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Thread: Installing Windows 3.1 on a P4

  1. #1
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    Default Installing Windows 3.1 on a P4

    Perhaps the answer here will be don't. But I am curious about this problem I encountered and figured may as well see if anyone has any explanation or insight to it.

    I have a Pentium 4 machine that I use as kind of a functional vintage computer. It's built to resemble my first build, had to rebuy the mobo and processor, but still has the video and sound cards from the original build. It comes in handy if I need something to create disks, or need an XP or 98 environment, since I set it up to be a 98/XP dual boot.

    To play around, I put in an IDE module, to run through the process of setting up Windows 3.1. I figure I'll probably not be able to find video and sound drivers for my hardware, so I don't expect to get to the point of a fully functional install, but I should be able to complete the process and get it running with lesser graphics and no sound. I had no problem installing DOS 6.22. I can run the setup off of the first disk no problem. But when it asks for the 2nd disk, the keyboard is no longer working at that point. It seems that the keyboard works to select easy or custom setup, and works up to the point it starts copying the files off of the first disk. I observed as soon as it reaches that point, I can no longer turn num locks off and on, the light stays lit. The computer isn't frozen, it gets to the point where it asks for disk 2, but with the keyboard not working, I can't press enter for it to go on.

    I know that Windows 3.1 probably is of the era before PS2 keyboards. But I could have sworn I once ran through the process no problem on an IBM PII desktop I used to have, which would have been using ps2 mouse and keyboard.

    Any ideas what the problem could be, or how to resolve it?

  2. #2
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    Whut? Windows 3.1 dates from 1992, long after the PS/2's introduction in 1987. Besides, The PS/2 keyboard protocol is exactly the same as the PC/AT protocol.

    Look to the peripherals and their resource allocation. Likely there's a conflict.

  3. #3
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    Are you using a USB or PS/2 keyboard? On later motherboards with USB keyboards and mice, you have to turn on USB keyboard/mouse legacy support/emulation in the BIOS for some older software to work properly.



    Different BIOS vendors call it different things.

    Legacy Keyboard Support
    Port 64/60 Emulation
    Legacy USB Support

    etc.

  4. #4
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    ...I didn't see where the OP said he was using a USB keyboard, but he did mention PS/2.

    In any case, if he could install MSDOS 6.22, legacy keyboard support had to have been working, regardless.

  5. #5
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    If all is well after DOS 6.22 has been installed, copy the contents of the Windows floppies to a directory on the C: ("WinInst" or similar), and then run Setup from there.

    I seem to remember this working for WFWG3.11, as all of the "Please insert disk x" prompts vanish, and it installs in about a minute.

    However, if there is some form of hardware issue, you may have a non-functional installation at the end.

    M.
    Portsmouth, UK

  6. #6
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    I mentioned that because legacy compatibility on modern motherboards can be very strange.

    Irregardless if you have a PS/2 or USB keyboard/mouse, they can be affected by legacy emulation options in the BIOS.

    DOS can work fine on the command line, but programs won't accept any keyboard/mouse input.

    It doesn't make any sense, but I've seen it happen thousands of times across hundreds of different hardware configurations.

  7. #7
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    I am using PS2 mouse and keyboard. I have found no options in the BIOS specifically relating to USB mouse or keyboard. The only options I can find are those to turn off USB. Since I'm not using USB in DOS or Windows 3.1, I turned them off to test if that makes a difference. It didn't. As soon as the Windows 3.1 setup process begins, keyboard functionality disappears. Mind you, the start of the setup process, it works fine. It's not until I make the choice of express or custom that it immediately stops, leaving me with no way to press enter when inserting disk 2. So odd.

    What next?

  8. #8
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    Last time I looked a P4 is not a first generation Pentium. Vogons.org would be a more fitting site for this.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    Last time I looked a P4 is not a first generation Pentium. Vogons.org would be a more fitting site for this.
    Yes, but Win 3.1 definitely fits the "vintage" category. Probably best moved to "Vintage Computer Software".

  10. #10

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    You know, I once ran across a motherboard whereas the PS/2 ports were actually an onboard USB adapter. Maybe that's what is happening here? It's rare I've run across this to be honest but maybe you have a board which doesn't truly have a PS/2 keyboard controller and instead runs it off the USB root hub instead? *shrugs*.

    I don't even want to know how MY modern AMD machine would handle Windows 3.11 with my keyboard (an XT Model F running through a USB converter). It certainly wouldn't be worth it short of using Dosbox where I can at least have S3 video drivers for high res and color modes.
    IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet

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