8, you can format A/UX partitions easily."

Schobert then successfully installed Linux from the Red Hat 5.0 CD (with "a bit of patience") on Virtual PC 2.0 environment. He says:

The hardest part about the installation is partitioning the virtual drive(s). I first created the necessary boot disks from the supplied images, made sure the "Boot from floppy" preference was turned on and then rebooted the environment. Using "Disk Druid" I created the proper partitions. I initially created a Windows partition of 150 megs just to boot and another one of 700 megs for Linux. You are better off just removing the Windows partition all together though. 700 Megs of space seems to be enough for the system. Although the installation was successful, certain components of Linux's software do not run correctly. I had a similar experience as Bill Reynolds did[see above]. When in X Windows, thin white lines appear and distort the cursor movement and refresh. I still haven't figured out exactly why, but I believe it has to do with the way the S3 chip set is simulated within Virtual PC. I have tried numerous monitor types, custom settings, server types and refresh rates using the "Xconfigurator" application within the Linux shell without success. Other than that, the thing runs very well, is fast and stable."

PC compatibility cards (coprocessors)

To take to other users of Apple and Orange Micro PC Compatibility cards, try the MacDOScard forum.

Apple PC Compatibility Card --Windows 95 Compatibility Mode and 32-bit drivers.

After installing Windows 95, owners of Apple's PC (or DOS) Compatibility Card may see the message that the hard drive, floppy drive, and CD-ROM drive are running in "Compatibility Mode," and that the computer is running at optimal performance. This indicates that 16-bit drivers are being used instead of 32-bit drivers, which in Windows 95, run in a protected mode.

Unfortunately, Apple's card prevents Windows 95 from accessing 32-bit drivers. A problem could occur with newer Windows 95 software that may require 32-bit protected-mode drivers. Such software will not work with the PC Compatibility cards, according to Apple.

The solution is to upgrade the Apple software to Discovery's System's PCSetup 2.1.7, which is now free.

(Orange Micro's Orange PC cards can work with 32-bit drivers.)

Apple PC Compatibility Card Sound and Power Mac G3 -- Getting PC sound to work

Cliff Harlow thought he had a bug when the Apple 12" P166 PC Compatability Card wouldn't produce sound in his Power Mac G3/233. Then he realized the audio from the PC card comes through the CD connection on the motherboard (a cable put in during installation). So for the PC sounds to playthough the Mac, the Sound Input setting of the Monitors and Sound control panel must be set to "Internal CD" not "Microphone" or "None."

Apple PC Compatibility Card and Mac OS 8.5, 8.6, 9.0

Networking with the DOS and PC Compatibility Cards doesn't work with Mac OS 8.5.

Discovery Software's free PCSetup 2.1.7 fixes this problem.

An older solution is from Jason Linhart of, has wrote a patch that enables Apple PC Compatibility cards networking to partially work under Mac OS 8.5 and later.Here's the readme file from the patch:

The "PC Network Extension" version 1.6.4 will not load under MacOS 8.5. It comes up with a message saying it "Requires OpenTransport 1.1.1 or higher. Of course you have OpenTransport 2.0.1 under 8.5, but for some reason that is not considered higher than 1.1.1.

I traced this to a bug in the OpenTransport version number check logic. It checks that you have at least version 1, and then checks that the sub-version is .1.1 or higher. Since MacOS 8.5 has OpenTransport 2.0.1 the 2 is higher than 1 and is OK but the .0.1 is lower than .1.1 and it fails. I have made a patcher which will change the code to require OpenTransport 2.0 or higher. My experience with the patch is mixed, some networking works and some doesn't. At least the anoying alerts telling me to have OT 1.1.1 or higher are gone.

You should only use this if you have MacOS 8.5, otherwise it will disableyour networking from the PC Card.

Good Luck
Jason Linhart, 11/1/98

Additionally, Henry Donzis has found that the NuBus Apple DOS Compatibility Card requires virtual memory turned on with Mac OS 8.5. However, the PCI PC Compatibility Card does works on OS 8.5 with virtual memory turned off.

