VOGONS


First post, by feipoa

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Has anyone been successful in running Internet Explorer 5.0 in Windows 3.11 on a pure 386 motherboard (not hybrid boards for which the chipset can be either for 386's or 486's)? I've been having some trouble getting IE5 running reliably on my VLSI topcat-based 386 (AMI Mark V Baby Screamer). When I load IE5, sometimes it opens just fine and loads google.ca, while at other times, the system freezes up. Some of the times that it loads and exits fine, I notice that there are some corrupt files in C:\Windows\, while at other times, not. The issue only happens with IE5, not IE3 or any other program installed. The symptoms are the same with both an AMD 386DX or 486SXL installed, so the issue isn't with L1 cache coherency. The system is using an Adaptec 1540CP SCSI controller, 32 MB RAM, 256K cache, Diamond Speedstar 64, and some ESS AudioDrive.

I haven't uninstalled IE5 and installed IE4 to see if IE4 also exhibits similar symptoms. Unfortunately, IE won't let IE4 and IE5 coexist.

I also have IE5 installed on my testbed with a ALi Panda board (386/486 hybrid chipset) and have not run into this issue.

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Reply 1 of 31, by Clardake

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Well, according to Microsoft himself, here is the system requirements for Internet Explorer 5 16-bit (see BROWSER.CAB >>> readme.txt)

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
===================

To run Internet Explorer 5, your computer must meet the
following minimum requirements:

- A 486 with a 25 MHz processor

- For Microsoft Windows 3.1x:
12 MB of RAM minimum

- For Microsoft Windows NT 3.51:
16 MB of RAM minimum

- 30 MB of hard-disk space to run Setup for a minimum install
(minimum install will use about 16 MB of space)

- Mouse

- Modem or network interface card

Microsoft didn't garantuee anything when running IE5 on a 386. Even at 25 MHz, an 486 could be better than the fastest 386 (it has some additional instructions).

It's because IE5 that Windows 98 SE cannot run on an 386 (I know the minimum system for Windows 98 is 486DX2/66, but the first edition still can run on a 386).

Reply 2 of 31, by Jo22

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Yes, I kind of did. But it was IE3, I believe. On an am386DX-40 PC without cache.
Here'S a recording that I made years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtmE_q4HyO0

I'm afraid there's little use for IE5 or Netscape Navigator 2.x nowadays, however.
Too many sites are bloated now or require https. 😢

Only workaround that I know of is to use one of these translation sites/servers,
which do convert sites to old HTML standards on the fly.

Have a lookt at https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2014/03/03 … cient-browsers/

..

From what I know, the 16-Bit version of IE5 wasn't very stable also.
It's essentially using some built-in Win32s-like mechanism (lots of thunking going on. Java/Script is very unstable).

I also had IE5 crashing in a VM, but maybe that was because of compatibility issues.
Windows 3.11 with Win32s only worked for me in Virtual PC 2007 if AMD-V (or Intel VT) were enabled.
I guess this has to do with the quirks and tricks of Win32s that require an extreme amount of compatibility or accuracy.
The old Win32s v1.25 was much more stable and also worked better on OS/2's WIN-OS/2.

Anyway, speaking under correction here. Just mentioned, so you know you're not insane
in case that thing refuses to work properly on your PC.. 😉

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 3 of 31, by feipoa

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Clardake wrote:
Well, according to Microsoft himself, here is the system requirements for Internet Explorer 5 16-bit (see BROWSER.CAB >>> readme […]
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Well, according to Microsoft himself, here is the system requirements for Internet Explorer 5 16-bit (see BROWSER.CAB >>> readme.txt)

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
===================

To run Internet Explorer 5, your computer must meet the
following minimum requirements:

- A 486 with a 25 MHz processor

- For Microsoft Windows 3.1x:
12 MB of RAM minimum

- For Microsoft Windows NT 3.51:
16 MB of RAM minimum

- 30 MB of hard-disk space to run Setup for a minimum install
(minimum install will use about 16 MB of space)

- Mouse

- Modem or network interface card

Microsoft didn't garantuee anything when running IE5 on a 386. Even at 25 MHz, an 486 could be better than the fastest 386 (it has some additional instructions).

It's because IE5 that Windows 98 SE cannot run on an 386 (I know the minimum system for Windows 98 is 486DX2/66, but the first edition still can run on a 386).

