A "Happy Birthday Windows" How-To: Install Windows 3.1 on a Virtual PC

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markstrelecki

(damned spammerfolk)

I saved several old versions of DOS and Windows by copying the contents of each install floppy disk into a folder, then saved that all to a CD-R, probably back in the early nineties.

I trust the install would work fine from these files, as opposed to mounting diskette images in VirtualBox.

Guess the booting from DOS would be done differently, but the rest should work.

Thanks for a great look back (those were the days).

MARK STRELECKI

 

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da_samman

ONCE AGAIN, another sweet article and once again we have a spammer comment.  Can SOMEONE at MaximumPC.com please do something about these twits?  For us retro gamers, this article is very useful (Think D&D gold box and the Ravenloft games for Windows).  To all comment spammers, PISS OFF!!

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Mechayoshi

I don't have a floppy drive. Where can I download Win-3.1???

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CloudRider

I've been using VirtualBox to run WinXP on my Windows 7 machine for months with hardly a hiccup (aside from some finicky audio drivers).  Better 3D support than XP mode, to boot.

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livebriand

It's kinda suprising how the setup wizard (in the part pictured) for DOS looks quite similar to the one used with Windows XP and earlier... It took until Vista to change it. lol

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jbwhite99

Windows/386?  I could even see if it loads on DOS 1.1 (although I haven't gotten my 5.25" drive working lately).  If you want an interesting screen with the above - do a DIR and see how much space is free on a 2TB drive - I bet that any version of DOS will turn upside down on that one!

I think if you hunt, you can actually get a copy of DOS 2000 (Y2k compliant) from IBM - that is the only legal DOS, since MS stopped selling it.

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LatiosXT

I find it funny that the Windows installation hasn't changed at least 15 some years. It took Microsoft until Windows Vista to finally get out of the old blue screen and text only setup for the low level stuff.

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MleB

As ever, the past looks more interesting than it actually was.

My very first computer (discounting the TI-99 I once had) - the first actually useful computer I owned and used daily - was a Compaq Aero 486/s subnotebook and while it had Win3.1 on it, these old Compaqs included Tabworks as the GUI and so I rarely had to visit the arcane workings of the OS or Desktop, for which I am eternally grateful.

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stinger608

I don't know if anyone has ever used the application "Out and Back" but it would allow the user in Windows 3.11 to play dos games without going through the pain of typing in the dos box. Now I have no idea where one can pick out and back up from anymore, so if one of you members know were to get this application it would sure be appreciated.

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LinkRS

Does VirtualBox have supported audio/video drivers for Windows 3.1?  I have ran Windows 3.11 in Parallels Workstation and Virtual PC before, but neither had adequate support for audio or video.  I have also heard of people running Windows 3.1 in DosBox, but haven't actually tried it.

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Jims45wow

Thanks for the instructions. I bought a 5 1/4" drive to do this. Once (if) I figure out how to get my k9a2 P (and Vista U) to talk to the floppy, I will need a program to copy the disk images.

As for "how far we've come", I've gotta say that I'll take functionality over flashy. It seems that today's programs have more code for marketing and limitations than they do for actual function.

We confuse flashy with usability--That helps marketers sell "Pro" versions that do a few of the things we would expect from "the old days". My old Win 3.1 machine was ganked years ago. I sure have missed the functionality of the programs I used, as compared to their "updates". (Oviously excepting games.)

I hope that all my floppys are still good.  :-)

thanks.

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aviaggio

I did this in VirtualPC awhile ago. It's amazing how far we've come. I go back it every now and again and I'm completely lost despite having been a pro in it when it was first released.

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Belboz99

Many of the old Win 3.1 utilities and apps were still lurking around in the System folder well into the XP era.

 

In fact, up until Windows XP SP2 (or was it SP1?) you could still run the vintage Program Manager by navigating to the System folder and launching progman.exe. ;)

 

I think it was still there after that Service pack as well, just no longer functioning. :P

 

Dan O.

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eben_vr18

Spent hours trying to figure Windows 3.1 out when i was a kid,lol

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Athlonite

errr as much as i liked windows 3.11 and DOS 6.22 their time has come and gone

and before 3.11 I had DOS 6.22 + Quickmenu III I like the screen saver it had

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ferariman

I got my images from an undisclosed location that rhymes with "the pirate play".

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