Problem booting to windows 3.11 from DOS

June 7, 2013 at 15:17:21
Specs: Doss\ Windows 3.11
Hi. I have just installed Dos 6.22 on to an old hard drive and installed windows 3.11 original diskettes on top of dos.
After instillation completed successfully I re-booted the computer, typed "win" as instructed, but it will not go past the Windows Logo screen every time. Dos is working perfectly I can edit use help etc. How do I get around the problem? I,v checked the Autoexec.bat files in C:\ , C:\dos and C:\windows and all are different. Can any one "HELP"?

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June 7, 2013 at 15:26:06
The autoexec.bat as well as config.sys in C:\ are the one, that gets executed on startup of DOS.
Make sure, that himem.sys will be loaded in c:\config.sys.
Also make sure, that emm386.exe will noch be loaded in c:\config.sys.

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June 7, 2013 at 19:34:09
Also check to make sure you don't need some type of specific video-card drivers for the machine (though you'd likely get some type of error if this were the case). You can also try to change the settings back to standard VGA by running "setup" from inside the "C:\Windows" directory. If you can get it to run in standard VGA (640x480x16 colors) mode, then you'll likely need to track down the specific Win3.1 video drivers for it to work at higher resolutions/colors.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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June 8, 2013 at 15:52:26
Hi Guys, Spent the last 4 hours (it's 23:10) trying your solutions to no avail.
I changed the video to VGA as suggested although it made no difference unfortunately, and I had no trouble seeing the windows logo before I changed it.

The only thing I did'nt change was adding Nvidia Graphics drivers to windows 3.11. Don't know if there are any or where to get them for 3.11. If the drivers reside in the BIOS then they are already there, if not, will running the original graphics CD for windows XP work?

As far as the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files go, I'v checked all directories that had them in (C:\ C:\dos & C:\windows) and put all relevant info into the "c:\" drive files.
Result: the computer still "Hangs" at the Logo screen.

By the way I also tried typing "win.ini" with no result and "" and got the Windows LOGO again. Any other ideas???? The Video drivers worked perfectly during installation before I Changed them, just to let you know.

Thinking out loud here IF "" file takes me to the windows logo screen, as in typing "win" then is "" the file that executes windows?? If so, has anyone got a working windows for workgroups 3.11 program they could send me the "WIN.COM" file to see if there is a difference in the coding? Your assistance has been very welcome and brilll.
Regards Nigbe

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June 8, 2013 at 16:20:33
What are the specs of the machine you're installing WFW3.11 on?

When you type win, the systems first looks for win.exe, then if not found, will look for That ain't your problem.

Audares Juvo

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June 9, 2013 at 03:57:23
Hi Skip, thanks for the reply.
Specs for the machine are:
AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual core Processor 5200+ on a Gigabyte mother board.
Maxtor 2880Mb Hard Drive as Master (LRG,ATA 33)
DDR2 RAM 667 Dual Channel 128-bit
Display is set for EGA/VGA
Diskette Drive A: 1.44M, 3.5" , (Diskette Drive B: has been disconnected).
+ a CD Rom drive which does work in DOS thanks to the other guys and my tampering with the Autoexec.bat file, and it also loads a mouse driver, which worked when loading/ installing WFWG 3.11.

All the files Seem to be there, just can't get past the LOGO screen, any ideas??
Regards Nigbe

Tried to find the file "win.exe" from the windows directory the command "find" came back as a bad command, so I tried the "copy" command and got "file not found".

The computer previously ran Windows XP Professional service pack 3/4 on a different hard drive and the computer was running with 5 hard drives (2x350GB 3x450GB about) after I disconnected the second CD\DVD rom.
I unfortunately "lost" the all important NTL file? on the XP drive, and couldn't get back in. With a lot of un-backed up files on ALL the drives this was a supposedly "better" solution and wanted to use 3.11 and upgrade to win95 to, at least recover the other drives. Long way round I know but I have learned a bit more about DOS than I did.
Regards Nigbe

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June 10, 2013 at 11:00:43
That's a durn modern machine to attempt a 3.11 WFW install. Imagine Windows is having a problem with the graphics chip, speed of the system, amount of memory,..I don't really know where to guide you.

