WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

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WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby notsofossil » 2017-12-06 @ 05:11

I didn't know where exactly to ask this question, so I guess here is close enough.

I would love to have a Windows 3.11 setup on a real PC, problem is I don't have anything older than a Pentium 1 laptop. I'm told Windows 3.11 isn't ideal for Pentium and newer. Maybe Pentium would be ok anyway? Perhaps I could do a dual-boot with Windows 95 on such a machine? Or that weird "install Win3.11 in MS-DOS 7 and run from Win95" approach.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2017-12-06 @ 05:37

notsofossil wrote:I didn't know where exactly to ask this question, so I guess here is close enough.

I would love to have a Windows 3.11 setup on a real PC, problem is I don't have anything older than a Pentium 1 laptop. I'm told Windows 3.11 isn't ideal for Pentium and newer. Maybe Pentium would be ok anyway? Perhaps I could do a dual-boot with Windows 95 on such a machine? Or that weird "install Win3.11 in MS-DOS 7 and run from Win95" approach.


The reason W95 is "Ideal" for the Pentium is just because the Pentium has the power to run it and it's far more capable than Win3.11.

Windows 3.11 runs great on Pentiums. Don't forget the Pentium processor shipped ~March of 1993, so it was a good while before the transition to Win95 took place. Obviously NT would be the OS of choice for the professional market but there's nothing wrong with a DOS 6.22 + Win 3.11 installation on a Pentium. There were many people running straight dos Pentiums back in the mid 90s, many people didn't care to buy the new OS until Windows gaming finally took off.

The ONLY issue is going to come down to your graphics and whether or not it has drivers that will run 3.11 at high resolutions + high color. If you get stuck running at 640x480 on an 800x600 display for example, you may get stuck with black bars. Or you may get stuck doing 800x600@16 colors. That will depend on your laptop.
Last edited by BeginnerGuy on 2017-12-06 @ 05:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby Ampera » 2017-12-06 @ 05:39

Not sure where you heard 3.11 couldn't run on a Pentium. Heck, the P5 line started in 1993. There are some things to consider though.

There is no full FAT32 drive support on Window 3.11. It can use FAT32 partitions, but effects can sometimes be unpredictable. It will not show drive sizes above 2GB, and will act very strangely with them.
However, if you use multiple FAT16 partitions, you should be perfectly fine. DOS almost never needs more than 2GB of drive space anyways. My 2GB drives in my 486 are barely full with anything, and I have installed a load of games to it.

I would not install 3.11 on CDU's DOS 7.1, FreeDOS, or from Windows 95 for various reasons. My personal taste is of PC-DOS 2000.

Besides this, you should be fine on P5. Good luck finding drivers for anything useful, though.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby yawetaG » 2017-12-06 @ 07:02

Ampera wrote:Not sure where you heard 3.11 couldn't run on a Pentium. Heck, the P5 line started in 1993. There are some things to consider though.


Back in the early 00's, there was a belief at various computer shops in the Netherlands that installing MS-DOS on a Pentium or higher was "bad", for a reason that no one has ever been able to explain to me. I think it's merely a myth among badly informed people, just like "Macs can't talk to Windows systems".
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby MERCURY127 » 2017-12-06 @ 08:04

Pentium and other PCI mobos have one little problem - there is impossible to run disk subsystem of win3x in 32BDA mode, even using only good old less-then-504MB hdds. WfWg 3.11 can run in 32BFA mode (via ifshlp.sys), but it is NOT replacement for 32BDA.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby Ampera » 2017-12-06 @ 08:33

yawetaG wrote:
Ampera wrote:Not sure where you heard 3.11 couldn't run on a Pentium. Heck, the P5 line started in 1993. There are some things to consider though.


Back in the early 00's, there was a belief at various computer shops in the Netherlands that installing MS-DOS on a Pentium or higher was "bad", for a reason that no one has ever been able to explain to me. I think it's merely a myth among badly informed people, just like "Macs can't talk to Windows systems".


Ahh, old computer myths by poorly informed people arguing on forums (or even BBSs). It's a certain charm of an era as people try to find out what the best for their system is. It still goes on today, and I believe every single person on this forum is guilty of it to some extent, I know I am.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-06 @ 09:32

MERCURY127 wrote:Pentium and other PCI mobos have one little problem - there is impossible to run disk subsystem of win3x in 32BDA mode, even using only good old less-then-504MB hdds. WfWg 3.11 can run in 32BFA mode (via ifshlp.sys), but it is NOT replacement for 32BDA.

