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I need to do some testing on a Windows NT Server environment. I am trying to install Windows NT into the latest VMware Workstation. The 3 boot disks I have for Windows NT are in .exe form. How can I extract them and install the OS into VM?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Most Windows NT 4.0 CDs were bootable. Have you tried just booting the CD-ROM yet?

If you can't boot the CD and still want to create the "floppies", grab this virtual floppy driver and use the instructions from Microsoft to create disk iamges of each of the bootable floppies.

(Actually, you can find images of the Windows NT 4.0 boot disks in various places on the 'net, but you'd do well to make the disks from your particular CD-ROM if you can't get it to boot off of CD.)

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Any idea where I could find said CD-ROM off the net??? :) – The Woo Aug 27 '09 at 6:14
MSDN or TechNet subscriber downloads should still have NT 4 available -- the academic variant of MSDN certainly did a year ago. If you're needing to test in MS OSes, I'd strongly recommend a subscription. – Stephen Veiss Aug 27 '09 at 10:01

To extract floppies into images that you can use in VMWare use Winimage to create a .img file which vmware will recognize as a floppy image. This means of course you have to find a computer with a floppy drive that works & a running copy of windows.

Although as suggested, you won't want to do this when you can boot the NT4 CD

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I am not sure what those exe you have do. I assume you have a copy of a windows NT CD, or an iso of it. You can create the boot disks by running the winnt.exe or Winnt32.exe with the correct parameter.

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The 3 .exe files you have are probably self-extracting floppy images used to boot from floppy. NT 4 Server had 3 floppies for setup prior to being able to use the CD to complete the install. These floppies included things like the boot loader and drivers required to get you far enough to be able to use the CD. I doubt that's what you want. If you have a floppy drive (and even better, media to go along with) should be able to run the .exe's and have them create boot floppies and mount those from VMWare. You will also need the NT Server CD, though, to complete the install.

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Thank you for that. Yes that looks to be the situation with the .exe files. I do not have an external floppy drive which is the main issue. VMware won't read them and I don't know how to create bootable files from them... – The Woo Aug 26 '09 at 23:27
Yeah, do what Evan said. He beat me back to it! – squillman Aug 26 '09 at 23:37

About 2 weeks ago I built a NT 4 VM to start an AD migration. I used my ancient SP1 NT4 disk, created an ISO, then booted a VMware virtual machine from it. It installed in about 2 minutes.

I then ran SP4, SP6 and installed IE6 to bring it up to as modern as I could get it.

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