Was all this just an attempt to recover information on your other 5 drives? Couldn't you have done the same with a live Linux cd or by connecting to another machine with an adapter?

Audares Juvo

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June 11, 2013 at 04:01:36
Hi Skip, in the short version the answer is yes, it is to recover data on the hard drives. As far as connecting to another computer is concerned I don't know if it it would work using a LAN connection and without being able to "see" what is on the hard drives I don't know what I need to recover, certainly all my photos but other stuff, I don't know. My idea was to put dos on with windows 3.11, then upgrade to windows 95, I have the original CD but lost the product key, and then up it to XP Professional. this means that if anything happens to the machine again I could get back into the files, in theory. If I back up using DOS then no-matter what happens I could re-install DOS and the DOS backup!!!! In practice Dos can not "see" any other hard drives and I have no dos manual or enough knowledge of dos, to be able find commands to make dos search for other hard drives. Like I said before, the hard drive I'm "attempting" to put 3.11 on to is an old IDE drive that I formatted for the purpose.

If I tried to put windows 95 over the top of 3.11 (up grade) do you think it might get the system up and running? After all that was the intention any way.

An alternative is to use an old lap-top that used to run windows 98. I got it up and running last night and it has XP Home on it (I have the Original cd and license key for XP Home, but only the Boot disk for 98) running VERY SLOWLY. May be if I format that computer and put DOS, 3.11 and 95 on then connect it to the desktop it might work what do you think?
Regards Nigbe

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June 12, 2013 at 10:16:05
Correct me when I misunderstand your intentions as to recover the data on at least 5 (maybe 6) drives. Now I start the 20 questions thing.

The boot drive was the only problem...all the rest of the drives are OK?

You probably have data on the failed boot drive you want to recover?

Do you have the key for the XP Pro installation on the failed boot drive?

Do you have access to a good working machine running XP or later?

...where I'm going with this:

You should only need a good hdd and an installation of XP to get your pc up and running. Assuming your other hdd's are OK, all the data on those drives should be good to go.

If the failed drive works, a USB adapter something like this one would allow you to recover your pics, music, documents, etc.

Your DOS odyssey will take you places you don't want to go traveling the FAT16, FAT32 road and trying to recover NTFS drive files.

My guess is, at worst, you need a new boot drive, a XP install cd, and a few hours jof your time.

Audares Juvo

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June 13, 2013 at 10:13:33
Hi Skip,
Q1 Boot Drive was the problem. Some how the (correct me if I'm wrong) NTL? file
disappeared !! The computer was working fine,closed it down and when I re-started the computer the next day I got an ERROR message "NTL file missing or corrupt" Without re-installing XP Pro I Can't get in to the files.

Q2 The boot drive does have data on it as does the other 4 drives all of which are almost full. This left me with the problems, How do I get In to any of the drives if I can't boot the computer? and Where to store the data" from at least 1 drive so I can re-install XP Pro

Q3 & 4 I do have the key's to both XP Home and Pro. I also have my old Ferrari Laptop that runs XP Home but it tends to crash if it gets worked to hard. The other is a very slow Windows 7 "Compaq Presario" with a very small and full hard drive.

As far as I am aware the boot drive is fine as are all the drives being used as storage. The Old drive that I resurrected would not accept the XP Pro instillation, which is why I started installing DOS in the first place.

Question, is it that difficult to go FAT 16 (for dos?) FAT 32 (for windows 3.11/95/98?) and up to NTFS for presumably Windows NT and XP ? My knowledge of operating systems is not that grate as I'm sure you know by now. The "Idea" was to try to upgrade from one to the other thereby keeping DOS on the system and using it as a "backdoor" so to speak. is it possible?
Regards Nigbe

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