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Terry Yager
June 8th, 2004, 07:37 AM
Can Win 3.1 be run on a 16/32 MHz '386 with only 1Mb of RAM (640 base & 384 Expanded, not Extended)? Would it only be in Real Mode? (I forget just what the memory requirements were).

--T

vic user
June 8th, 2004, 08:12 AM
The lowest I have seen win 3.1 run, was with 2 megs.

Here are the 'official' requirements:

Windows 3.1
REQUIREMENTS
Released 1992
Computer: 100% IBM Compatible
Processor: 80386 or higher processor
Memory: 2MB + RAM
Drives: 8MB Hard disk drive space
3.5" / 5.25"Floppy
Sound:
Video: VGA
Controls: keyboard / Mouse
Operating System: DOS 3.1 and Higher
Other:


good luck!

chris

Super-Slasher
June 8th, 2004, 02:49 PM
I always thought Win3.1 required a minimum of 1MB RAM, myself... learn something new every day. :)

Unknown_K
June 8th, 2004, 08:25 PM
3.0 might have run in 1mb since that version was for the 286 and they usually had 1mb ram.

CP/M User
June 9th, 2004, 01:15 AM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Can Win 3.1 be run on a 16/32 MHz '386 with only 1Mb
> of RAM (640 base & 384 Expanded, not Extended)?
> Would it only be in Real Mode? (I forget just what the
> memory requirements were).

Sure why not? The faster would be better. But does it
really need to be Win 3.1?

GEM would work better on either system (particularly
the slower one). Or XMGEM which GEM Multitasking,
heaps of applications available & the potential to write
more (with TP 5.5 & a special unit made for writiing
GEM applications! ;-)

Being a CP/M User, I favor Digital Research Stuff over
Microsoft! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.

CP/M User
June 9th, 2004, 01:20 AM
"Unknown_K" wrote:

> 3.0 might have run in 1mb since that version was for
> the 286 and they usually had 1mb ram.

Some say (not me), that Win 3.1 runs better oin a 286,
than what a Win 3.0 did! ;-) Might have to track them
down & see what they say, cause I used to argue how
Win 3.0 ran like crap on a 286, so I just assumed that
Win 3.1 ran worse (if at all) on a 286, but they said
different.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

Super-Slasher
June 9th, 2004, 08:51 AM
I tried to install Windows 3.1 on my PC AT at one time, but once inside the shell all I got were memory access errors popping up, despite having 2 1/2MB of RAM.

If you think about it, too, Win3.1 will never operate (atleast correctly) on a 286 because the 286 processor is not multitasking; can only handle one process at a time. The 386 was the first multitasking processor, and Windows 3.1 was the first multitasking-capable OS/shell that Microsoft ever made.

vic user
June 9th, 2004, 09:59 AM
here are a couple of links i found on multitasking:

http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict?Form=Dict2&Database=*&Query=multitasking

http://www.linuxguruz.com/foldoc/foldoc.php?multitasking

chris

the xt guy
June 14th, 2004, 03:34 AM
Windows 3.11 and Windows for Workgroups both require a 386 to run, "plain" Windows 3.1 does not require a 386. Perhaps the above listed minimum requirements are for wfwg or 3.11.

The minimum requirements to install Win 3.1 are:

286 PC (386 for enhanced mode)
MS-DOS 5.0 or better
5 MB of disk space (2 MB to upgrade from a previous version of Windows)
1 MB Memory (1024 Extended for Enhanced Mode)
EGA
Serial or Bus Mouse

How well Windows 3.1 will run on a 286 is debatable. I've heard both sides and can only conclude that much depends on what kind of apps you're going to run and how much memory they want. If you're going to try to run it on a 286 you definitely want more than 1 meg of RAM.

Terry, your 386 should have extended memory, not expanded. Extended memory is normally all the memory above 640K on a 286 or above. There would be no reason to have expanded memory on a 386 as I'm told that a 386 will use device drivers to convert its onboard extended memory to expanded, if an app needs expanded memory.

The only way your 386 would have expanded memory is if you loaded a special device driver in Config.sys to convert the extended memory into expanded.

Windows 3.1 does not have a 'real' mode, only standard and enhanced mode.

I know that Windows 3.0, if run with less than 2 meg. of RAM on a 386, will try to start up in standard mode. It can be forced to start up in enhanced mode with the proper command line switch, but I hate to think of how 'fast' it would run. I don't know if Win 3.1 will do the same.

Terry Yager
June 14th, 2004, 06:55 AM
Yes, those specs sound a lot more like what I remember. The machine in question is a Zenith SuperSport SX, and well, let's just say, Zeniths are kinda wierd. It won't let you setup the extra RAM as extended memory, only as expanded (244Kb). It won't use extended memory unless there is at least 2Mb installed in the machine. I have installed Win 3.1 on '286 machines with 1Mb extended memory before, but to run in enhanced mode it requires 2Mb, IIRC. I guess the best thing for me to do is go to my storage and dig out some of my old Windows For Dummies books, and start learning Win 3.1 all over again. (I never really used it that much in the first place, I ran DOS up until I started on Win 95).

