DR-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0

So I’ve always heard about the incompatibility, and I thought I’d give it a try in PCem.  I know I used to run DR-DOS 5.00 and Windows 3.0 (because of the CGA driver) and it worked fine.

So just to prove it works, here I am installing Windows 3.0 on DR-DOS 5

Installing Windows 3.0

Installing Windows 3.0

And even better, running Word 2.0! Although I did install a whopping 4MB of ram on this virtual 286.

MS Word 2.0

MS Word 2.0

And to make it all the better, I changed to a 386, and re-installed Windows 3.0 and yes it runs in enhanced mode.  And I can run DR-DOS in a windows.

386 enhanced mode

386 enhanced mode

Of course there was the AARD code, in the Windows 3.1 betas, but as far as I know that didn’t make it to release.  I was able to upgrade to a virtual VGA adapter, and update to Windows 3.1 in standard mode on a 286, just fine

Windows 3.1 standard mode on a 286

Windows 3.1 standard mode on a 286

And DR-DOS worked through the standard mode task swapper

DR-DOS in standard mode

DR-DOS in standard mode

But Windows 3.1 in enhanced mode always locked up during setup.  Maybe a PCem bug?  I’m not sure.  But Windows 3.0 works great.

12 thoughts on “DR-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0

      • I meant to ask why you went for CGA in PCem as well apart from accurately “reviving” the experience? Sorry if my question wasn’t clear.

        • More so to relive it, and check out MS-DOS running on Windows 3.0 386 enhanced mode in CGA. It really was a big step down from the Commodore 64, but at the same time having over 10x the RAM, and disk space was surreal.

          I didn’t get EGA until late 93. It was a MEH experience as the picture always felt so compressed. And I finally made the move out of 286 land, into a 386sx16! Not until 94 when I got a job that I could go all the way with a 486, SCSI CD-ROM and a 700MB SCSI hard disk. Granted it was all used stuff, but it was such a big step up from the Commodore 64.

          It seemed so crazy too back then but in 94 I want to say I started using linux full time, It was just too unstable back in the early 93 days. Although it didn’t stop me from loading it on other people’s PC’s!

  1. Maybe I’m incorrectly attributing my trouble getting Windows 3.x to work on DR-DOS (5 or 6, I don’t remember the version) to that AARD stuff, perhaps it was just that it wasn’t trivial, the Windows manual wasn’t going to tell you what you needed to do to your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to get it to work, and it was in the days before you could just look on the web or in fact really get any answers that weren’t in the box you bought at the store.

    • could be. That was the worst thing about back then, if you didn’t have crazy friends who did the same stuff, or know people on a BBS you really were isolated.

      We really are lucky to have the internet!

  2. Windows 3.0? Pre-Release Version 0.1 aka Windows 3.00.14 alpha can run VirtualBox. Go to VirtualBox Settings Change VirtualBox Base Memory to 12 MB of RAM and install MS-DOS 4.01 on your VirtualBox VM. After you install MS-DOS 4.01 to go your virtualbox floopy drive put disk1 of Windows 3.0? Pre-Release Version 0.1 Setup in there. Type Setup c:\windows to install windows. After Setup go to MS-DOS Edlin type Device=C:\Himem.sys and Files=40 save as config.sys and reboot VirtualBox VM. Type cd c:\windows and type win386 windows will start. These Applications for Windows 1.x and 2.x was test on Windows 3.00.14 Alpha and install on VirtualBox.

    download link for Windows 3.0? Pre-Release Version 0.1 on VirtualBox

  3. IIRC, the series of bugs that prevented Win 3.1 running in enhanced mode were caused by having Windows 3.1 installed over Windows 3.0. Updating DRDOS 6 with the April 1992 patch and clean installing Windows 3.1 should permit enhanced mode to run.

    • Which makes sense as I was trying to get 3.1 in CGA, which the only way I know off hand is to upgrade from 3.0, or at least that is what I was doing back then, when I obtained a copy of Windows 3.1.

      I guess I can try to work with KB 84753, or apparently a separate driver here

    • Microsoft released the CGA driver for Windows 3.1x as a separate package. It might even work on Windows 9x if you really want to have some “fun”.

      • Ive seen the EGA on toastytech. And on BA how to do CGA on a super early 95 beta, but for most of the functionality they really did make it a VGA only thing.

        The only thing I used that as more painful was OS/2 2.0 on CGA. I could re-install it, but even virtually I don’t want to shuffle that many disks!

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