DOSBox 0.74 can run Windows 3.0/3.1 in 386 Enhanced mode!

DOSBox… in a box!

I don’t know why I never tried it before, but it actually works!  And it’ll even spawn out to a window two.  Although without share/record locking it’ll end up being a world of pain, I suspect.  Maybe vDOS/vDosPlus will work?  I know it’ll work fine if you boot MS-DOS inside of DOSBox, but for some reason I never actually tried to stress the v86 mode of DOSBox from within Windows.

8 thoughts on “DOSBox 0.74 can run Windows 3.0/3.1 in 386 Enhanced mode!

  1. I enjoyed running Windows 3.0 real mode in Windows 3.0 enhanced mode.
    Unfortunately there’s no multitasking because in Windows 3.0, all 86 VM in graphics mode are frozen while in window mode (they can run only fullscreen)…
    And I was so sad when I discovered that real mode was disabled in Windows 3.1 🙁

    • Ive only seen one person with an IBM XT using Windows 3.0 in real mode. And it was just painful to watch at 4.77 Mhz on that poor 10MB hard disk. They did have one of those snazzy Microsoft green mice, and an 8087 though. But it was so slow, and then for the heck of it, I made some 360kb MS-DOS 6.2 disks, and ran defrag… It probably would have been quicker to backup/format/restore it had been in use since they bought it, and to say it was badly fragmented was an understatement.

      It was such a painful machine, but since he had that 8087 doing CAD was a breeze compared to my mathless 80286. It’s crazy how expensive machines were, and just how incredibly limited they were. Just like running OS/2 2.00 with a CGA display.

      • I did this for a while, but the issue is that most Windows 3.0 software isn’t really compatible with real mode. It’s an option specified in the module definition file for the linker, but most developers for 3.0 didn’t see it worth their time supporting. What did run was 2.x applications, since they were real mode – but on an 8088, you’re better off just running 2.x in order to run 2.x applications. So I ended up using Windows 2.03 + Word for Windows 1.1 + Excel 2.1 on similar hardware.

        • I went through some hell to find Excel 2.1c which can run on Windows 2 and Windows 3.0 in all 3 modes.

          I don’t recall having any luck with Word 1.x although I was more of a Word 2.x fan at the time.

          The lineage of Word almost deserves it’s own article. I’ve been mostly bummed out that Office 97 doesn’t install on current Wine builds, or Windows 10 x64 so well.

          But it is funny how these massive productivity apps are trivially small today, except for their heft of printed manuals. And for the most part I honestly don’t use many features beyond stuff from the early 90’s.

    • I just recall it crashing hard a long while ago. I just wanted to see something in a restricted scale, and was surprised that it not only works in Windows 3.0, but renders correctly with the stock VGA driver. 3.1 rendered incorrectly, but it still ran.

    • I’ve run 3.1 with a S3 Trio 64V driver of some sort on 0.74 for almost a year now and although it’s not perfect about running DOS windows in, well, windows, it works fairly well.

      For what it’s worth though it was an IBM-rebranded version. XD

  2. I’ve been doing this for a while too. For share, go find fakeshar which just indicates to applications that share is there without doing anything. It’s convincing enough to let things like Office 4.3 run.

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