Set up a Win 3.x VM with browser
Below you find tips on how to..:
- install Windows 3.1
- set up Trumpet Winsock
- install a browser.
Alternatively, with Windows for Workgroups 3.11 you can also use Microsofts TCPIP stack.
My host system is a typical WinXP machine with 1280*1024 display.
I used VirtualBox 1.4.0 (in 1.3.8 I never got the mouse going or it was running around like a madman).
The post builds on to my earlier one describing the setup of a DOS VM including CDROM and NIC drivers:
Contents of this new post were partially inspired by Weiqi Gao's observations.
Hint: once you feel familiar with CDROM images you can collect all your drivers and applications there and significanctly speed up your installation processess.
Installing WIN 3.1
Based on a DOS machine WIN 3.1 can be installed in a few ways:
- use the original floppies
- or use images
- or copy the contents of all disks to a CDROM from where you can setup Win 3.1 (at the cost of having all aplications Windows setup can find, including those on the CDROM, in your Windows Applications group).
For the installation procedure itself; run setup and go with defaults as much as possible. In this way you'll end up with a VGA display; after setup this can be changed into SuperVGA (800*16, 16 colors). Not much for today's standards but the best you can get with the 'native'
MS Win 3.1 drivers and VirtualBox. CDROM and mouse should be detected automatically.
Hint: it may be rewarding to spend some time on (DOS) memory optimisation.
Reducing CPU load
To avoid your modern CPU being loaded fully by this small and old OS use an utility called WQGHLT.386 from Weiqi Gao. It can be found on the web:
His blog also contains many other items you may consider useful.
Setting up Trumpet Winsock
I use Trumpet Winsock 2.11f for setting up TCPIP. Part of the trick is in configuring it.
Follow the instructions from the Trumpet Winsock Help file. Note that WINPKT.COM may not be included in the Trumpet distribution. If that’s the case: check out Crynwr. Put all these files in one subdirectory and be sure to add this subdirectory to the PATH statement in AUTOEXEC.BAT.
Note the following: From VirtualBox setup:
- IP address 10.0.2.15 (or use BOOTP or 0.0.0.0)
- Netmask 255.255.255.0
- Default gateway 10.0.2.2
- Name server 10.0.2.3
and from packetdriver setup:
- Packet vector 60
and from Trumpet manual (suggestions):
- MTU 1500
- TCP RWIN 4096 => for better performance in my case: 2048
- TCPP MSS 1024
Ah - and disable SLIP and PPP boxes !
Installing a browser
For browsing the internet I chose MS IE 3.01; another one like Netscape 4.08 will also do fine if not slightly better. Browsers can be found on the web and their installation tends to be straightforward. Just ignore (or accept defaults on) all questions about mail and dialling... For fastest results MS IE 3.01 is recommended.
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and Internet
For those lucky enough to have their original WfW 3.11 floppies: there's an alternative in using Microsofts own TCPIP stack. It can still be ftp'd from the MS website, look for TCP32B.EXE (the slightly older MSTCPIP.EXE will also do). It has a readme file with instructions making setting it up not too hard. Performance-wise it doesn't seem to make a big difference whether you use the MS TCPIP stack or Trumpet.
In setting up MS TCPIP it will ask for NIC drivers (NDIS2, NDIS3): all these can still be found at the AMD website. For example, via
You can stick to the PCI versions.
Sketchy again, but know that the web still contains lots of info on how to do it, together with the necessary files. Once you 've got the packetdriver set up for Windows 3.1 you're almost there !
Revision/070728: moved to where it belongs: Windows Guests forum, http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1037
I will delete this one in time...
Addition/080201: this post is NOT maintained; see the Windows Guests forum for additions.