--T

Super-Slasher
June 14th, 2004, 09:20 AM
I decided to yank out the trusty Microsoft Windows Operating System User's Guide to get the full scoop on the hardware/system requirements for Windows 3.1, and they are as follows, taken directly from page xvi:



Windows requires:

Microsoft MS-DOS version 3.1 or later. (To check your version, type ver at the command prompt.) For 386 enhanced mode, a personal computer with a 386 processor (or higher) and 640 kilobytes (K) of conventional memory plus 1024K of extended memory, 8 megabytes (MB) of free disk space (10MB is recommended), and atleast one floppy disk drive.

For standard mode, a personal computer with a 286 processor (or higher) and 640K of conventional memoru plus 256K of extended memory, 6MB of free disk space (9MB is recommended), and atleast one floppy disk drive.

There is also this note which follows.


Note To get the best performance from Windows, you should configure memory above 640K as extended memory.
Now if you add up the RAM figures it gives directly from the book, it appears that you can operate Windows 3.1 with even less RAM than previously stated!

For enhanced mode, the total comes to only 1664K, while for standard mode, it's even less than 1MB; only 896K.

So I was mistaken that Win3.1 wouldn't operate correctly on a 286 system, however it does seem that it would not run to it's full potential as an operating system unless it were installed on a 386 or better.

So, therefore, Terry, taking information found in the 3.1 manual, if you were to install Windows 3.1 on your 386 system with less than 1664K of RAM, it would only run in standard mode, and not enhanced mode.

Terry Yager
June 14th, 2004, 10:07 AM
Yah, dot's what I thought, too. So there is some slim chance to run Windows (sort of). I guess the best thing to do is go dig out my Win 3.1 disks and try it out. Of course, it won't break my heart if it ends up being a strictly DOS machine, either. I can live with that.

--T

carlsson
June 14th, 2004, 10:56 AM
Hm. I just remembered that I own complete (?) 3.5" sets of MS-DOS 4.01, MS-DOS 5 upgrade and Windows 3.0. All original disks, but without boxes, documentation or any license keys if required. Unfortunately I don't own any suitable hardware.

Terry Yager
June 14th, 2004, 11:23 AM
MS-DOS v. 4.01 is exactly what came installed on the hard drive, but it's a special Zenith OEM version, with some extra utilities for the proprietary hardware in it (modem, etc.).

--T

carlsson
June 14th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Is MS-DOS 4 just as clumsy and ineffective as everyone said back in the day? I never had a reason to try it, although I've used both 3.3 and 5.

Terry Yager
June 14th, 2004, 01:30 PM
The MS version doesn't seem so bad. It's the IBM PC-DOS version that has the bad reputation, IIRC. IBM wrote it entirely on thier own, after the falling-out with MicroSoft, who also published thier own version. I'm not running DOSShell, which I think was one of the biggest offenders in DOS 4.

--T

vic user
June 14th, 2004, 03:19 PM
hehe, DOS 4

i can't remember where i read it, but it seemed like every even version (2, 4, 6) were buggy DOS versions, and it was advisable to always stick with the odd versions, like 5.0

mind you 6.2 is good

chris

carlsson
June 15th, 2004, 07:10 AM
I've only heard bad words about DOS 4, but I strongly believe it was MS-DOS, not IBM's PC-DOS. Probably I'll never find a reason to try it.

Super-Slasher
June 15th, 2004, 07:40 AM
Now this has repeaked my interests... I've dusted off my PC AT and fired it up, installing Windows 3.1 on it again. It has 2688KB of RAM, but because of its processor it won't run in anything except standard mode. And crumby black & white monochrome mode as well, though I don't understand why. EGA supports color!

Terry Yager
June 15th, 2004, 10:19 AM
Mebbe your video card doesn't have enough RAM to do color? Is it the 64K EGA card? Do you have all the switches/jumpers set correctly for color?

--T

Super-Slasher
June 15th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Well, I installed Windows 3.1 and it seems to be working perfectly fine, albeit in crumby B&W monochrome. My 30MB hard disk drive is 2/3 full with it, installed, hehe (with DOS and other small apps, ofcourse).

Now that I have Win3.1 working on my PC AT, I was wondering about possibly getting it on the Internet, as fantastic as it seems.

While scouring the Internet for suitable versions of Internet Explorer to use, I discovered that there was a version of IE5 made for Win3.1, as incredible as it sounds, however the system requirements for that program far outweight what my old IBM can deliver. I realize I will need an earlier version, yet I also want a new enough version as to not leave me reading only text, if possible, hehe.

I think my only real hinderance aside from actual processing power is memory. I feel I would need atleast 8MB of RAM (or even more, if possible) to operate IE2, 3 or 4, despite the other hardware requirements that is recommended for the programs.

My other side question then, is if you have lots of extended memory in your 286 system, how do you add it in? What sort of cards do you use? I still feel a bit frustrated not understanding why I can't seem to add more RAM into that system.

the xt guy
June 15th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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.

Terry Yager
June 15th, 2004, 09:56 PM
Of course, ya don't really need all those pretty graphics. I used nothing but lynx the first 7 years I was on the net. (I was a DOS die-hard anyways).

--T

ScrappyLaptop
May 31st, 2007, 02:20 PM
Just a little side note about the graphics requirements for Windows. It was possible to run Win3.0, 3.1 and WFW 3.11 on a Hercules-style monochrome graphics card using a driver downloaded from Microsoft. If I recall my first 3.11 box correctly, it also used another odd driver downloaded from MS to push multimedia sound throught the PC Speaker until I saved up for a fancy 8-bit sound card.

<updated 2007-08-08> I was looking through an old copy of B.Livingston's 'Windows 3.0 Secrets' and found a brief mention of running Windows 3.0 on a Hercules Monochrome system -the drivers were included in the base system. The trick with 3.1 and 3.11 was to grab that same driver file (mono.sys?) and use it since at some point it was no longer included. The monochrome driver for 3.0 was available on microsoft.com for some time. Question: I seem to recall that you could do something similar with Win95'a'...anyone recall details?

<updated 2007-11-28>Link to the MSKB for the Windows 'speak.exe' driver (plays .wav's through the PC Speaker): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q138857/ . Works on Windows 95 through WinMe. Haven't found a mention of Win3.x using it and I can't get to my older systems right now...

Mike Chambers
June 8th, 2007, 02:32 PM
i've gotten windows 3.0 to run on an 8088 with 640 KB of RAM without a problem other than being extremely slow. plus you couldnt really do much. you could load up paint and notepad and thats about it before running out of memory.

CP/M User
June 8th, 2007, 06:56 PM
Mike Chambers wrote:

i've gotten windows 3.0 to run on an 8088 with 640 KB of RAM without a problem other than being extremely slow. plus you couldnt really do much. you could load up paint and notepad and thats about it before running out of memory.

Yeah many years ago a friend told me I could use Windows 3.0 on my XT - I declined because I felt I somewhat knew it was gonna be extremely limited. Back then too it was when I first learned about GEM - unfortunately there was no Internet and I looked carefully though my DR DOS disks to see if it came with those - unfortunately to no avail. If I had DR DOS 6 things might have been different!

Mike Chambers
June 8th, 2007, 09:42 PM
Mike Chambers wrote:

i've gotten windows 3.0 to run on an 8088 with 640 KB of RAM without a problem other than being extremely slow. plus you couldnt really do much. you could load up paint and notepad and thats about it before running out of memory.

Yeah many years ago a friend told me I could use Windows 3.0 on my XT - I declined because I felt I somewhat knew it was gonna be extremely limited. Back then too it was when I first learned about GEM - unfortunately there was no Internet and I looked carefully though my DR DOS disks to see if it came with those - unfortunately to no avail. If I had DR DOS 6 things might have been different!

yeah, it's hard to get any real use out of an XT without just using DOS software. the only thing i really use mine for lately is to run an IRC quote bot program that i wrote for it. it's for a channel i frequent.

CP/M User
June 8th, 2007, 11:24 PM
Mike Chambers wrote:

yeah, it's hard to get any real use out of an XT without just using DOS software. the only thing i really use mine for lately is to run an IRC quote bot program that i wrote for it. it's for a channel i frequent.

Probably be somewhat interesting generating some new programs for the XT. I've had some fun finding some efficent ways of speeding programs up in Turbo Pascal 3 for CP/M-86.

GEM is also another interesting environment which was designed on an XT - again a range of programs are available and programming libraries to create new GEM programs - TP being another element for that.

CP/M User.

Micom 2000
June 9th, 2007, 01:56 AM
I have a Grid 1520 286 on which is installed 8mb of Ram. It converts the memory to extended and Win 3.1 works fine on it. I also have a NEC LT with 2mbs Ram which has no problem using MSWorks under Win3.1. IIRC the limitation with 16-bit machines was the epanded/extended problem.

DeskView was multitasking and with Quarterdeck and Framework could do many things Windows wasn't capable of. GEM was also really only a graphical interface and tho I loved it running on top Of TOS in the STs it was inferior in the version originally put out by DRI running on top of DOS, altho to raise the wrath of Commodore users not as lame as GEOS on the C-64.

Lawrence

CP/M User
June 9th, 2007, 03:38 PM
Micom 2000 wrote:

DeskView was multitasking and with Quarterdeck and Framework could do many things Windows wasn't capable of. GEM was also really only a graphical interface and tho I loved it running on top Of TOS in the STs it was inferior in the version originally put out by DRI running on top of DOS, altho to raise the wrath of Commodore users not as lame as GEOS on the C-64.

Yeah later versions of GEM were somewhat limited due to the Apple lawsuit. Think it was a copy of GEM 1.2 which I picked up at GEM World (when it was going) which was more interesting to use and supported later GEM Applications (GEM/3 for instance).

There's still lots of GEM sites out there, I'm hoping somebody will still have GEM 1.2.

CP/M User.

Starshadow
June 11th, 2007, 06:43 PM
I remember adding Windows 3.1 to my dads old 286 when its original harddrive kicked the bucket ( it originally had Win 3.0) and it ran fine with 1mb ram, even with an old Oak VGA card.