Installing Windows 3.1 on usb flash drive

January 20, 2011 at 14:04:54
Specs: Windows 3.1
I'm not sure this will even work. Ive played around a bit and was successful in installing freeDOS onto my 8g flash drive. I am wanting, for no particular reason, to install an old version of windows. I tried win95 and it would freeze up every time the installer got about 25% into it. I obtained a copy of win 3.1 and it checks the disk and copies the files, but stops when it comes up and says that it is loading windows and the rest of the setup. No error message it just stops. I let it sit for half a hour or so and nothing. Im just playing around and its not that important. I just thought the idea of carrying around my own OS on a flash drive i could boot from any computer would be novel. I believe that there are light linux OS out there that i could try next, i just wanted an old windows out of nastagia, although my friend says i might as well install a virus on it rather than win95. Any help would be appreciated thanks.

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#1
January 20, 2011 at 14:23:09
How is your flash drive formatted? Older operating systems (as well as Linux distros) should be stored on a flash drive formatted for FAT 16 or 32...

As Windows 3.1 is a 16 bit operating system, make sure that you have formatted your flash drive to FAT 16.


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#2
January 20, 2011 at 16:47:40
I think you could even get high color instead of the basic 16 color VGA. There are special svga drivers that work on anything for 3.1.

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#3
January 21, 2011 at 07:47:20
format the usb drive with win95 dos
install 3.1 then copy it to the usb disk

use win3.1 from freedos with the win/s command
try dr-dos?


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Related Solutions

#4
February 5, 2011 at 23:35:46
If you're gonna format an USB drive in FAT16, I recommend buying a cheap one. FAT16 can only allocate up to 2GB per partition, and as far as I know you cannot partition a USB drive.

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#5
April 11, 2011 at 11:26:47
USB drives don't work like hard drives. how the computer "partitions" or divides, the drive is that it puts a little mark on the spinning drive telling the controller (CPU, IDE, etc.) that this part of the hard drive is different that the other one. if you have a VERY small drive (620 MB and smaller) do not partition it as you can lose space that you need. otherwise, a USB will do the same thing.

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#6
April 19, 2011 at 16:15:56
It seems you would need some way of making a ramdisk to store the dos files on and then running windows 3.1 off of the usb drive and disabling the windows 3.1 32 bit disk access. about the freezing: This may be able to be fixed by setting certain command line switches while running the setup program (I haven't installed windows 3.1 recently but if i recall this was somewhat of a common problem.) are you installing from REAL dos or a dos prompt in windows?

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#7
April 20, 2011 at 17:51:33
I am runnin wfw 3.11 but the options should be similar. try running the windows setup again with the /c option. try to also load device drivers in low memory instead of high memory if possible try skipping the loading of memory managers such as emm386. please reply with results

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