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"Windows 3.0 for Inboard 386/PC"

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    "Windows 3.0 for Inboard 386/PC"

    Hello, I`m searching an spezial Intel made edition of Windows 3.0 named - Windows 3.0 for Intel Inboard 386/PC - .Intel made it to allow Windows to boot in 386 enhanced mode, the normal version only allow real and standart modes. It seems to be only avaiable in the USA and Canada until 1992 direct
    from Intel. I`m a German (obviously one reason of my bad english) and have no idea how I can get one. The differences to the normal version of Windows 3.0 are the following files that you can`t find in the normal version:
    I would be very glad ifsomeone have an idea.

    I will give You an excerpt of one of my old Testfiles from Intel, then you exactly know what I mean:

    Windows 3.0 for the Intel Inboard/PC

    Releasing special versions of Windows is something extra Intel has done
    for its customers.


    When Microsoft shipped the original Windows 3.0, it could only be run
    in the REAL (and rarely the STANDARD) mode on systems with an InBoard
    386/PC. Intel responded to customer requests and hired a programmer to
    port Windows 3.0 into Windows 3.0 for the InBoard 386/PC.

    Windows 3.0 for the InBoard 386/PC will run in ENHANCED, STANDARD, or
    REAL modes right out of the box. This gives the customer the perfect
    environment for running Windows 3.0 compatible software.

    Windows 3.0 for the InBoard 386/PC has under gone extensive testing on
    IBM PCs and XTs, Compaq Portables and Portable Plus, Tandy 1200HDs, and
    Leading Edge Model Ds. Final testing showed any problems existing with
    Windows 3.0 for the InBoard 386/PC also exist with Windows 3.0 running
    on a true 386 machine.

    Technical support for this will be provided by Microsoft, Ph: (206)


      I have never heard of that and cannot find anything via yahoo or google. But if you need just a basic version of 3.0, you can find it here. It will run fine on a 386 or 286 even.
      My Collection.

      IBM 5150, TI-PPC, Apple IIe, Compaq Portable I Plus, Compaq Portable II, Compaq Portable III, Osborne Executive, IBM Model 25, Tandy 1400LT, Powerbook 140, IBM 5140, KayPro IV, Commodore VIC-20, Zenith Z-Station GT, DGI 86BN3, Commodore CBM 8032, Commodore SX-64, Zenith Super Sport 184, Macintosh 5300\100LC, Commodore 64, Wang Terminal.
      My Computer Museum


        If you just run Win3.1, it should work in enhanced mode without problems.

        Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.

        Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.


          Terry Yager wrote:

          > If you just run Win3.1, it should work in enhanced
          > mode without problems.

          Perhaps it's vital for them to get this particular copy of
          Windows 3.0 though.

          Certainally sounds interesting if such a thing occured with
          Win3.0 - the best I could suggest is to perhaps try & hunt it
          down. If the program is quite rare, then perhaps somewhere out
          there somebody might have it on the 'net.

          CP/M User.
          Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3


            Win 3.0 defaults to opening in Real Mode on any hardware, but 3.1 defaults to opening in Enhanced mode, provided there is some Extended memory available (I forget, but I think 1Mb is minimum).

            Last edited by Terry Yager; May 11, 2006, 01:43 PM.
            Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.

            Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.


              Picture of Inboard 386/PC: inboard 386 pc.jpg
              I have a german and a englisch version of normal Windows 3.0 and a version of Windows 3.0 mme. But there all don`t run in enhanced mode. In fact there are this different versions.
              Windows 3.0
              Windows 3.00a
              Windows 3.00a mme with Multimedia EXtensions 1.0, and
              Windows 3.0(0a) for Intel Inboard 386/PC
              You can take a look on to see the different versions.
              Windows 3.1 shoudn`t work too,like it says in this excerpt:

              WINDOWS 3.1 FOR THE INBOARD 386/PC

              Even though the Inboard has been discontinued, Intel will continue to
              provide technical support to Inboard 386/PC owners and will honor the
              five year warranty. However, we will not be releasing a version of
              Windows 3.1 for the Inboard 386/PC.

