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Solved Win 95: Windows protection error after setup

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I am trying to set up Windows 95 on a VM using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 with a 8 GB VHD. Everything works fine until it finishes setup, but it when it tries to start Windows for the first time, it says, “While initializing device IOS: Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer.”

I have tried booting up in safe mode and have formatted the VHD and reinstalled it several times, but I can’t figure out why it won’t work. It worked fine once before, but the hard drive it was on went bad, so I have to set it up again.

Thank you for any help/solutions.


1 Answer

  1. As stated above, you have encountered the well-documented >350MHz processor error with Windows 95. Another similar one exists at speeds >2.1GHz. Both issues can be fixed with updated system files from Microsoft patches.

    I wrote a script to automate this and created bootable floppy/cd images to do so. See this thread at MSFN:…

    Also of note, one of the people who tested my patch was using Windows 95 in Virtual PC and had some input specific to that application. Begins at post # 44 on page 3.

    Good luck!

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