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pl85
September 3rd, 2006, 08:21 AM
hello! i have an 286-based computer, 896K RAM, running Windows 3.1 without any problems, even running Corel Draw, Visual Basic and Microsoft Word for Windows... But, last night, i tried to install IEXPLORE 3.0, but an error message appeared... then, i tried to install the IEXPLORE 2.0... but the same error message appeared.... my question is... What's wrong? the IEXPLORE? the Windows 3.1? there's not enough memory (even with 2.0 version)? or does it not run in 286-based machines?

Could any version of Internet browser run in my fantastic 286 :D:D ??? bye!

Mike Chambers
September 3rd, 2006, 10:33 AM
there's no reason a 286 can't run IE 3 if it has sufficient RAM. i don't think you have quite enough.

i also have a 12 MHz 286 with 1 MB of RAM and when i had windows 3.1 on it, i didn't really have problems running most things. however, whenever i tried to install mIRC v5.19, IE, or AIM it would give me an insufficient memory error.

if you really want to browse the web on a 286, download this browser called Arachne. It's designed for DOS. That what I use on my own 286.

http://browser.arachne.cz

the xt guy
September 3rd, 2006, 11:55 AM
All versions of IE require at a minimum a 386 CPU and 4 megs of RAM. All versions of Netscape require at least a 386 as well. I am not sure what the minimum RAM requirement is for old versions of Netscape, but I wouldn't even try to install it on a 386 without at least 2 megs of RAM.

If you're going to run IE3 under Win 3.1 (with a 386 or greater CPU), you will have to use the 16 bit version of IE. I am quite sure there never was a 16-bit version of IE1 or 2. Version 3 was the first 16 bit version.

In short, you won't be able to run any version of IE or Netscape on a 286 no matter how much RAM you've got.

You'll have to use a DOS based browser, such as Arachne.

dongfeng
September 3rd, 2006, 12:29 PM
I installed IE 5.5 on a 486SX20 with 8MB RAM and that was ever so painfully slow.

I think IE 5.5 is the "newest" version of IE able to run on a 16-bit OS.

Mike Chambers
September 3rd, 2006, 12:47 PM
arachne for DOS actually gets halfway decent performance on a 12 MHz 286, as long as you disable automatic image downloading. if the images on the page you're on are important, you just hit the insert button and it'll download the images.

there are many more options that you can change to get better performance besides that one, but i haven't bothered with them.

Pepinno
November 10th, 2012, 04:54 PM
Sorry to bring back this thread from forgotten times, but I wanted to share this video about a 386 running Windows 3.11 and IE 5:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SOH5wzxrYk

It's so slow, it's almost painful to watch!

Ole Juul
November 10th, 2012, 05:49 PM
Sorry to bring back this thread from forgotten times, but I wanted to share this video about a 386 running Windows 3.11 and IE 5:
Thanks for the link Pepinno.

Since this thread is back now, I have to say, that I dislike these incomplete and unresolved threads. One person says you can run IE on a 286, another says you can't. Does anybody know for sure? The OP seems to have dropped it.

I don't have a 286 to try (just a bunch of mother boards) but I can't imagine that Netscape, Cello, and the slightly johnny-come-lately Internet Explorer, couldn't run on all the common hardware of the day.

Doug G
November 10th, 2012, 06:17 PM
Back in the pre-w95 days I used NCSA Mosaic on wfw 3.1 with Trumpet Winsock providing the tcp stack. These were the programs that my first dial-up isp provided, and I ran it all on a 386 lapop with a pcmcia 19.2kbps modem card. I still remember the pain of getting everything to work correctly, and the excitement when I finally got dialed in and logged on to my shell account on their sun servers :)

I only remember hearing bad stuff about the infant IE in those days, but maybe that's because the tech guys at my isp were all unix-heads.

Ole Juul
November 10th, 2012, 06:34 PM
Back in the pre-w95 days I used NCSA Mosaic on wfw 3.1 with Trumpet Winsock providing the tcp stack. These were the programs that my first dial-up isp provided, and I ran it all on a 386 lapop with a pcmcia 19.2kbps modem card. I still remember the pain of getting everything to work correctly, and the excitement when I finally got dialed in and logged on to my shell account on their sun servers :)

I only remember hearing bad stuff about the infant IE in those days, but maybe that's because the tech guys at my isp were all unix-heads.