The system is using a 486SXL2-66 w/ULSI DX2-66 FPU, so it is faster than a 486DX-25 and also contains the 486 instruction set. System requirements are met.

Only workaround that I know of is to use one of these translation sites/servers,
which do convert sites to old HTML standards on the fly.

Have a lookt at https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2014/03/03 … cient-browsers/

Apparently that script only works in MacOS X and Linux. Why that is? Can this be adapted for Windows 3.11?
https://github.com/tenox7/wrp

I find that I can at least load Vogons with IE5, although the look is off. From your comments, it sounds as if IE5 might be asking for too much. I might try using a non-DMA based SCSI card and if that still fails, try IE4.

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Reply 4 of 31, by Jo22

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Sorry, I didn't mean to disappoint you. It's been a while since I used IE5 seriously. It was IE5.5 on Win98SE that I often used back in "the day", before switching to FF.
Surfed a lot of sites with it back then. Last thing I remember was visiting the Snoopy website with a 56k modem. This must have been pre-2004 or so.
Before that, I used Netscape Navigator 2.x to make my first steps into the internet (we had T-Online as ISP back then).
The only other browser that I used occasionally was IE3, which was bundled with a later version WinCIM (CompuServe Information Manager).
That was in '95-'96 or so. It also ran on our familiy's 486SX notebook w/ Windows 3.10, 4MiB of RAM and a monochrome LCD screen and 14k4 FAX/Data Modem.
Sorry, my memories about this era are a bit sketchy. 😅

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 5 of 31, by feipoa

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I've made some progress. I have determined that removing 16 MB of RAM corrects the issue with IE5, but I'd like to figure out how to get the full 32 MB of RAM working with IE5 on this system.

I am using the Adaptec 1540CP SCSI card, which according to the driver readme,

o For systems with more than 16MB of RAM, also load ASPIBUF.SYS.
ASPIBUF.SYS should be loaded directly after ASPI4DOS.SYS.

Well, I already have ASPIBUF.SYS loaded. I tried the latest DOS drivers as well as the drivers from EZ-SCSI 5.0.

It also seemed like I was able to use 32 MB and run IE5 but I had to disable 32-bit disk access, which makes loading applications terribly slow. So it would seem to me as if there is an issue with >16 MB RAM when the AHA-1540CP is used with 32-bit disk access. Anyone know how to fix this issue? I will try the AHA-1520B SCSI controller, which does not bus mastering, and I am pretty sure it will work just fine - but the problem remains - I want to use the AHA-1540CP.

I am using EZ-SCSI 5.0 Win3.11 drivers for 32-bit disk access. I suppose I could try the EZ-SCSI 4.0 drivers, but that really feels like backtracking.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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Reply 6 of 31, by Jo22

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feipoa wrote:

Any ideas? !

Since it seems to be a memory issue, you could try to use Himem.sys/EMM386 from Windows 98's DOS.
Or try 386Max or Quarterdeck's QEMM. Maybe they can handle the situation better. It's just an idea, though. Not sure if it helps at all.

Edit: The system files (Himem, etc.) of FreeDOS, ROM-DOS, DR-DOS and Novell DOS may also work on MS-DOS..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 7 of 31, by keenmaster486

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I would use IE3 on Win3.x, instead of IE4 or IE5. Just much better suited to the OS. Of course I'm a Netscape guy but if you want Internet Explorer on Windows 3.11, IE3 is the way to go. You can also use Netscape Navigator 4, but it is also less stable on Win3.1.

Basically most apps that were developed with Windows 95 in mind will not run as well on 16-bit because the developers simply weren't that concerned with Windows 3.1 machines at that time. Win95 and 32-bit was the way to go.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 8 of 31, by feipoa

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Jo22 wrote:

Since it seems to be a memory issue, you could try to use Himem.sys/EMM386 from Windows 98's DOS.
Or try 386Max or Quarterdeck's QEMM. Maybe they can handle the situation better. It's just an idea, though. Not sure if it helps at all.

Edit: The system files (Himem, etc.) of FreeDOS, ROM-DOS, DR-DOS and Novell DOS may also work on MS-DOS..