              Releasing special versions of Windows is something extra Intel has done
              for its customers. The decision to stop was not made lightly, and we
              have reconsidered it several times. Each time we did so, we came to
              the same conclusion: It would be best not to release a special version
              of Windows 3.1 for the Inboard 386/PC. There are several reasons for
              this decision:

              * The Inboard 386/PC has been on the market for many years. It was
              designed to give 8-bit machines (such as the IBM PC/XT) the
              benefits of a 386 CPU. For a long time, 386 specific software ran
              wonderfully on Inboard 386/PC equipped systems. While Windows 3.0
              and 3.1 make use of 386 CPUs, they also rely on advanced hardware
              that the Inboard 386/PC cannot provide to the XT motherboard: two
              programmable interrupt controllers, a 16-bit DMA controller, CMOS
              memory, and a 16-bit bus.

              * Intel invested a lot of money, time, and effort to modify the
              Windows 3.0 Virtual Device Drivers (VDDs) to support the 8-bit
              architecture of an IBM XT. Windows 3.1 would require this
              investment be made again. It's possible that we would have to
              modify every subsequent release of Windows, and there is no
              guarantee that Windows' use of advanced hardware can continue to be
              supported on Inboard 386/PC equipped systems by modifying the
              Virtual Device Drivers.

              * Other software packages have modified VDDs too. Any software
              package that substituted its own modified VDD for one of Intel's
              modified VDDs would be incompatible with the Inboard 386/PC release
              of Windows 3.x.

              * Microsoft has stated publicly that they are moving away from
              supporting 8-bit system architecture in their software products
              (eg. Windows 3.1 has dropped the REAL MODE function that Windows
              3.0 had). Microsoft could have designed their software to allow
              for 386 based machines with an 8-bit system architecture. They
              chose not to. Their position is understandable: they want to take
              advantage of the performance benefits offered by advanced hardware.
              There is a trade-off, however. With this software design trend,
              older system architectures become obsolete.

              With the decrease in prices for i386cpu motherboards, and the increase
              in software which use the advanced hardware on i386 CPU based systems,
              the Inboard 386/PC is no longer a viable solution. The Inboard 386/PC
              was marketed as a way to extend the life of a PC or XT system. It did
              that very well for many years. But, there are limits to what it can
              do, and Windows makes it clear that those limits have been reached.


                I have Inboard installed on one of my IBM PCs and the the set-up disks. I wasn't aware of the problems with Windows. The setup disks, which I downloaded from Intel quite a while ago have none of the files you list.
                I just unburied the PC with Inboard and it doesn't have any of them either. What is it installed on ? I seem to remember there was also an Inboard setup for 286's.

                I see you also have the memory piggyback and the math coprocessor. How much total memory do you have ?

                There were several others on the Inet who had an Inboard. It's been a while but I'll see if I can find them.

                Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.


                  Yes, the setup disk for the inboard don`t replay to Windows in any way. They are propably containing these files:

                  o INBRDPC.SYS provides features to let you get the
                  most from the Inboard 386/PC, such as extended
                  memory, changing speed with control keys, and
                  faster system and screen performance.

                  o ISTATPC.EXE displays the status of the
                  INBRDPC.SYS settings.

                  o ICACHE.COM stores data from the computer's hard
                  disk in Inboard 386/PC memory so disk reads are

                  o ILIM386.SYS turns extended memory into expanded

                  o ILIM386.COM displays the status of all the
                  memory in the computer, including on Inboard

                  o ISPEEDPC.EXE changes speed from the DOS prompt
                  or from a batch file.

                  o CHKCOP.EXE verifies that the optional 80387 math
                  coprocessor is installed correctly.