Linhart also told us that the patch works for OS 8.6:

My patch for PC Network Extension 1.6.4 still works under Mac OS 8.6. As before, on some machines it is also necessary to remove Apple Enet and replace it with Ethernet (Built-In). Ethernet (Built-In) can be found on the Mac OS 8.5 install CD, in the System Folder. This change, removing Apple Enet, can cause minor problems for some users under Mac OS 8.6, while it did not cause any problems under 8.5.

Jason Linhart, 5/24/99

We've also had reports of the patch working for OS 9, as long as you reinstall PC Setup and the patch after OS 9.

Some notes on pcSetup 2.1.7

February 4, 2002
Alarik Skarstrom reports that Discovery Systems pcSetup 2.1.7 works well on his old Apple PC Compatibility board (Pentium card for Macs). (Last Friday, Discovery announced that the software is now free.) Skarstrom reports:

Just to let you know, I have already downloaded the now-free software and installed it (you'll want the PDF manual too), and it works well. The 32-bit drivers, what people had clamored for all along, work.

On my Quicken 99 CD for PCs (sent by my bank, long ago) I can now see the file names and it can be installed normally (previously, you had to sneak it in by mounting it as a shared disk--all kinds of headaches). I know this project caused R. Ventola a lot of grief and difficulty and what he's accomplished is quite quite impressive

PS. You know there's a forum devoted to the PC and DOS cards: it's still active.

February 6, 2002
Alarik Skarstrom

I should have added this caveat. The software works well in light of its purpose--to provide the 32-bit support so that for e.g.. long names in PC CDs appear. Also the cards no longer run in "DOS Compatibility mode" so they should be faster.

But the software is still buggy. There are problems I've seen so far with 1) sharing folders--trying to do so can lead to hard crashes; and 2) if, before booting Win95, you delete an extra driver (a D: drive) that the computer locks up looking for D:. Or seems to. You can work around this but still, there are problems....

But the forum (sadly not searchable) details some of the bugs going way back. It would be great if Apple (which was apparently never very helpful) let them open source it. There are still a lot of these cards around and there are apparently many uses for them in "lab" situations etc.

I think Randall has been a real gent throughout this entire adventure.

OrangePC cards and the all-in-1 Power Mac 4400

In order to run an Orange Micro OrangePC card in an all-in-one Power Mac with a PCI slot--such as the 5400--you need to use an external multisync monitor to produce the video. These Macs have a 7-inch PC, so the Orange PC 620 is the only current model that will fit.

Microsoft Office and Orange PC

The problem:

August 10, 2001
Dave Green

My company (I'm the only Mac user left) is upgrading from Office 97 to Office 2000. We've installed the upgrade on my OrangePC 540 card running in a PowerMac 8600 with Powerlogix G3 upgrade and have run into trouble with "missing registry" errors when any of the Office 2000 applications are opened.

A fix:

August 27, 2001
Dave Green

Orange Micro recommended reinstalling Windows and then reinstalling Office 2000. We did that (and upgraded from Windows 95 to Windows NT while we were at it) and everything is working smoothly.

Some other suggestions:

August 13, 2001
Scott Hander

If this is the problem I think it is, then I have dealt with it already. There is some conflict between MS Office 2000 and a file called OPCFLOP.PDR. It is the 32 bit driver for the floppy drive. You must remove Office 2000, remove the driver, then reinstall Office 2000. The problem was corrected in version 3.4.2 on OPC 600 boards, but not for anything below that (I have a 550).

August 13, 2001
Kathy Sullivan agreed that the software revision 3.4.2 from Orange Micro fixed the problem.

August 13, 2001
However, a reader named Ken had a different suggestion:

To get the program to operate correctly, you must disable the Orange PC 32 bit floppy driver; this will not disable the floppy drive-it will still run in DOS mode. You should also make sure Virtual Memory is off and your disk cache is set to 128k. I would also go to updates and download the latest drivers for the OPC card, also Win 98 SE is a big improvement over 95. Be sure to follow the instructions verbatim-Orange MICRO has a lot of troubleshooting info on this site.

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