Yes, that's true I suppose. Some things had changed since the 80s, which the old FastDisk driver wasn't prepared for.
That affected both vanilla Win 3.1x, as well as WfW. The 32-Bit Disk Access thing was also releated to the IDE hard disks themselves,
since they had the controller built-in. Earlier MFM/RLL and ESDi controllers had their brains on the computer side (usually WD1003 compatible ISA card).
http://www.os2museum.com/wp/how-to-please-wdctrl/

Luckily, third party 32BDA drivers were released later on.. :)
The MicroHouse driver is one of the few drivers that's not "dongled" (bound to a specific hard disk model).
http://win31.de/edrivers.htm
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby .legaCy » 2017-12-06 @ 14:21

On my pentium 133 i used WfW 3.11 because Windows 95 was finicky with my awe64 and it worked perfectly good.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby mrau » 2017-12-06 @ 16:25

i believe pentium is a good basic system if You need hi-res; i personally never had access to such a thing, but i believe the old windows did fewer things in hardware when drawing the gui - the system needs more power to draw the same resolution and depth;
btw - by brains on the computer side You mean that the driver could get for example head position and adjust its operation queue to improve performance?
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby LHN91 » 2017-12-06 @ 16:39

I actually have WfW 3.11 on a SS7 board with a K6-2. I've got an AWE64 Value and an S3 Trio64, which both have drivers for 3.11 - makes for quick and capable 3.11/DOS machine, actually.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby notsofossil » 2017-12-07 @ 04:24

My laptop is an IBM Thinkpad i1400, or some number close to that. I think there are Win3.11 drivers for it, at least for some devices. I wonder if I could boot a CF card from the PCMCIA slots, that would be more convenient than removing the keyboard and swapping cards. Right now the laptop has a 5GB MicroDrive in an adapter. I assume 5GB is too big for Win3.11? How about 1GB?
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby Ampera » 2017-12-07 @ 04:26

notsofossil wrote:My laptop is an IBM Thinkpad i1400, or some number close to that. I think there are Win3.11 drivers for it, at least for some devices. I wonder if I could boot a CF card from the PCMCIA slots, that would be more convenient than removing the keyboard and swapping cards. Right now the laptop has a 5GB MicroDrive in an adapter. I assume 5GB is too big for Win3.11? How about 1GB?


5GB is not too big for Windows 3.11. What would be too big is if you made it one large FAT32 partition. If you make 3 FAT16 partitions, it will be perfectly fine.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby oeuvre » 2017-12-07 @ 13:46

Heck, I've run Windows 3.11 on a Pentium III 1GHz
Dell Optiplex GXa Pentium II 266MHz, 256MB, ATI Rage XL, IBM HD, SB16, DOS/3.11/98
i7 6700K, 32GB, EVGA GTX970, 256GB M.2 SSD + HD, Windows 10
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby Ampera » 2017-12-07 @ 18:16

oeuvre wrote:Heck, I've run Windows 3.11 on a Pentium III 1GHz


I've run 3.11 on an 400MT/s Athlon XP+.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby JeramyRo » 2017-12-08 @ 13:20

Ampera wrote:
notsofossil wrote:My laptop is an IBM Thinkpad i1400, or some number close to that. I think there are Win3.11 drivers for it, at least for some devices. I wonder if I could boot a CF card from the PCMCIA slots, that would be more convenient than removing the keyboard and swapping cards. Right now the laptop has a 5GB MicroDrive in an adapter. I assume 5GB is too big for Win3.11? How about 1GB?


5GB is not too big for Windows 3.11. What would be too big is if you made it one large FAT32 partition. If you make 3 FAT16 partitions, it will be perfectly fine.


Hi Ampera, what would be the largest amount of hdd space that would still be safe for Win 3.11 do you think?
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby LHN91 » 2017-12-08 @ 13:23

Basically, you can use as big a hard drive as you want and the hardware will support, as long as you partition it into FAT16 partitions all of less than 2GB in size.
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Re: WfW 3.11 ok on Pentium?

Postby FesterBlatz » 2017-12-08 @ 14:37

For what it's worth, the very first Pentium I laid eyes on was a brand new Packard Bell Legend 60CD with a Pentium 60...right after the Pentium CPU's were released. It came pre-installed with MS-DOS and Windows 3.11.
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