NT 3.1 in Virtual PC

Dell Dimension 2400
November 14, 2008 at 06:34:45
Specs: Windows NT 3.1 Workstatio, P4-2.8GHz / 256MB
So contrary to popular belief, I've found it is possible to install NT 3.1, the first release of Windows NT, in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. All you have to do is edit a string in some of the install files to allow it to run on Pentium-level CPUs and higher.

Now that I've gotten it installed, I'm having a heck of a time finding drivers for it. I actually don't think they exist but who knows, figured I'd throw it out there. The S3 driver that comes with NT3.1 works in every resolution, but it only gives you 256 colors. The only luck I've had Google-ing was a driver for the HP Pavillion 5000 which loads fine but does all sorts of wacky things with the mouse, so it's unusable.

No luck with the network card (DEC21140), no luck with a CD-ROM driver (generic ATAPI), no luck with the sound card (SoundBlaster Pro).

Anybody?


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#1
November 30, 2008 at 19:55:41
Sorry, no clue, try a Windows NT 4 driver for it instead or Windows 2000/XP or get a driver from DEC.

By the way, how did you get it to work
jusy curious, i have a copy of WinNT3.1
and i'm trying to do the same thing w/o the network card


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#2
November 30, 2008 at 22:53:03
First, copy all the files on the installation disks/CD to a directory on your hard drive. You need to edit a string in the files INITIAL.IN_ and SETUP.IN_

Open each one in notepad and search for:
[ProcessorVar]

Then change the string below it from

STF_PROCESSOR = "" ? $(!LIBHANDLE) GetProcessor

to

STF_PROCESSOR = $(ProcessorID_I586)

Then create an .ISO image and install as you normally would. It's very straightforward once you do that, just like any other Windows install.

I realized I can use the SoundBlaster 1.0 driver that comes with NT3.1, but no luck on any other drivers. Even the NIC driver from NT3.5 doesn't work, I'm surprised they changed their driver model that much between these releases. I'm also having trouble getting the service packs to work, maybe after I sort that out I'll have better luck.

-sean


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#3
November 30, 2008 at 23:10:36
I also have my NT 3.1 guest set up to dual boot MS-DOS 6.22, with Virtual Machine Additions installed - which required installing it to the pre-existing FAT12 partition. FAT12 is "slower" and crappier than NTFS, but you'll never notice on modern hardware. This is the only way you'll be able to get large files into your NT3.1 guest without use of CD-ROM images or network shares. It's kind of a hassle but there aren't any better options (yet)!

-sean


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Related Solutions

#4
March 27, 2009 at 22:59:35
There is a old windows 3.1 sound blaster driver it might work with NT 3.1 it was like a hybrid of windows 3x and they are somewhat compatible as far as drivers go. The Image Number 9 card has drivers for NT, or NT has drivers for it. and there is an updated image number nine driver for NT. some where. try Google. Your best bet is to look for cirrus logic video drivers though those were the most stable. Years ago..

Here is a good site to check though finding things for NT takes a closer look you'll find lots of useful stuff there.

Lightspeed's reference page
http://oldfiles.org.uk/lightspeed/m...


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#5
April 25, 2009 at 16:20:16
"First, copy all the files on the installation disks/CD to a directory on your hard drive. You need to edit a string in the files INITIAL.IN_ and SETUP.IN_

Open each one in notepad and search for:
[ProcessorVar]

Then change the string below it from

STF_PROCESSOR = "" ? $(!LIBHANDLE) GetProcessor

to

STF_PROCESSOR = $(ProcessorID_I586)"

How does that work I have the legit install cd and in the i386 folder both of the above files look like this