Very interesting history. :) But did you, or somebody you knew, do this on a 286? That is the question.

Chuck(G)
November 10th, 2012, 08:28 PM
Easy enough to answer. From NCSA Mosaic version 0.6, released in September 1993:


To run WinMosaic, you will need a system running Microsoft Windows 3.1 with a WINSOCK-compliant sockets library installed. If you do not have a Windows sockets library, take a look at our minimal implementation -- it is on NCSA's FTP server. We more or less require running Windows in Enhanced Mode, so you will need an absolute minimum of an 80386SX-based machine. Our recommended configuration is a 33-MHz or faster 386 or 486 with Local Bus SuperVGA video, with at least 8 meg of RAM.

And there you go...

Rickajho
November 10th, 2012, 08:43 PM
I did not know there was a 16 bit release of IE v5. But it's true:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer

I recall all the headaches people had getting version 4 to run on Win 3.1 - probably the reason I don't recall any talk about running a version 5 on Win 3.1. IE was a real memory hog. You didn't even think about running version 4 with less than 16MB RAM and nothing else running. You could - but it crashed more than it ran.

Could just be the OP was running it with low memory. (Also considering the 16MB memory limit on 286 boards.) Need more info. We have no idea what the installation error message was, or how much memory is in the system.

Ole Juul
November 10th, 2012, 09:40 PM
Easy enough to answer. From NCSA Mosaic version 0.6, released in September 1993:
And there you go...

Thanks Chuck, that settles that. But is the same true for Netscape, and the 16bit IE?

In looking for an answer, I notice an earlier (since left the forum) poster by the name of "the xt guy" had written the following in another thread. His answer looks pretty authoritative, but I was also interested in a second opinion, and/or actual experience.

Sorry to say, there is no version of IE that will operate on a 286. Versions 1 and 2 were 32 bit only, the first version for a 16 bit computer was IE 3x and it needs a 386 CPU minimum with 4 megs of RAM.

All versions of Netscape need a 386 as well, even back to pre 1x.

You could possibly try Arachne, I don't know for sure but I think it might be able to run in protected mode and use your extended memory to some advantage.

All the other DOS browsers that I know of will only run in 'real' mode so you'll be limited to the 640K DOS barrier with them, no matter how much extended memory your 286 has.

Last year, I had a lengthy discussion with someone on one of the newsgroups. He told me that back in the 1990's his ISP (I think it was Prodigy) provided a version of Netscape that ran on his 286. He surfed the Internet with a 286 and Netscape for a number of years. He said it was a custom version of Netscape that Prodigy had come up with to run with their service and he didn't know if it would work with a modern ISP. Unfortuantely, he didn't have the disks anymore, but I wondered if it could somehow have been hacked to user Netscape on a 286.

Part of my doubts were fuelled by the comment above by Mike Chambers where he said it should be possible to run IE, and he tends to know this generation of CPU and MS-Windows. I also remember friends who liked the 286 around the time of the first browsers, but perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking that any of them used Mosaic, Netscape, or IE.

I was using DOS, but when I got my first 386, I tried Win3.1 with Mosaic, Cello, and Netscape. When Arachne came along, I dropped those and continued entirely in DOS for some years.

Caluser2000
November 10th, 2012, 10:42 PM
Here's an list of older netscapes http://sillydog.org/narchive/full123.php.

I've just downloaded IE 3.03 from evolt.org I can try and install that on my 286 if you like in the next week or so just for the hell of it. Just as an experiment of course. It has a total of 3megs of ram though which is still probably below the minimum required anyway. If it did install and run performance wouldn't be stellar though.

There is the Skipper browser in New Deal Office aka PC Geos but I've not had much luck with that even on a 486. IIRC at one time I was using IEs dailer on a 386 or 486 using windows 3.1. I found that held a ppp connection better and seemed to connect faster than the one bundled with Netscape Gold for some reason. I don't think you can get any smaller graphical arrangement that one disk QNX though.

Ole Juul
November 10th, 2012, 11:32 PM
That certainly is a complete list. It looks like a dead site though - no links work. I happen to have Netscape 0.9 handy and the readme doesn't say anything, and I don't have a convenient way to test it.


I've just downloaded IE 3.03 from evolt.org I can try and install that on my 286 if you like in the next week or so just for the hell of it. Just as an experiment of course.

