First post, by OMORES
What do you know...
Windows NT 3.51 can be convinced to work with modern hardware like Ryzen 3900X! (First, I had a similar talk with NT 4.0)
I.Make NT 3.51
great again bootable:
UniATA v. 0.46e8 seems to be the perfect version for NT 3.51 and SATA drives. On my machine, it boots and 3 SATA drives show up in disk manager. (all, except NVME)
To get it done with SATA you might need at least one file from here: Windows NT 3.51 SuperPack ver.7
II.The drivers part:
*USB emulated keyboard simply works. (This is not the case in Windows 2K/XP/Vista)
*PS2 mouse works as expected (updated: now I use a Microsoft Cordless Wheel mouse with PS2 - serial adapter)
*For video I use a Voodoo 3 3000 PCI which is already installed on my system, and works with Windows 3.11, 9x, NT4/2000/Xp. I used Voodoo Velocity Drivers. Given the fact there is almost no 3D going on... these Velocity drivers are basically a set of 2D drivers for NT 3.51, but it's nice to have 16m colors... 😀
*Audio: I use a M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 PCI card - this is a new and a surprise find to me! You simply install drivers and you have sound. (the card is on the PCI-E bus using an Asmedia bridge chip.) Later update: Delta 24/96 runs well in Windows and 16bit applications but games like Unreal and Hexen II can't detect the card.
Avance Logic ALS4000 seems to be the perfect card for Windows NT 3.51, drivers just do their job. This card is also compatible with 32bit games like Unreal or Hexen II. The MIDI part needs some fiddling.
*LAN - Realtek 8029 PCI. (drivers)In NT 4.0 I use a Broadcom BC57XX PCI-E gigabit card - maybe I'll find some older drivers compatible with NT3.51. Anyways, there are plenty PCI NICs with drivers for NT3.51.
*16bit software works great! All the 16bit software which I used to ran in 3.11 now is installed on NT 3.51.
* If it is not specifically designed for NT3 most 32bit commercial software will fail at the installation part. But, if you can install it in NT 4.0 then probably will work in 3.51 also. (just copy the installed files and add the missing dlls...)
There are some modified versions of Seamonkey, Firefox and Thunderbird which are extremely good if you have low expectations. I uninstalled IE 5.0 because it causes some start up errors. (it seems these errors appear even in emulators: PCTCPAPI083: 4.10 PC/TCP kernel and VxD not loaded.
Now some screen shots:
Yes, Unreal can be played in Windows NT 3.51. There is no DirectX in NT 3.5, so Unreal will start in software mode - which, by the way, is one of the best software rendering engines. This is how finished the game back in 1998 and I was very satisfied with the graphics. I'm curios if I can make it work with a Voodoo 3 by copying the glide2x/3x dlls.
This is a screenshot from my machine Ryzen3900x/Voodoo3 3000 running NT3.51 with real hardware: