LFN in Windows 3.11

December 30, 2012 at 19:10:00
Specs: DOS/WIN
I read the thread "Remember This" and others similar to it, about Windows 3.x running on top of DOS 7.10 and how one can get LFN support in Windows.
But it doesn't actualy say how. I understand that DOS 7.10 itelf has LFN support but it seems that some additional modifications need to be made to Windows.
Which files need to be patched? Are they still downloadable somewhere?
I know this is old stuff but does anyone still remember?

See More: LFN in Windows 3.11

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December 31, 2012 at 10:03:17
DOSLFN is fine for being at the dos prompt. For windows try Instant File Access. Have a gander at this VOGONS thread

Calmira had a version with lfn support i think.

There was a version of program manager put out by the crew at the Dos China Union as well. It's mentioned it "Remember this".

There's still disk and cd images out their stuff if you look hard enough.

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December 31, 2012 at 10:33:51
That's what I thought about DOSLFN, you get LFN support in DOS but something extra needs to be done to get LFNs in Windows 3.1x.
In his posts, Wengier, from the DOS China Union, mentions a Windows 3.1x patched File Manager but I haven't been able to find links to it. I'm hoping someone would know about that one.
I will take a look at Instant File Access. Calmira seems great but I'm trying to stay with the original WIndows 3.1x interface.

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Related Solutions

December 31, 2012 at 10:59:08
Try searching for DOS71CD.ISO I think it is. The modified FM may be on that. There was a lot of derision from the MS camp at the time. Probably jealous they never thought of it. It comfirmed a lot of fibs.

Be aware there may be licencing issues.

Personnally I don't see a problem if you already have a copy of a win 9x and 3.x licence. And it's unsupported.

Most early MS stuff is downloadable from MSDN if you have a subscription.

Are you using hardware or using a VM of some sort?

If old hardware pop on over to http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcf...
and say hi.

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December 31, 2012 at 12:23:12
This thread looks interesting http://reboot.pro/topic/4462-bootin...

Theres's a screen shot of FM showing LFNs

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January 1, 2013 at 10:21:34
The screen shot is very useful, the links lead to broken files but I located those boot disks elsewhere. Now I need to find out what is it that makes the mini Windows 3.1x GUI support LFNs and see how to apply that to the full version!

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January 1, 2013 at 10:37:21
OK, I'll check the DOS71CD.ISO, see if there is LFN support for Windows 3.1x there. I have the original Windows 3.x and 9.x from back then but I can see why there would be license issues with modified versions of the DOS kernel.
I am doing this with hardware, no VM, trying to see if a reasonnably useful and not too old computer can still run some of the old stuff. So far the answer is yes.

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January 1, 2013 at 11:06:49
Great. I'm sure others will be interested in the results. Old software can certainly still be useful. What are the system specs if you don't mind me asking?

Here's a thread out lining the highlights of Wengiers compilation http://www.computing.net/answers/do...

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January 1, 2013 at 12:57:27
Wengiers did a lot of good things there. Some of it might be a little tricky, I am thinking especially about the LFN issue. I am finding out that not old DOS programs go along with it, even if it is enabled in DOS. Then there are some file naming conventions that have changed with various Windows versions so it's easy to end up with illegal filenames or worse if one shares files in a multiboot setup.

The hardware is a Gigabyte 8I875 motherboard (socket 478, chipset i875p) with a 3.4Ghz Pentium 4 and 2.5Gb of RAM, nVidia TNT2 Ultra AGP (has high resolution drivers for Windows 3.1x), Ensoniq ES1370 PCI (has DOS and Windows 3.1x drivers) and 3Com 3C905/TX PCI (also has DOS and Windows 3.1x drivers). The hard drives are Seagate SCSI Cheetah (very fast, even by today's standards), with Adpatec Ultra160 SCSI 19160 PCI (fully compatible with DOS 7.0 and Windows 3.1x, with no need for drivers regardless of size or number of drives as long as ones stays with FAT16).

The point is that with this hardware I can run every version of Windows from 3.1x to XP and it's still good enough to do something useful in XP so I am still with it. It can run Linux Ubuntu very nicely too. One just needs to limit how much RAM some of the older Windows can see, through system.ini settings. Everything else is pretty normal. I wouldn't mind filling the motherboard with 4Gb of RAM but I found that DOS 7.0 doesn't like it if I exceed 2.5Gb and I don't know how to hide RAM from DOS (I am not a programmer so I can't get too fancy).

The first hard drive multiboots in DOS 7.0 & WFWG 3.11, Windows 95, Windows Me or Windows XP. I keep my own files on the second drive, 300Gb with 5 FAT16 partitions of 2Gb each for DOS 7.0 compatibility and file sharing between all OSes (as long as they don't have LFNs). The rest is FAT32, invisible to DOS 7.0.

Only lately I have thought of trying Wengier's DOS 7.1, to see if I can make all 300Gb useable by Windows 3.11. It can certainly "see" all of it but the LFN issues might be too much of a headache to make it worth it. If one is not concerned with FAT32 access, then DOS 7.0 does a good job with Windows 3.1x and requires no patching.

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January 2, 2013 at 14:44:52
I guess an option is to give it a shot in a VM first. That way you wont muck up your current setup. I think FreeDos has LFN support now. The last version of REAL/32 has it as well. But both may not be 100% compatible though. With old Dos programs it's probably best using Fat16 anyway.

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January 3, 2013 at 11:16:44
I am leaning that way, trying things out in VM.
I also have problems with System Commander 9.01 hanging when installed in DOS 7.10. Since I use it as boot manager, that's not good for me.
Then there is the issue of DOS 7.10 making some changes to the MBR, it causes all primary hidden partitions, where I keep my other OSes hidden from each other, to become visible. Possibly a setting in msdos.sys is responsible.
Lots of things to check! Thanks for the responses though.

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February 1, 2015 at 19:52:22
Two years later! After messing with VM (mostly VMware), I think it sucks. They didn't try very hard with old operating systems and they don't care. Typical response: why do you want to use such an obsolete operating system? There is no support for display or sound for Windows 3.x so you're on your own looking for drivers and installing them. Sound emulation is particularly bad, they chose to emulate the Creative Ensoniq ES1371, which has no Windows 3.x drivers, when they could have used the very similar Ensoniq ES1370, which is fully compatible with Windows 3.x. So one has to use their other choice of sound card, for old operating systems: Sound Blaster 16. Only they botched that one and there is no MIDI implementation. Conclusion, stick with bare metal.

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February 15, 2015 at 14:58:28
The most stable DOS for running Win 3.x in my opinion is IBM DOS 5. Believe me, I have done a lot of testing on this. It's a very clean DOS. There are drawbacks to DOS 5 as compared to MS DOS 6.22. The main drawback are suite of tools you get in MS-DOS. As a DOS on its own, MS-DOS is superior to DOS 5 - for the tools. As for running Win 3.11, I have found IBM-DOS 5.01 compliments the shell operating system extremely well.

As for long file names, I wouldn't bother with it. I get the fact that some hobbyists love to stretch limitations of the old systems because it is fun, but you start getting compatibility problems when you start pushing the envelope this way. I'm not trying to be a killjoy, but using 8 characters for a filename is not really all that much of a hindrance for exploring the old operating systems and the cool vintage programs they support.

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