SZDDˆð'3AfQ& ÿ[GeneralÿConstantïs]
ìñRadÿio1 = "«1"22 3ª3 44 5ª5 66 7ª7 88 9ú9ChoseÙnìñ ONNoÙt³½FF [PÿrocessoróIDÝ_I38lûé
ù 4ýâù 5ý8%D_R4000 UÚl?atformæfxúwMips üÚ DebugVûar STF_DÿISPLAYDEÿBUGOUTPUÁT aÞ°´PROCESSORÿ" ? $(!LÿIBHANDLEŸ) GetÝÚ LanguageáÿLANGUAGEÀºü "%%LiÛstº^(%IDï, 1)¨stSËiz$!sûMiÿnPrimary¯Free 1µyÿstemRequ/ired­!2™&·#ô©"­!5™'agin/gFilÜ"2aìñVirtualŸ oimum÷"48û,ßarkupÝ"22û88™&VolumõeÙ%3â'Hard/Disk¹4aˆ)`˜-¨%û$·- 5â'Ó+6û$é-ù- ==)=f9== ÷5S= 1`ÿDriveTyp`$(KF=-&PAOfKBün@KCoExamiÛne„!Ui°BuÿildVersio¸6-9&»CÿONTROLSEýTCurrenýtøðtrolSeýtµINSTALßLDATE {}8lM
!˜3Dat]$»?UPGRAD:!ûNOåINTSERVE÷C¤"çö ûC:ÄHNTDRIñV6S;$vYPATHügYÄHWINDOWñSŸUhM %WindowsNtDi ²\SYÀSÉ]Ù]QêZ?BUSTYP†Z
m>
!MyBusPA&X_NUSED‚RS]~&UnusedKBü§ìñOrgNamxÜ æ÷VWFull«l<[s`RNAM†U[ÇCOMÎèf[DOOMAINÏmz_Ó@ò6R=º ALONýEvXCPA_FL÷USHÎ@PYLIÍSÐFAÕ@’9MemoeSFmVfŠrŒ!z6áPnT‰y8_|4 ÇmanMPÄyÆ!09ðB±6ðvXUDoPaßrtialº$(ø³„ ƒNetwoñr]1*rintserDƒAppë@ð

When I open them with note pad.


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#6
April 25, 2009 at 22:16:12
Thanks for the tip, I figured it out I just had to install windows from the cd complete the setup process then change those two files in the windows System32 folder INITIAL.INF and SETUP.INF.. I have it up and running now don't know what I'll do with it is like a 32bit windows 3.1 I guess.. For some reason I have a head ache though that was the longest setup I've ever dealt with..

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#7
August 27, 2009 at 15:24:49
First the setup.in_ & initial.in_ files are compressed, and you'll have to use uncompress to expand them first, delete the compressed files, then edit the expanded ones....

it's quite simple:

expand initial.in_ inital.inf

naturally you'll have to do this on a hard disk...

Now for the network drivers. There actuall IS some PCI drivers for NT 3.1 ... The driver people had to write the PCI glue themselves as they register as EISA drivers. And yes this one does work on Virtual PC!!

The driver for Virtual PC is here: http://ftp.uma.es/Drivers/TRED/GENI...
The driver for VMWare is here:
http://www.ari-service.com/ftp/d-ot...

I can also verify that both of these work on real hardware if you have those...

Also the HP pavilion 5000 shipped with NT 3.1 .. And it has a S3 video card that is compatable with the one from Virtual PC! You can find the HP video driver here:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/personal_computing/software/winntv.exe

VMWare users should check out the VBEM project which is a VESA driver for all versions of NT (including 3.1!!)
http://www.geocities.com/bearwindow...
I think bearwindows is moving sites but you get the idea.

Virtual PC has a soundblaster option, although the MIDI doesn't work :( I haven't dug around for a fix there yet.

Also if you want more RAM use the ntloader/ntdetect.com from NT 3.51. You can also find the two files in a NT 3.51 service pack. I've been able to launch Virtual PC 2007 with 3 GB of ram in a NT 3.1 VM and it was able to use it!

I'd also recommend something like netscape 3.0, which runs great on NT 3.1.

this will give you networking, sound, video and basic internet access.

I have some more notes on NT 3.1 here:
http://virtuallyfun.blogspot.com/

But you get the idea.


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#8
September 17, 2009 at 13:09:21
Firstly, NT31 was always intended to be able to install and run on pentium processors ( the disc says 'contains code top run on alpha, mips, x86, and pentium, ec...).
It wont install on P2s and up, but I'm about to run it on an intel celeron by lifting a VPC install image onto a HD...
I have a whole bunch of NT 3.1 info for you... how's about go to my blog and contact me there...

http://docrockscomputers.blogspot.com/
Doc


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