Loading Windows NT4 on new Hardware designed for XP

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Hi all, I am trying to load windows NT4 workstation on a Dell Precision WS380 which I just bought. I have to load NT 4 because I need to run legacy software which will only run on NT4 workstation. I have ensure the graphics card and the NICs have NT drivers available so once I get the OS load I should be ok. However the problem is loading the OS. There is a SCSI drive in this hardware and the NT4 installation CD does not recognise it nor does it allow me to load external drivers from a floppy as per a normal NT4 install when you have other devices on the system that you wish to load device drivers for during the install. Any suggestions as to how I can get NT4 onto this hardware. regards Paul

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Assuming that you’d like to run something newer like Windows XP if you could why not have the best of both words and run VMware or Microsoft Virtual PC.

Doing so will allow you to install your desktop operating system of choice on the workstation itself then create a virtual machine that can host NT4.

Both of the aforementioned virtual machine products should allow you to install NT4 with no trouble at all and they are both pretty economically priced.

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  • Cmallin
    Unfortunately you will never get NT4 running on this system. The BIOS will prevent NT4 from detecting any device on the PCI bus on their newer Precision line (either embedded or in a slot). You may be able to shoehorn the OS on but it will never, ever be stable. VMware may be your only alternative.
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  • X16wda
    I second the suggestion for VMware or Virtual PC. Both products create a "PC" with very standard virtual hardware for the SCSI and graphics cards so NT should load up fine. It also makes backing up simple... shut down the virtual PC and copy the files off somewhere. If your workstation dies, install VPC somewhere else, copy the files over, and it fires right up.
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  • Poppaman2
    Although cmallin may indeed be right, note that many newer Optiplex'es and older (2 yrs...) Precision WS's have the ability in BIOS to turn off the PnP subsystem, autodetection of devices and USB support, effectively crippling the system for a modern OS, but making an ideal NT platform (can you tell how much I LOVE working with NT???). Again, I'm not sure if you can do this with the newer P/W's... If not, then Virtual PC would n-indeed be your best bet...
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  • Sonotsky
    I'll throw further support behind the virtualiztion suggestion, but put forth my bias for VMware. I've been using VMware off and on for about 5 years, at the desktop and server levels - you really can't beat it for stability and flexibility. It won't come cheap, and does tend to have slightly higher hardware needs than other solutions, but once you have it set up, you're golden. Of course, the potential downside is that on a desktop, you must have a host operating system installed in order to get VMware (or most other virtualization solutions) running; you can get around additional OS licensing requirements by installing Linux as the host OS and getting the Linux installer for VMware Workstation, if you're comfortable goiing that route. Cheers
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  • Paul144hart
    I think you are out of luck loading NT. Here is the link to OS support on Dell's disk drivers. http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/software/svradmin/2.0/en/compgd/8prcmtrx.htm?c=us&l=en&cs=555&s=biz#wp1072529
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  • Bobkberg
    My $.02 worth. Most of the good points were taken already (darn!, GeeWhiz!) Seriously though - My key recommendation is that you host Vmware workstation (or server for that matter) on a multi-processor machine. I've used vmware on a single processor machine, and for background task stuff, it's ok. But a dual-cpu workstation will allow host O/S and multiple VMs to perform nicely. ALSO - oodles of RAM. I'm running 2 GB. Beyond that amount of memory, there isn't much improvement for the VM, only for the Host O/S, because Vmware has placed limits on its workstation software. Bob
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  • Hdrider
    When you start the install process, you will be asked if there are any 3rd party drivers. If there are, you hit f6, and you will be asked to insert the driver disk into the A: drive and hit enter.
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