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(note: this is coming from a guy who gave up on vmware)
I installed vmware and then installed win98. All went pretty smooth except like you only the lowest of color and resolution settings. VMWare said I had to install the vmware tools or whatever that is. According to vmware that would give me back my video capabilities. So I installed the tools then rebooted teh windows. After that windows wouldn't boot up except in safe mode. I gave up on vmware because I wanted to use it for gaming but shortly afterward found out it won't do DirectX even if I did get the video working so I gave up on it.
I have found vmware to be an excellent app, You can't really expect to do gaming from it as you have to remember you are running 2 os's at a time and that takes all your resources. Now where it really shines is for tech support, you can be running 2000 and when you need to support someone on an nt 4.0 server you can bring one up in vmware to see what you are telling them. Also I have a laptop that won't run linux nativly but I run it through vmware.
For doing things like that it is great, but it can never be as good as just running that os natively. Also a side note don't try without 512 megs of ram or more, it will work but not very good.
I have both Win98 and Window XP installed in VMware. Both are smooth although Win98 is much faster. If VMware tools doesn't show up when you click on file and install vmware tools, add a CD-ROM in the virtual machine list. Then look for an iso image for Windows OS. It should be named windows.iso . My iso images for VMware are located at /usr/lib/vmware/isoimages . From there you can install VMware tools by running the setup from the CD. Your X Window Server have to be properly setup in order for you to use other resolutions and bit depths. Its best to run VMware in fullscreen. In VMware bios, enable 32 bit for your devices. This should speed up the virtual machines.
VMware doesn't have any support for 3D. Games that uses 2D graphics or directdraw can be used. If you want 3D graphics, use Wine. Wine is not very easy to setup, so expect hair pulling. Just make sure you add an option to the /configure to enable 3D support or opengl.