View Full Version : IBM XT windows

June 11th, 2006, 04:43 AM
Is it possible to run windows 3.0 on this PC? It's got an AMD 8088, I believe at 4.77mhz, not sure about anything else.

If not, whats the most advanced OS that can be run?

Also, is there some way to netowrk it to my XP network, so I can transfer files? Or even (dare I say) use the internet?

June 11th, 2006, 07:57 AM
No, you can't run windows 3.0 on this cool machine ;),
but you can run Windows 2.0, GEM 2.0 or even GEM 3.0. I suggest Windows.
Now, what monitor you have? If it's 5151 (monochrome) check what graphic card you have installed.
If it's MDA, you can't get any graphics on monitor. If you want you can replace it with Hercules card,
then you will be able to run graphics OS and several games.

The easiest way to transfer files is connecting computers via COM cable, and use TERM90 from Norton Commander.
It's harder if you don't have any way to transfer TERM90 to your XT.

You can connect them via LAN, using 8 bit network cards. If you could configure browser and modem, with litte bit of luck you might be able to browse internet.
I don't know if there is way to share internet via LAN to this machine.

June 11th, 2006, 08:49 AM
I have the 5153 monitor, and back in the day it used to run wondeful games like Oregon Trail. My graphics card is... Color graphics, it seems, so that should be good.

Thanks for that info, I'll go google for more info now.

June 11th, 2006, 08:58 AM
That's okay, you can run maaany games, you know. Windows 2.0 will work.
Win 3.0 need 286 processor.

June 11th, 2006, 09:04 AM
I quite like the look of GEM, nice advertising, heh. I love old pcs.

Could somone point me towards a place to find out more about norton commander, in particular how to use it to connect an XP pc to the IBM?

Terry Yager
June 11th, 2006, 09:06 AM
Windows 3.0 will run on a PC or XT. Win3.1 will not.


June 11th, 2006, 07:48 PM
Note that Windows 3.0 will be restricted to 'real' mode (for more info, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.x and http://www.computing.net/windows31/wwwboard/forum/7732.html)

Note that another way for transferring files between an XT and a modern-day computer is simply to use floppies.
Your XT hardware/firmware and DOS version may restrict what can be used on the XT. For example, the FDD controller supplied with the IBM XT only supported 360K and 720K drives. Only the BIOS ROM in the later IBM XT motherboards support 3.5" drives. MS-DOS 2.0 introduced support for 360K floppies, MS-DOS 3.0 introduced support for 1.2M floppies, MS-DOS 3.2 introduced support for 720K floppies, and MS-DOS 3.3 introduced support for 1.44M floppies.

June 12th, 2006, 02:37 PM
I had Windows 3.0 running in 'real' mode on a 8Mhz clone XT with a VGA graphix card it was used as a word processor and it was fast,

I also had Windows 3.0 on my amstrad ppc640 with a external CGA monitor, I used it for some of my GCSE coursework.
For my GCSE technology project I built a windpowerd word processor I could even print and FAX.

I think that to get color from an EGA card you had to use the driver from windows 2

the xt guy
June 12th, 2006, 05:24 PM
You can run Windows 3.0 on an 8088, even the original 5150 PC! But there are some severe limitations.

Read this article I posted over on Uncreative Labs website a few months ago. It tells about running Windwows 3.0 on an 8088. (A fellow from the UK posted it on Uncreative Labs forum about 5 or 6 years ago)

Here's the link:


According to the article, Windows 3.0 looks pretty bad with CGA resolution. In my own tests, I've replaced the 8088 chip with a V20 and been able to use a VGA monitor, looks much better!

Ther is also a speedup program (fastV20) that can speed up the V20 chip slightly, also there are display speedup programs (such as zeno25) that can speedup the graphics. Even at 8 mhz, you'll want every last bit of speed you can get on an XT if you're running Windows 3.0.

the xt guy
June 12th, 2006, 06:01 PM
Another comment about running the Windows 3.0: An 8088 running at 4.77 will be very slow running 3.0. I've run Windows 3.0 on 10 and 12 mhz. V20 clones and it takes about 20 seconds to boot up Windows 3.0 from the DOS prompt, to the point where the Wondows hourglass disappears and it's ready to use.

On a 4.77 mhz. machine that time will be longer, probably 50 seconds or even a minute depending on your hard drive speed.

You can even get an 8088 on the Internet (I've done it) and it's fun to try for a lark, but not really prectical. For example, I have a DOS browser (Bobcat) on my 12 mhz. V20 clone. The computer has an old 14.4 khz. modem and I can dial up and connect, but it usually takes 1-1/2 or 2 minutes to load a page, and longer if it is a big webpage.

And Bobcat is just a text browser (no graphics at all). A browser with graphics would be even slower, and basically useless, since VGA is limited to 16 colors.

I suppose if you were using CGA, it would default to the highest resolution (640x200) that CGA allows and then you would only have "two" colors (in other words, black and white).

The 640K of memory is the biggest limitation though, since the browser will rapidly run out of memory after loading a few pages.

I suppose the amazing thing about getting an 8088 on the Internet is not that it doesn't run quickly, but the fact that it even works at all.

June 13th, 2006, 12:10 AM
Thanks guys for your Win3.0/Internet on 8088 information. Very interesting.

I remember that at work, our trials of Windows 3.0 revealed it as unacceptably unstable (Windows 3.1 fixed that), although that would have been Windows 3.0 running in Standard and Enhanced modes, not in Real mode.

the xt guy
June 13th, 2006, 04:34 AM
I would agree that Windows 3.1 is a lot more stable than 3.0. I haven't had Win 3.0 crash on an 8088, I just get 'out of memory' errors!

Word for Windows 1.1 runs slowly on an 8088, but it looks nice up there on a VGA screen. Memory use is a concern; when I run DOS 3.31, Windows 3.0 and Word for Windows 1.1a, I only have about 60-61K of free RAM left. Trying to print takes up RAM as well, so I am not sure how big a document can be created before the computer completely runs out of memory. (Win 3.0 will use expanded memory if it's installed, although that can only go so far.)

There's really no reason to use Win 3.0 anymore (except perhaps in real mode on an 8088, and even there it's limited).

June 28th, 2006, 08:56 AM
I have Windows 3.0 on a XT running at 4.77 MHz and it works great, it's a clone XT with a NEC V20 micro.

June 28th, 2006, 09:53 AM
NEC V20 is faster and you have 1 Meg of RAM...
It makes big difference.

June 28th, 2006, 11:03 AM
I'll ask a question here:
Is there any point for running Windows 1.xx or 2.xx on IBM XT with CGA card?
I think it will be ugly and uncomfortable. Microsoft programmed Windows 1.0 for 5170 & EGA mainly I think.

the xt guy
June 30th, 2006, 01:43 PM
I know Windows 3.0 in CGA will default to 640x200 resolution in two colors (black and white). You will not get color in CGA resolution, so I assume the same applies with Win 1x and 2x.

Terry Yager
June 30th, 2006, 01:56 PM
I know Windows 3.0 in CGA will default to 640x200 resolution in two colors (black and white). You will not get color in CGA resolution, so I assume the same applies with Win 1x and 2x.

Yep, I concur, except that you can force it to use 4-colors at install-time, but only in low (med?) rez (320 x ???).
Trust me, you don't wanna go there...