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Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

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Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby JayOTT » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:42 am

This is an alternative way to make GPW work if you have an incompatible OS. It's a much better fix (for myself at least) if you wish to play the vanilla 1.00/1.01 versions of GPW, but shouldn't be needed to play 1.03 or it's variants (including the 2016 mod) unless you're having specific problems. You will need;

- Oracle VirtualBox, attainable at https://www.virtualbox.org/
- Windows 98 SE (this I believe is abandon-ware. I won't directly link but a quick search should provide the answer if you otherwise lack a disc.)

This guy on the VirtualBox forums did a better job of explaining the finer details of getting your virtual machine running than I could; https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=9918

However, I do have a few tips to add;

- You will likely need a boot disk to begin the installation. Also, if the installation crashes unexpectedly and you're on a Intel computer, search for your BIOS setting for virtualization and enable it.

- The display driver listed in the linked page (the SciTech one) will require a key to fully activate, but said key is provided inside the image. Again, it is abandon-ware as far as I know.

- IE is not very compatible with most sites these days, but nonetheless it is possible to access the 1.01 patch from Edward's site, along with the 1.03 patch and even the 2016 mod that is on this site.

- The main upside of this virtual machine method is that the accelerate time feature will be crazy fast, allowing you to skip those boring segments of qualifying and the race whilst still playing them yourself. You also get a psuedo-windowed mode as the resolution of the virtual machine will likely be smaller than that of your main monitor.

- The drawback is that the % buttons are hard to control outside of the race screens. Simul810 suggests hovering the cursor over the button you want to use and pressing the Enter/Return key instead of clicking.
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby TheMrSuperShotJay » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:44 pm

Quick question - If you have no Internet Access on the Virtual Windows 98 how do you install Grand Prix World?
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby JayOTT » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:51 am

TheMrSuperShotJay wrote:Quick question - If you have no Internet Access on the Virtual Windows 98 how do you install Grand Prix World?

Try setting your Network adapter to NAT if you haven't done so already. I was able to access the internet on my Virtual Machine by selecting this option.
Last edited by JayOTT on Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby TheMrSuperShotJay » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:32 pm

This never worked for me but i was able to install it through an iso file anyway, the game is great except on some menus clicking causes the value to change rapidly as if it was being held down, usually i would just press enter instead like suggested but for some things such as pit strategies enter doesnt work, this means i spend 5 minutes clicking plus and minus till i get the right number!
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby polo199 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:46 pm

I just want to add a quick message to this thread to say that I've updated my VirtualBox to the latest 5.2.6 and found GPW working perfectly well. Most of the problems I was experiencing are now solved :
  • Freezes and slowdowns when moving the mouse --> SOLVED
  • Crackling sounds --> SOLVED
  • In-game accelerated time not working properly --> SOLVED (as far as I can see. But still not as fast as using DXWND and its accelerate CPU time feature

All in all, I found the game to run perfectly fine on my virtual machine (hosted on a Linux Mint-running Intel NUC) with Windows XP. I had to enable Win98 compatibility on the EXE though.

I strongly advise everybody using VirtualBox to run GPW to update to 5.2.6.
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby Veedub » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:18 am

Thank you for taking the time to post the info polo199 - great to hear the game runs well in a virtual machine. Sadly Windows 8/10 killed the performance of the graphics engine so a VM or DxWnd may be the only alternative for modern operating systems. :1smiley:
There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby polo199 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:13 pm

No worries Veedub. Happy to have found this game and that people keep it running and keep improving it (that's for you mate).

Unfortunately, I'm going to tone down my previous comments.
  • Still some mouse issues. Though it seems better than before -touch pad click is too slow for the VM but standard button click works perfectly fine.
  • Time acceleration works medium-OK. A tad better than before (maybe) but not super-fast either.
Still, all things considered, the experience is great on VirtualBox latest version.

Happy to have kept Windows 7 on my gaming machine. Seeing so many forum posts on all games about problems from Windows 10 patches... :1grin:
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Re: Getting GPW to run via virtual machine

Postby Veedub » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:43 pm

So based on the above comments, I've given VirtualBox a try. My (new but old) computer is running Windows 10 Professional 64-bit (i.e. a Windows 10 Host) and then in a Virtual Machine using VirtualBox I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit (i.e. a Windows 7 Guest). I wont give a how-to tutorial here (maybe another day) but I can shed some light on the following issues that most of us have experienced, both inside and outside of a VM.

JayOTT wrote:- The main upside of this virtual machine method is that the accelerate time feature will be crazy fast, allowing you to skip those boring segments of qualifying and the race whilst still playing them yourself.

JayOTT wrote:- The drawback is that the % buttons are hard to control outside of the race screens. Simul810 suggests hovering the cursor over the button you want to use and pressing the Enter/Return key instead of clicking.

Okay, so I've worked out that the menu screens (management / strategy / driver order / options / accelerated time screens) are not FPS (frames per second) limited. So when the game was released in 2000, computer performance would allow for a reasonable framerate between 0-100 to run the menu screens. However the performance of a computer from the year 2010 onwards now allows for a stupendous framerate of 1000-2500. In other words, the more powerful your computer, the faster the accelerated time effect but the harder it is to click buttons or the +/- buttons, as they are all over-responsive in the menu screens.

The qualifying and race simulation screens are FPS limited to around 28-32 fps, which is why the speed of the race has been more or less constant on all computers since the year 2000. Yes we have seen slower race times on some machines but either that's down to 1) Microsoft's emulation of DirectX 6.1 / DDraw in newer operating systems being so poor or 2) we had to run the game in emulated environments (e.g. DxWnd).

Now that both Windows 10 and Windows 7 support the game near-perfectly, if you cannot get the game working outside of a VM, you should definitely be able to run it inside a VM. The only side effects are the oversensitive buttons and maybe choppy sound...

P.S. If you are a FRAPS user, you could record your gameplay while you play and limit FPS to 30 fps for better button response. Of course, accelerated time would no longer be super-accelerated unless you toggle recording on/off. See here:
https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?63 ... -old-games
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