Solved Windows 3.1 on newer systems?

June 21, 2012 at 16:15:55
Specs: windows 3.1, i7 16gigs
Will windows 3.1 run on any of the newer processors? Is it restricted to the x86's? I have killer software which wont run on anything newer. Will it run on pentiums? Thank you very much.

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✔ Best Answer
June 23, 2012 at 05:51:20
@Shreddi:

"Backing up a 486 to try out 95 on, see what happens. I read 95 should work, just dont know about the the clock..."

Win95 should work fine on a 486 as long as it has sufficient memory:

4MB--just beyond "bootable"
8MB--usable, but somewhat slow
16MB-32MB--the "sweet spot"
>32MB--probably a waste of memory (Win95 original & Win95A required some tweaking to get 32MB to work properly, Win95B & C didn't).

Of course a 486DX66 would be far better than a 486sx20, but I've installed it on a 386sx16 (16MB of RAM/60MB HDD) and (painfully) gotten broadband (DSL) to work...

@MisterGopher:

"By having your IE5 cache preloaded into the Ram Drive..."

I don't use IE (any version) on Win3.x. Opera 3.62 seems to be better able to handle "the current state of the web" better than any other 3.x browser out there.

"The RAM Drive is especially good for DOS browsing using Arachne..."

Haven't been able to use Arachne since I changed ISP's way back in 1999, and don't really need it since getting DSL back in 2006. Arachne was good on low-end, DOS-only machines (if you could get it to work with your ISP), but (as mentioned in my #5 above), I've pretty much given up on those...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."



#1
June 21, 2012 at 17:00:57
Windows 3.1 isn't going to run on a i7 PC with 16 GB of RAM, I'll tell you that for sure. You could install the software in a Windows 3.1 Virtual Machine, that's your best bet.

You've been helped by a 14 year old.


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#2
June 21, 2012 at 17:53:36
Windows 3.1 will run on newer systems, but (as mentioned), it's better done under some type of Virtual Machine or emulator. Were you to install it outright, you'd need to install MS-DOS (or some compatible version of DOS) which could be disastrous if the machine already has some other OS already on it (Win9x, 2K, XP, Vista, 7). Also, MS-DOS won't recognize more than 64MB of memory (Win3.1 often slows down after 32MB), 2.1GB HDD partitions, or 8.4GB of total HDD space. So again, if there's something that won't run under your existing version of Windows (should you already have one) or some emulation/VM software, you'd be seriously limited in the machine's potential.

If you do have an old Pentium machine, then there likely won't be any problem running it on that as long as the memory and hard-drive limitations aren't exceeded.


"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#3
June 21, 2012 at 18:54:19
I think the cpu is about the only part that does work. Even a 64 bit processor could run it. The rest of the deal would limit it. No support for any common drive. No controller support.

Any free virtual machine can be used to run both the newer OS and hardware and to install the old OS to the application. Two can run at the same time. Vmplayer, virtualbox and as noted above VirtualPC or even some of the more advanced ones.

Hang up and live.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 21, 2012 at 21:37:04
thank you very much, I have several machines here. Im a horder going back to a zeos laptop that after installing win3.1 there was no room to put the smallest program on. The next reliable is a Dell inspiron 8200 P4 processor. Im sorry but didnt know what to put in that field below so stuck the one i would like to install on. Have other Dell laptop xps. If it will run on the P4 then that works for me. I did try to find emulators but wasnt sure. I did not look at the Vmplayer, virtualbox or VirtualPC just found ones on google then under freecountry.com. Since i have these things ill wipe and clean install. Still have the original Dos disks too, pretty much all ms vers, even the first IBM original dos from 81 (hoarder here). I will stick it on the P4 and see. Thanks again so much really appreciate the answers. by the way, im trying to run Miracle Piano by software toolworks from the early 80's. Anyone wanting to learn piano, there is Nothing like it, Nothing! So if ya know anyone wanting to play piano, check it out. Thanks again everyone. Ill save this and let ya know how it works. might be a week or so cause im backing up drives and consolodating (using goodsync which seems good). take care.

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#5
June 22, 2012 at 03:16:18
Just a side note...one of the things you may (or may not) have issues with a P4 machine are old Win3.1 games and old versions of DOS. Old games were sometimes designed to look at the CPU clock, and something that fast would cause them to crash or freeze. Very old versions of DOS (before v2) weren't designed to handle subdirectories or high-density floppies. If you're installing clean, it'd be better to go with a original Pentium (I), and a version of DOS greater than 6.0.