                  Windows 3.0 wasn`t released when the Inboard came out, and the older versions don`t having those problems, because they almost can`t handle the enhanced mode.

                  I can mail you the setup disks if you like, I have a 2MB PiggyPack.


                    For 286 machines there are two different products with a 16-Bit ISA slot, called Intel Inboard 386/AT or just Intel Inboard 386 and Intel Inboard 486/AT. Instead of the Intel Inboard/PC, Windows 3.0 and 3.1 have no problems with them. This site from Microsoft refers to it:


                      Thanks, but I have the set-up files. It's installed on a PC. I have a Plus hard card on it as well. With inspiration from your pics, I installed an 80387 on the Inboard card. Chkcop recognizes it. I don't know if it will make any apreciable difference tho.

                      Unfortunately I don't have the ultra-rare memory daughter card. Since mine is on a PC not an XT, I don't know what performance I might be losing. What graphics card are you using with it ? I have one 8-bit Trident VGA card that might work with it. I haven't tried it yet with a VGA monitor. It just displayed some random color pixels using my old NEC multisync. Works fine using a CGAcard. The Trident has both TTL and VGA ports and has a bank of configuration switches(. I didn't play with the present settings because I wanted to try it with a VGA monitor first.

                      Are you aware of any other good sites for the Inboard ?
                      Do you have any documents for the daughter card ? One
                      very experienced and competent collector who has an Inboard expressed an interest some years ago in possibly making a card or interface if she could get enough information about the daughter-card. I'll try and contact her and see if she's still interested.

                      Thanks, Lawrence
                      Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.


                        I used an 16-Bit ISA card from 1991 with 512 KB, probably Colorimage, I don`t know exactly, but I have tested several 16-Bit VGA cards, they all functions well. I`ll try my ATI Mach32 next days just for fun, which is a very enhanced ISA video card you know.
                        I don`t find any really good sites for the inboard, but I will perhaps post here an collection of what I have found.
                        I`ll also search my dokumentation for Informations of the daughter card. I`ll make an pdf-file of it and send you, if you like. But it can take some time.
                        Until then you can watch the inboard in this video
                        Fine, but not as informative as it could be.


                          That would be great. Yes to all. I tried to check out the video but apparently my main computer which has a 233 mmx and 64megs of ram wasn't up to the task. Guess my trailing edge computer is trailing too far behind what too many sites require. I do have DSL tho and one would figure that would make up the difference. Guess I have to "grudgeingly" get a box with a faster CPU. :^(

                          I recall noting that many 16-bit ISA cards would work on 8-bit machines. I know I have an ATI Mach 64 MCA and an EISA Mach 64, as well as a number of other good ones, a Tseng, Paradise, and a millenium, possibly even an ISA Mach 32. Would the 386 have dominance over all PC/XT CPU functions with the Inboard ? I imagine it does take over the graphic functions.

                          Is there likely to be a slowdown with the PC Inboard rather than an XT mother-board ? There were really not many differences from what I've heard other than the obvious ones such as the async card position, the tape port, and the 5 ISA slots ?

                          Thank you, Lawrence
                          Last edited by Micom 2000; May 26, 2006, 01:00 PM.
                          Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.


                            Hm, on a 233 MHz with 64 MB the video should work, I have the same configuration at one of my computers. What software do you use? and what Mainboard is in, if it`s a socket 4 Mainboard you can get Problems by Upgrading it above 233 MHz. Only overclocking or a spezial PCI-Board like the Inboard .

                            I searched my dokuments and this it was I can find about the memory daughter board:

                            Inboard 386/PC Technical Information

                            POWER CONSUMPTION

                            The Inboard 386/PC and its options use the following amounts of power:
                             Inboard 386/PC: 4.2 amps at +5 volts
                             Piggyback Option: .5 amps at +5 volts
                             80387: .1 amp at +5 Volts

                            Inboard 386/PC Memory Chip Compatibility List


                            Intel has verified that the following chips work correctly in the Inboard 386/PC 2M-byte Piggyback Option. Other chips may work, but Intel hasn't verified them.