Should I be loading EMM386 for Win3.11? I usually only load EMM386 when a particular DOS title requests it, like Wolfenstein3D.

keenmaster486 wrote:

I would use IE3 on Win3.x, instead of IE4 or IE5. Just much better suited to the OS. Of course I'm a Netscape guy but if you want Internet Explorer on Windows 3.11, IE3 is the way to go. You can also use Netscape Navigator 4, but it is also less stable on Win3.1.

Basically most apps that were developed with Windows 95 in mind will not run as well on 16-bit because the developers simply weren't that concerned with Windows 3.1 machines at that time. Win95 and 32-bit was the way to go.

Netscape 2 runs fine, but Netscape 4.x has the same hang-up that IE5 does.

Do I need to change the cache file size in the virtual mem. settings to get IE5 working well? Is there some other vcache setting I need to change? When you click the "About program Manager", what are the "Free resources at 80%" refering to? Its not the available memory. If I open up IE5, Netscape2, Pirch, Novell Word Perfect 6, and MS Word, the resources drop to 4%, but there is still plenty of memory available (even if virtual is set to none). I think there's about 19 MB free still, but I cannot open any more programs. So whatever these resources are, perhaps I can increase them? Also, with no programs open, if I try to run the EZ-SCSI 5 setup.exe file, I receive an error stating that there is not enough free memory to run the program. What's going on here? Has me thinking again of what "resources" are and if this issue is related to my IE5 hangs.

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Reply 9 of 31, by keenmaster486

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Windows 3.1 uses a global resource pool, or something like that... basically, each program uses the same 64K of memory for GDI resources, and if that fills up, your "available resources" will drop to 0 even though you still have a lot of free memory.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 10 of 31, by Jo22

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feipoa wrote:
Jo22 wrote:

Since it seems to be a memory issue, you could try to use Himem.sys/EMM386 from Windows 98's DOS.
Or try 386Max or Quarterdeck's QEMM. Maybe they can handle the situation better. It's just an idea, though. Not sure if it helps at all.

Edit: The system files (Himem, etc.) of FreeDOS, ROM-DOS, DR-DOS and Novell DOS may also work on MS-DOS..

Should I be loading EMM386 for Win3.11? I usually only load EMM386 when a particular DOS title requests it, like Wolfenstein3D.

It should never hurt. Windows 3.1x is fully compatible to EMM386. In fact, it has it's own EMM386 counterpart built-in (if run in Enhanced Mode).

So if you're running DOS with EMM386, Windows 3.1's cousin should take over after you started Windows.
However, if you load another Memory Manager, like QEMM or 386MAX, they could take that role (I believe so).

The reason I mention this, is, because these third-party memory managers had much more intelligent auto-config utilties built-in.
These might be able to find a configuration that doesn't conflict with you SCSI hardware (SCSI and network adapter use some memory regions).

They also fix certain timing issues sometimes. I have got an old laptop here, for example, that was unstable in Real-Mode (I have to say that, as much as it bugs me):
In pure real-mode, with himem.sys only, the serial ports that I used for my electronic's projects froze after some time; some programs crashed randomly, the machinr hung etc.
However, after installing QEMM97, all problems disappeared (for now). Luckily, the internal laptop CPU (486SL) had support for VME (enhanced V86), too.
Anyway, I'm not promoting V86 here; I still do prefer Real-Mode and physical solutions (EMS cards, real MPU-401, etc). But.. Sometimes V86/QEMM is worth a try, I suppose. 😀

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 31, by feipoa

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Jo22 wrote:

So if you're running DOS with EMM386, Windows 3.1's cousin should take over after you started Windows.
However, if you load another Memory Manager, like QEMM or 386MAX, they could take that role (I believe so).

I'm just using HIMEM. So if I'm using EMM386, the Windows memory manager will still take control upon booting into Win3.11, but you think if I'm using QEMM or 386MAX that the Windows memory manager won't take control?

I read in the Revto486 manual that HIMEM can exclude memory regions having issues,

Excluding regions of high memory hides it from other applications that may conflict with the memory addresses. Exclusion syntax may look like this: DEVICE=C:\HIMEM.SYS X=C000-CFFF

Is this something I should be using for the SCSI card or some other device or software? If so, what should I look for and how to implement this? And is there something similar I need to use for Windows 3.11's memory manager?

Are there some ASPIBUF.SYS settings or flags I need to implement? I didn't find much documentation from Adaptec on this.