BTW-not being personal, but hoarding isn't good; I'm saying that from personal experience. I'm just now getting rid of hundreds of machines after holding onto them for over 10 years (scrap metal prices are pretty good right now). It becomes much more difficult to dispose of as you age. Figured it's now or never...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#6
June 22, 2012 at 05:48:23
Hi T-R-A, thanks very much, I have been getting better. Put together a machine to give to friends kid, doing another for friend. Sold a bunch at our work sale which all procedes went to animal vet bills (we are animal rescue). Ill pull out oldest machine (laptop) but i thought i put win 31 on it and it had no more space to install anything. Think it was originally doss only. Ill see. I looked on ebay and craiglist for old pc and not much luck yet. Thanks again i appreciate all the info. P.S. I just looked at the software disk and its copyrighted 1990, 1991. Also scouring for information it also will run on windows 95. thanks much

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#7
June 22, 2012 at 17:56:21
T-R-A

The 64Mb barrier can be broken. Sort of.

I have a Jan 1997 machine running 3.11 and I put 256Mb of SDRAM into it. Most of that is wasted - except for one thing. By creating a RAMDISK for temporary files, IE5 cache and other tasks, you can use extra RAM in Windows 3.11 for these odd jobs. I use it for a temporary disk for testing new files I find. I have even pre-loaded Win 3.11 into the Ram Drive and run Windows from pure RAM - it reallly works!

By having your IE5 cache preloaded into the Ram Drive, the browser works much smoother by writing to the cache much quicker.

The RAM Drive is especially good for DOS browsing using Arachne. By running Arachne from RAM, the hard drive doesn't need to work.

So in a sense Windows (and DOS) can "use" RAM above the 64Mb DOS restriction - but only as an adjunct temp swap file system, etc.

However, as far as GDI and USER resources are concerned, you cannot add to the global heap - no matter how much ram beyond 64MB you try to cram in. If anyone tells you they can, I insist they prove it.

TIP:
Incidentally, should you have 64MB or higher of ram, keep your virtual memory swap file small - no more than 4MB. You'll get better performance. I tried setting to no virtual memory, but some networking DLL complained about it being turned off completely when I restarted Windows. So I turned it back on and it was happy.


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#8
June 23, 2012 at 01:40:40
Cool, thanks. I actually tried to start that machine up earlier and have to reinstall the OS, I will have to check the ram in setup. Amazing 256mb ram back then. Backing up a 486 to try out 95 on, see what happens. I read 95 should work, just dont know about the the clock and what you mentioned earlier. thanks again, i really appreciate your help.

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#9
June 23, 2012 at 05:51:20
✔ Best Answer
@Shreddi:

"Backing up a 486 to try out 95 on, see what happens. I read 95 should work, just dont know about the the clock..."

Win95 should work fine on a 486 as long as it has sufficient memory:

4MB--just beyond "bootable"
8MB--usable, but somewhat slow
16MB-32MB--the "sweet spot"
>32MB--probably a waste of memory (Win95 original & Win95A required some tweaking to get 32MB to work properly, Win95B & C didn't).

Of course a 486DX66 would be far better than a 486sx20, but I've installed it on a 386sx16 (16MB of RAM/60MB HDD) and (painfully) gotten broadband (DSL) to work...

@MisterGopher:

"By having your IE5 cache preloaded into the Ram Drive..."

I don't use IE (any version) on Win3.x. Opera 3.62 seems to be better able to handle "the current state of the web" better than any other 3.x browser out there.

"The RAM Drive is especially good for DOS browsing using Arachne..."

Haven't been able to use Arachne since I changed ISP's way back in 1999, and don't really need it since getting DSL back in 2006. Arachne was good on low-end, DOS-only machines (if you could get it to work with your ISP), but (as mentioned in my #5 above), I've pretty much given up on those...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#10
May 16, 2015 at 03:37:53
The 64 mb limit is caused by dos 6 or lower, not by windows 3.1. That is why you should always use the patched dos 7.1, this way your computer can also read fat32 volumes.

Windows 3.1 can use up to 256 mb, not sure if it is really useful, but I've noticed a performance increase going from 64 to 128 mb, especially if you run intensive programs such as photoshop 4, acrobat exchange 3, internet explorer, and watching video cd's at the same time.

Mister Gopher, you said you cannot add to the global gdi and user heap, and asking for anyone to prove the contrary, well there is a program called Helix hurricane 98 which does just that, and does an excellent job at it too, among other things.


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