Don't try too hard on my behalf. I doubt that I'll be putting together a 286 any time soon. Though I do have a 386 and a 486 with MS-Windows that I might try with some of these early browsers sometime. My personal interest is mostly in understanding (also remembering) what people were doing in the first few years of the public internet when ISPs started coming on-line and browsers were developed. I have a pretty good timeline of computer and internet history, but exactly what ran on what seems to come to a fine point right about where we're discussing now.

Pepinno
November 11th, 2012, 04:39 AM
I think key issue is the Winsock library. To use a GUI HTML browser in Win3.1, you need to use a third party Winsock library, as (I think) Microsoft did not provide one at 'the beginning'. It was common to use the Trumpet Winsock library back then. It may well be that the Trumpet Winsock library demands a 386 or higher CPU, therefore you need a 386 CPU to run Internet Explorer and/or Netscape Navigator with Win3.1.

I remember using a Texas Instruments Travel Mate 3000 laptop with a 386SX CPU @ 25 MHz and 2 MB of RAM, with Windows 3.1 and the Trumpet Winsock DLL, together Forte Agent for USENET, Pegasus Mail, WS_FTP, etc. I don't remember what browsers did I try. It was extremely slow because of the RAM starvation, but it was doable as a 'proof of concept'.

The video I posted has a 386 with 8 MB of RAM doing Microsoft Internet Explorer, and you can see it is 'doable', but not quite 'usable'. So people certainly did not browse the web with a GUI browser for Windows 3.1 on a 286 CPU, even if it was technically 'doable'.

angel_grig
November 11th, 2012, 05:25 AM
There is the Skipper browser in New Deal Office aka PC Geos but I've not had much luck with that even on a 486. IIRC at one time I was using IEs dailer on a 386 or 486 using windows 3.1. I found that held a ppp connection better and seemed to connect faster than the one bundled with Netscape Gold for some reason. I don't think you can get any smaller graphical arrangement that one disk QNX though.

Webmagick in Breadbox Ensemble is more stable and more usefull than Skipper.After trying a lot of browsers years ago on my 386 I think that the fastest browsers for a 386DX are Webmagick and Arachne.IE for win 3.1 has a good dialer but it is too slow...

Caluser2000
November 11th, 2012, 09:32 AM
It's interesting there is an updated version of Arachne for 8086 and 286s http://www.glennmcc.org/arachne/

Caluser2000
November 11th, 2012, 08:41 PM
From IE3.03s readme:

-------------------
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
-------------------

This version is intended for users of Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
3.1/3.11 and Windows for Workgroups 3.1/3.11.

Because this version is a 16-bit program, you do not need
to have Win32s(R) installed on your computer.

If you are using Microsoft Windows NT(R) 3.51, install
the mini (browser only) or browser/mail version.

This release includes Microsoft Windows 3.1 Virtual Machine (VM) for
Java(TM). It supports the same feature set available in Sun JDK 1.02.


- To run the browser only:
- 4 MB, 386 processor required; 8 MB, 386 recommended

- To run the browser and Java VM:
- 8 MB, 486 required; 12 MB, 486 recommended

- Microsoft Windows 3.1 or 3.11 or
Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1 or 3.11
- A VGA monitor or better
- A mouse
- A 9600 BPS modem or a LAN connection

Note
If you are running NT 3.51, the service pack 4 is needed.
Otherwise, you will see instability in the VM.

Ole Juul
November 11th, 2012, 09:19 PM
It looks like you answered the main part of the original post!


hello! i have an 286-based computer, 896K RAM, running Windows 3.1 without any problems, even running Corel Draw, Visual Basic and Microsoft Word for Windows... But, last night, i tried to install IEXPLORE 3.0, but an error message appeared... then, i tried to install the IEXPLORE 2.0... but the same error message appeared.... my question is... What's wrong? the IEXPLORE? the Windows 3.1? there's not enough memory (even with 2.0 version)? or does it not run in 286-based machines?

Could any version of Internet browser run in my fantastic 286 :D:D ??? bye!

We can assume that the answer to the last part is Arachne, with the possibility of some non graphical, or partial (get, read) solution.

I wonder where the OP with his "fantastic 286" is now. :)

Caluser2000
November 11th, 2012, 09:29 PM
The REAL answer is 42 of course.

Caluser2000
November 12th, 2012, 08:53 PM
Gave it a shot on the 286 just for the hell of it. Running setup.exe gets through the license agreement then bombs with an Application Error.