I should point out that I have already tried using the /INT=13 , which installs cache monitoring for the Disk I/O software interrupt INT13. At first I thought it helped, but due to randomness cases of IE5 working and not working, it was difficult to determine initially. I also tried installing cache monitoring on the hardware interrupt that the Adaptec 1540CP is on, /IRQ=11, but it also didn't help.

each program uses the same 64K of memory for GDI resources,

Is there any way to increase the size of this, or to have each program use its own 64K?

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Reply 12 of 31, by feipoa

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I have confirmed that the Adaptec 1520B SCSI card (no DMA) works with IE5 and 32 MB RAM while the Adaptec 1540C (w/DMA) works with IE5 only when the RAM is limited to 16 MB. Loading EMM386 in DOS didn't change the situation.

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Reply 13 of 31, by einr

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feipoa wrote:

each program uses the same 64K of memory for GDI resources,

Is there any way to increase the size of this, or to have each program use its own 64K?

I don't think there is. This is a hardcoded property of Windows 3.1 that caused a lot of headaches back in the day.

What you can do is try to reduce the size of the GDI resources:

Reduce color depth to 8 or 16 bit if you're currently running TrueColor
Uninstall fonts you don't use -- you mentioned having both Word and WordPerfect installed so you probably have lots of fonts installed

Reply 15 of 31, by Jo22

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I think you're right. The 15-16MB area was similar to the 640 to 1MB area. Some 16-Bit ISA SVGA cards had their linear framebuffer in that region, I remember.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 16 of 31, by feipoa

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There is not a memory hole option in the BIOS. The AMI Mark V Baby Screamer has a fairly feature-limited BIOS, but I will check to see if there is a hidden memory hole option in AMISetup. Perhaps there is some software means to configure a memory hole? Or perhaps the memory hole is setup semi-automatically on this board? The board supports 32 MB outright and I have to flip some DIP switch settings when increasing/decreasing the RAM amount.

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Reply 17 of 31, by feipoa

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Unfortunately there was no hidden "memory hole" option for the BIOS. I'll try QEMM v9 and maybe 386Max v8.

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Reply 18 of 31, by feipoa

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QEMM is quite interesting. It does a whole lot more to the system for memory management than I expected it would. It actually has a routine which reboots several times looking for the most optimal memory configuration. The quantity of settings and options is way too expansive for me to read into. It completely takes over how your applications are loaded in config.sys with its own method of loading them. It also has a Windows aspect to it and adds something called MagnaRAM, whatever that is. After setting up QEMM, which was rather confusing, I did not experience any issue loading IE5, however, I did run into several other issues.

For example, at Windows shutdown, I would get

Windows Protection Error #0=
You may need to restart your computer.
C:\>

I couldn't run anything at the DOS prompt. I had to reboot.

I also received odd messages likes,

Resource Manager Advisement
CLIPSRV.EXE is trying to access the menu of WFWNET.DRV. Resource Manager has updated its configuration files for all future occurrences. Please close down and restart the two applications.

I also experienced the occasional system freeze when opening control panel and other simple programs. While there may be some settings to adjust to correct for this, the settings are far too expansive for me to trial and error through to the solution. QEMM did allow me to load A LOT more programs before spitting out a message that the system is too low on memory to open said app.

In general, I was pretty impressed. But I think for this to work reliably on my system, I'd need to have their tech support or coders here to play with my system. Perhaps 386Max v8 will be less complicated?

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Reply 19 of 31, by bakemono

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feipoa wrote:

I have confirmed that the Adaptec 1520B SCSI card (no DMA) works with IE5 and 32 MB RAM while the Adaptec 1540C (w/DMA) works with IE5 only when the RAM is limited to 16 MB. Loading EMM386 in DOS didn't change the situation.

Since the ISA bus can only address 16MB, it's probably not possible for the card to use DMA above 16MB. IIRC, the Intel DMA controller itself is limited to 64KB but IBM added some latches for the high bits of the address to extend the range to 20/24 bits.

Maybe the driver is buggy and can't handle requests to load data above 16MB. Or maybe it loads the data into a temporary buffer first and then copies it to the destination but fails to invalidate a cached region before copying? Have you tried to run IE5 with the DMA card with cache disabled?

(similar issues crop up on the Amiga due to the 16MB limit of the 68000)