Running Windows CE in Bochs.

Since discovering the amazing Bochs emulator last year, I’ve set it up to run MS-DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95 and Windows 98. I’ve also gotten curious as to how to have it run Windows CE, which comes embedded in numerous hand held devices. The web page with the instructions on getting CE up and running in Bochs is no longer online, but fortunately I found a cached copy in the Internet Archive. I reprint the instructions here.

Ever wanted to run Windows CE on your Bochs PSP x86 emulator? Well it’s easier than you think, and yota from our forums has figured it out.

Here are the steps to make the Bochs Image:

1 – Download image for Virtual PC from here.

I have noticed you will now need to sign up for a free account from HPC:Factor in order to download the disk images from their site. It’s painless and takes only a few minutes. Once your account is established, the above link takes you to a page with 4 different Windows CE images. The following instructions will work regardless of which image you use.

2 – Create a new image disk in Boch like for the Win95 prototype (…ighlight=win95)

I couldn’t track down the link in this second step. All you do here is create a new virtual hard disk image as usual with the bximage command. I’ve done some experimenting and found that Windows CE 5.0 will fit comfortably on a 15MB virtual disk formatted with MS-DOS 6.22. You can use the Windows 95 boot disk described in these instructions if you wish, but MS-DOS will work just as well and doesn’t consume as much virtual disk space.

3 – Like for Win95, run FDISK and FORMAT (use /S to make it bootable)

With the Windows 95 or MS-DOS boot disk image mounted as your A: drive, launch Bochs and run FDISK and FORMAT to prepare the virtual hard disk for use. 

The rest of these instructions should be fairly straightforward.

4 – Download the latest WinImage and install it

5 – Open the WinCE image you downloaded in 1 with WinImage and extract all the files into a temp folder. Delete file in the temp folder.

6 – Close Bochs, open the Bosch image with WinImage and Inject all the files from the temp folder into the Bochs image (except that was deleted previously).

7 – Change the memory allocation in the bochsrc.bxrc from 8 to 32 megs (I think “this” is the main problem for running on the PSP)

8 – Boot the Bochs image from the C: drive with Bochs. You will have a warning, just continue the emulation. That’s it, WinCE should be loaded…

9 – Change the bochsrc.bxrc file according to the Win95 but with 32 megs and copy the image to the PSP

See? It’s as easy as that. Now, go have fun with Windows CE on your PSP 😀

Have fun! Thanks to those for letting me know about the dead link.

Virtual PC.

I recently tried Microsoft’s Virtual PC and actually liked it better than Bochs. As shocking as that revalation may be, I’ll still continue using Bochs anyway for reasons I shall reveal later in this post.
Virtual PC is very easy to use. There is a wizard that guides you step by step as you build your virtual PC with relative ease. Once the the virtual PC is running, you can install your favorite operating system either from an ISO image file or from the actual installation CD itself.
I’ve built up quite a collection of guest operating systems for my Virtual PC. I have separate installations of Windows 3.11, Windows 95 and Windows 98 for a trip down memory chip lane whenever I so desire.
Even though I’m impressed with Virtual PC, I am going to stick with Bochs. Virtual PC is a 30MB download and Bochs is only 3MB and portable enough for use on USB drives. True, it does take some effort to create a virtual PC in Bochs, but all that work is worth it when you can run your favorite operating system on the go.

Windows 3.0 lives.

If you miss Windows 3.0, check out this site where you can download it and enjoy it all over again. Also available are Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, OS/2, version 4 of Microsoft Office and other antique software titles. This does sound like a warez site, but the software here is so old that they are no longer for sale and not supported by the companies that made them.
The above web site is an excellent source of guest operating systems for the Bochs emulator I mentioned in an earlier post. I downloaded the Windows 3.0 setup files and installed it along with MS-DOS 6.22 on a 13MB virtual hard disk. It runs like a charm in Bochs.

Fun with Bochs.

Bochs is an open-source PC emulator that can run a variety of operating systems. You can run Linux, MS-DOS or older versions of Windows inside the emulator while leaving your current operating system intact. There’s some work involved in setting up the emulator to work with your favorite operating system. It’s not hard, but it does take some time.
When installing Bochs, you have the option to install a copy of DLX Linux for the emulator. Imagine that. You will be able to run Linux under Windows. Be sure to explore the DLXLINUX folder as you’ll see how it’s set up to run under the emulator.
I’m having a blast with Bochs. I’ve been digging up floppy disk images I made and using them in the emulator. I’ve been able to boot FreeDOS, MS-DOS and even Windows 3.11. The possibilities are endless.