Boot Windows 3.1 in DOS

October 16, 2011 at 14:11:22
Specs: MS DOS
I have a Toshiba Satilite 2805-S201 labtop (heres a picture of a similar one

Its designed for Windows Millenium, although since its a horrible operating system, I formatted the hard drive and installed windows XP Home Edition
It was too slow because of hardware issues, so ive decided to run windows 3.1 on it.
I know I need to boot it in DOS, so I made a boot disk, which works. I then created a boot disk for windows 3.1 using an istallation ISO I had found. Its a good ISO, although I cant get DOS to recognize it. So I switched to USB.
I know I need a driver (usbaspi.sys) although, I have no clue how to install it or use it. The labtop only recognizes floppy disks, and since the only computer I have that can read them is the Toshiba, and it has been formatted, Im screwed.
Im good with new computers, although as you can tell Im only a beginner with old ones like DOS.
Hence the reason why Im asking here.
Any help would be greatly appriciated.

See More: Boot Windows 3.1 in DOS

Report •

October 16, 2011 at 18:08:41
First you install dos, then you install 3.1. You need more than a windows 3.1 bootdisk (whatever that is); you need the full version installation disks. Both of those come on floppy disks. You don't need to mess with CDs or USB drives.

Oh, and assuming it's got a cdrom, why don't you install 98 on it instead of the relatively useless windows 3.1?

Report •

October 16, 2011 at 18:22:13
Be aware that to install Windows 3.1 you need MS-DOS version 6.22 or older. MS-DOS 7 (Windows 95, 98) or 8 (Windows ME) will not work.

Report •

October 17, 2011 at 09:02:07
Hi Phantasm,

you advise the laptop is designed for WIndows Millenium.

In which case, why not install W2000, rather than going all the way back to W3.1

If there are problems with that, then work back:- W98 then W95.

Bear in mind it is becoming increasingly difficult to find support when there are problems with W2000 and before.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

Report •

Related Solutions

October 17, 2011 at 11:52:54
A few years ago I had managed to get my hands on a copy of windows 98, although for some odd reason the computer had crashed, and when ever I or someone else trys to install it it fails for various reasons. The reason why I want to use windows 3.1 is for both the experience and since the computer is very slow even when it was running windows 98. As for installing windows 95 I have only a boot disk and its not loading at startup because of a driver incompatibility most likely. Whenever I try to install I get an error message saying: Invalid Hardware reading drive D
Drive D is the drive with the installation software.

Report •

October 17, 2011 at 11:54:10
Aslo I dont want to install windows 2000 because the computer is too slow (doesnt have enough ram) for windows 2000 to work well.

Report •

October 17, 2011 at 20:25:25
'Invalid media type reading drive D:' usually means drive D: isn't formatted. If D: is a cdrom it may be a problem with the cd but I think that error isn't associated with optical drives. Also some bootdisks create a virtual drive at the drive letter above hard drive(s) so you may not be dealing with the drive you think you are.

But like I said if you want to install 3.1 first you install dos and then 3.1. And you need the floppy disks. You may be able to install 3.1 on a 9X (fat32) versioin of dos. At least that's what this person seems to have done:

If not, 6.22 is dos version you should try to use. Pre 9x dos (6.22 and earlier) is fat16 and limited to 2 gig partitions. Apparently the toshiba came with a 6 gig drive so it'd have to be partitioned as a 2 gig primary and then you could have 2-2 gig drives in the extended partition.

And you may want to check the toshiba support site for that model to see if it has drivers for 3.1. If not you'll have lousy video and no sound.

Report •

October 19, 2011 at 11:05:32
Years ago I successfully ran Windows 3.11 on a FAT32 partition with DOS 7 from Windows 98. But this was never supported by Microsoft. It required using a patched version of one of the DOS files. I have idea where it may be obtained.

Report •

October 20, 2011 at 02:29:53
Hi Phantasm, you advise the laptop is slow.

If it does not have the maximum memory, would suggest investigating increasing it to such. This should make a big difference to performance.

Old memory can be purchased very cheaply on ebay. However make sure it is the correct type.

My experience is, memory details are best found in the User Manual. Compatible memory sites sometimes provide incorrect information and one then ends up with memory that does not work.

A set of installation floppies for W3.1 comprises 7 hd (1.44mb) disks, and dos 6.2 is 2 or 3 disks as well.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

Report •

Ask Question