IE5 PNG rendering Win 3.11

Ibm Os/2 warp 4.0 single license pack
April 1, 2011 at 09:47:51
Specs: Win 3.11, i430Tx PR200+/256Mb
This has been an issue that doesn't get talked about very much. I have been using IE5 for limited browsing on my hobby 3.11 machine for some time now. I tossed out Opera and Netscape for the following reasons:

Netscape 4.08 is bloatware for Win 3.11 - unfortunately. I quite like it when I am using my OS/2 machine - it is excellent on that. It comes preinstalled in Warp 4 and doesn't have all the AOL crap. The Win 3.11 version is filled with all of that scruff. It didn't work as well on Win 3.11 as it did on OS/2 and crashed far more than IE5. I cannot remember, but I don't think it supported PNGs either. Another site confirmed that it does not.

Opera supports PNGs nicely. A lot goes against Opera for Windows 3.x though. It renders today's web rather poorly in comparison to Netscape and IE. It also has the annoying 30 day trial splash. No problem to reset the 30 days, but it's still there and sucks.

So this leaves IE5. It crashes on most modern structured sites as the others do, but is stable enough for all the 'safe' pages. It renders fine enough except for PNG problem.

More often, I turn to DOS and use DOSLYNX or Arachne for surfing on the web. DOSLYNX opens everything and very rarely crashes. It's great, but a text browser is text browser. Arachne is fun and is graphical and has better stability than the Windows browsers, but it renders weirdly, even on safe pages. Arachne is slow - even when I run and do all the caching from the RAMDISK.

Is there any way to fix IE5 to show PNG images or this is all we can get?

See More: IE5 PNG rendering Win 3.11

April 1, 2011 at 16:02:40

According to this (very informative) web site, PNG is supported by Netscape Navigator 4.04 and later.

See this other web site that also confirms the same:

As far as 4.08 being bloated, is it possible you are installing the full Communicator 4.08 instead of the standalone Navigator 4.08 browser? I use the Navigator version on my Windows for Workgroups 3.11 computer; I never really cared for suites of anything unless it was AOL because I've used it since the early 90's.

On a side note, I'm typing this on my Windows for Workgroups 3.11 computer with TCP/IP and find it interesting that the web site does not load at all in the older Netscape versions (mine is 2.02), but works fine in Internet Explorer 3.0. Go figure! Either the DOCTYPE must not be HTML 3.2 compliant, or there is an excessive use of CSS. So I am typing this from IE 3.0.

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April 3, 2011 at 13:19:12
I think you are right. I was using Communicator, which was a mistake.

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April 3, 2011 at 20:01:48

Glad you got it figured out.

There is a massive archive of Netscape browsers available on a website called "" Most of his links are to the server; however, since AOL dropped support many of the links no longer work, you can access his archive directly at

In case his site is ever down, I will also be archiving them (through at least version 3.0) on my own site under and

The Internet and FTP sites available exploded in 1997, so a simple FTP search for Netscape is much more readily available for later versions of Netscape. A search for "n16e302p.exe ftp" for example brings up quite a few sites available. It would be my goal to preserve specifically those earlier 1.x-3.x versions.

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April 4, 2011 at 08:14:46
I grabbed that link for netscape - thanks. I am glad to hear from others that also use old systems running on the internet. I remember before setting up Win 3.11, how difficult I thought it would be to get it running on the ethernet card and finding old drivers, etc. Then setting up the DOS internet programs - which involved learning stuff and relearning others. Nothing was straightforward. That was then...

But it is easy stuff now. Of course it is always easy once you know what you are doing; then you wonder how anyone would throw away an old computer. I have seen mere 10 year old machines sent to the dumpster! They are perfect boxes for DOS and 16bit software and superior to virtual setups. I have tried both and know this is true.

Nice little library of stuff for 3.11 btw.

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April 10, 2011 at 15:33:31
"how difficult I thought it would be to get it running on the ethernet card and finding old drivers, etc"

Strangely enough Windows for Workgroups automatically detected both of the following cards with no additional configuration required beyond installing Microsoft Networking:

a) 1994 3Com 3C509B-TP, and
b) 1995 3Com 3C509B-TPO

It seems the 3Com cards are very comaptible with Windows 3.x.

Both of the video and sounds cards I am using have drivers available on Gateway's website:

Sound: SNDCRD006ACWW (driver available HERE)

Video: VIDPCI007ACWW (driver available HERE)

It seems Gateway and Dell both have superb legacy support with Windows 3.x drivers still on their websites, especially considering the amount of time that has gone by!

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April 10, 2011 at 16:22:53
FWIW, a Filewatcher search for the last 16-bit version of Netscape (Navigator-Standard, not Communicator) still turns up quite a bit:

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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April 11, 2011 at 05:54:45
I am well beyond all that...

The card I have is a TRENDware TE-PCI/TE-100PCI and it is has been superb!
The video is an S3 Virge - can handle 24 bit in 1024x768
- however I usually use 16bit (64k color)

The reason I don't bother with true color is because I get better performance from my WinTune tests - only slightly, but I like getting the happy face when WinTune says your system is running 100% - no tweak suggestions.


The sound is Crystal Audio w/1995 drivers - no problems.

I have used 3Com on another machine and yes they work fine.

I would strongly recommend anyone running 3.11, install a ramdrive. It's handy for using as a temp file for browser caches and other duties. Good for DOS internet caches for Arachne and so forth. I use it as the standard temp depository. I have even tried running windows from the ramdrive using XMSDSK to create a large sized one beyond the usual 32mb limit (I have 256mb SDRAM) and it works. So, in essence, Windows 3.11 can use all that physical memory beyond the nominal 64Mb. I only have a 4Mb permanent swap just in case some program needs to use virtual memory to run.

I haven't removed the swap file for a long time just to see what happens, but I think I remember the last time I did some TCP/IP module 'got upset' when it wasn't there at all - so I put it back.

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