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RuudB
November 22nd, 2015, 08:30 AM
Hallo allemaal,

I'm trying to install Windows NT 3.51 on a computer. On real computers an error message appears saying that Windows cannot locate the hard disk that should have been prepared by the MS-DOS part of the installation. In virtualPC 2007 I managed to get further but every time the installation sticks at 94% / loading NTFS.SYS (IIRC). I did get the previous error message as well in the beginning but after formatting the (virtual) HDD with MS-DOS 6.22 things worked out fine. But this trick apparently doesn't work in the real world :( I even went so far by formatting the disk in NTFS by a XP system, hoping that that would do the trick, but alas, no.

Regarding that MS-DOS part of the installation: I'm not asked to fdisk and/or format (a part of) the HDD. I'm quite sure that I have copies of the original NT 3.51 installation floppies.

So my question: where do things go wrong?

Any help or info is welcome, thank you vry much!

krebizfan
November 22nd, 2015, 09:09 AM
Could you describe the physical system on to which you are installing? NT 3.51 had a lot of restrictions on installs. IIRC, the HD must be 4 GB or less and the CPU can't be a Pentium II or later.

RuudB
November 22nd, 2015, 11:01 AM
Hallo Krebizfan,

IIRC, the HD must be 4 GB or less
That is new information for me. But it does explain certain things. The real systems had 8 GB HDs, even the 486-33 one. It has an EPROM with the XTIDE Universal BIOS (https://code.google.com/p/xtideuniversalbios/) on board, enabling the board to handle big HDs (up to 8 GB). The ones on virtual PC were indeed 504 MB.


and the CPU can't be a Pentium II or later.
New info as well. But personally I have my doubts about this one. Anyway, AFAIK you cannot tell VirtualPC what CPU it must emulate.

It simply means I have to dig up an old 'small' HD somewhere. I am sure I have some in my room but WHERE? :)
What I'll will do tomorrow is to equip this 486-33 and a P3 with such a 'small' disk and give it another try. If works out fine on the 486-33 but not on the P3, the above statement has been given some proof.

krebizfan
November 22nd, 2015, 12:11 PM
Here is a link to Pentium II with NT 3.51 http://www.thecollectionbook.info/information/patch_nt3x/

It may not be hard drive size but boot partition size. http://web.allensmith.net/Storage/HDDlimit/Q119497.htm XP uses a different form of NTFS so I don't think using XP would help. You might be able to use FDISK to create a smaller partition and install NT 3.51 that way. I am not really sure. If you have Pentium II or III with 8GB hard drive, you may be better served installing NT 4 which is the setup I have running NT 4. I think NT 4 performs much better than NT 3.51 on equivalent hardware.

RuudB
November 22nd, 2015, 09:09 PM
Here is a link to Pentium II with NT 3.51 http://www.thecollectionbook.info/information/patch_nt3x/
Interesting, very interesting for various reasons. It mentions 'WINNT /B' which led me to another article from MS mentioning I don't need the floppies at all. It also mentions NT 3.1, a version I never heard of.


... you may be better served installing NT 4 ...
I have NT4 running as well. I want to install 3.51 just for the fun, just to see what it does and what is possible. And now I'm going to hunt NT 3.1 as well :)

RuudB
November 23rd, 2015, 05:08 AM
It mentions 'WINNT /B' which led me to another article from MS mentioning I don't need the floppies at all.
That was the trick I needed! First I installed NT 3.51 on a 270 MB HD on my 486-33, then on a 504 MB partition of the 8 GB HD using the Universal BIOS (with a small problem, see later). As last I installed it on a 504 MB partion of a 40 GB HD on my Pentium III - 1.8 GHz / 384 MB, without almost any problems here as well. One problem was: NT didn't recognise the video card and the onboard network card. That is a pity.

In short: what has one to do:
- create a MS-DOS6.xx floppy able to handle a CDROM
- create a 504 MB partition on your HD and format it, no system needed
- start WINNT /B in the i386 directory of the CDROM. It is possible you have try this twice!. Installing NT on the 270 MB HD went fine. When installing it on the 504 MB I thought I made a typo. But when installing it on the P3 I was sure I didn't. Yet I had to go to the i386 directory and to start WINNT /B twice.

I hope this helps other people as well!