I am just writing for posterity of a new way I found to run XCOM Apocalypse, which seems terribly easy and is the most robust solution I have found to date. On my new box (E6600 dual-core 2.4GHz machine) I could not get any of the other ways to work reliably. DosBox 7.0 worked most of the time, but significant sound stuttering, and hangs whenever a dialog box popped up (e.g., when you click on your base in the CityScape screen, which then shows a dialog box of the agents within the building). I could not get VDMSound approach to work on this machine, despite this being my preferred way to get XCOM Apoc to run on the previous machine. Just setting compatibility settings in WinXP didn't do much, always resulted in a black screen of nothingness. With Virtual PC 2007 the whole process was absolutely painless, Apoc runs beautifully, zero sound stuttering.
* (free!) MS Virtual PC 2007; you can download this for free from Microsoft websites:
* Windows 95/98 install media (I used Win98 SE)
* XCOM Apoc (I used originals initially, but I ripped the CD with Alcohol 120% and the ISO works equally well!)
These are fairly obvious:
* start install of MS Virtual PC 2007
* create a new virtual PC instance (IMPORTANT: select a Win98 virtual machine!!!)
* during the install/first run of it create a new virtual hard drive
* plop Win 95/98 CD into drive
* from virt PC menu tell it to use your real/physical CD drive as the CD drive for the virt PC
* reboot virt PC
* start a Win98 install now; have the installation format that virtual HD you created, and then install the system to it
* follow the usual Windows95/98 install procedure
* once that is done, plop your XCOM CD into CD bay, run install as usual, etc.
* possibly run the setup for XCOM to setup the sound
* then just run the game
* you can rip the XCOM CD to an ISO (I used Alcohol 120%) and have virt PC use the ISO directly; this avoids delays in reading the CD, saves your drive, and in my case no CD spin up noise/vibrations...
* HDD: very little; although the virtual HD by default can expand to 16 Gigs (this is settable during virt HD creation), it takes little space at the moment, just the space for Win98 + XCOM APOC; virt PC itself seemed pretty tiny
* time: 1 hour or so, the bulk of course taken by the OS install process, which runs basically at realtime, at least on my machine
* IMPORTANT: check the following page for 3 pointers to prevent problems with running XCOM Apoc:
This was the site that actually clued me in onto the MS Virt PC approach...