                            Manufacturer Part Number
                            Fujitsu MB81256-12
                            Hitachi HM50256-12
                            Intel 51C256-12
                            iP21256-15 or 12
                            Micron Technologies MT1259-12
                            Mitsubishi M5M4256-12
                            Motorola MCM6256AP-12
                            OKI M41256A-12
                            Samsung KM41256-12
                            Texas Instruments TMS4256-12
                            Toshiba TMM41256P-12

                            KNOWN INCOMPATIBLE CHIPS

                            Any chip that is not a 256Kx1, 120ns or faster is incompatible. Intel has not identified a manufacturer of chips which are incompatible with the InBoard 386/PC 2M-byte option.

                            MEMORY BOARDS

                            The InBoard(TM) 386/PC replaced the Conventional memory of the machine and it is impossible to provide Extended Memory across an 8-bit bus. This means any memory card currently in the system can't be used to provide any memory. The only way to get more Extended memory in the system is to add an InBoard(TM) 386/PC piggy back card, which attaches directly to the InBoard with a 32-bit data path.
                            Any memory board added into an 8088-based computer's add-in slot can only provide Expanded memory because of the PC's 8 bit bus.

                            Inboard 386/PC piggyback options can provide extended memory since they don't access the memory across an 8bit bus, but are directly attached to the Inboard 386/PC utilizing a 32bit bus.
                            The InBoard 386/PC can work faster and do more if a piggyback memory card is attached to it (a 4M-byte piggy can be ordered directly from Intel by following the instructions in FaxBACK document 9012). The piggy will increase the amount of Extended memory and allow the use of 80386 control programs like QEMM386 (from Quarterdeck) and 386ToTheMAX (from Qualitas).
                            Only one expanded memory manager can be active in a computer at a time. Because the Inboard 386/PC supplies all of its own conventional memory, you must disable any conventional memory another Board supplies.

                            Any memory board in a system with an InBoard 386 should be set for Extended memory. Any memory installed on the InBoard 386 must be addressed first and will begin supplying Extended memory at either the 1Meg or 1.5Meg starting address. Setting memory boards to provide Extended memory and then using an 80386 specific memory manager (like Quarterdeck's QEMM386, Qualitas' 386ToTheMAX, or Intel's ILIM386 which came with the InBoard 386) will maximize the properties of the 80386 CPU provided by the InBoard 386.
                            If the InBoard 386 has memory installed, that memory can be used to provide fast, 32 bit Conventional memory from 256K to 640K. This will result in a speed increase of about 33% over providing all Conventional memory on the motherboard or on a standard memory card.

                            ILIM386.SYS turns extended memory into expanded memory. If you already have an expanded memory board (such as an Intel Above Board) in the computer, you can either continue to use the expanded memory board or turn extended memory on the Inboard 386/PC into expanded memory. You can't do both. Intel recommends you continue to use the expanded memory board.

                            You can find this Information in the dokumentation too.
                            I have uploaded the PDF-file here inboard 386 pc.pdf&dl=1

                            I also give you two Images of the Memory board:

                            But, another question, the ribbon cable to the 40-pin 8088 socket, is it technically the same as an IDE cable, it also has 40-Pins.



                              No, the 386 don`t have dominance over all the funktions of the computer. That`s good, otherwise it would be no real Upgrade but something like the PL-AT-Renaissance card, you know. The 16-Bit ISA video cards worked without the inboard installed two, I use a NEC V20 then.

                              There are no significant differences between a PC and an XT Motherboard that are relevant four Inboard use and at all, because their funktions must be equal, an 8-MHz Turbo XT have to be downgraded to 4,77 MHz by jumper and to not more than 256 KB RAM on the Board to communicate with Inboard for example. There is a Hardware Compatibility List in the file I`ve uploaded.