[Guide] How to identify the build of Windows 3.1x

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[Guide] How to identify the build of Windows 3.1x

Post by Battler »

As a lot of people have noticed so far, there are several Windows 3.1x versions, and a lot of the time they're hard to distinguish between, so here's a way to.

1. Setup:
Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups 3.1, and Windows 3.11 have a SETUP.EXE files big aroud 400 to 500 kB with both the DOS and Windows portions in. SETUP.EXE of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 is generally around 200 to 300 kB big with only the DOS portion while the Windows portion is in WINSETUP.EXE (usually on the installation floppies compressed as WINSETUP.EX_).

2. Compression:
Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups 3.1 use SZDD header and compression type A which is standard LZSS compression (so you can somewhat discern the contents of the files even when compressed). Note though, Windows 3.1 Builds 026 and 034e use SZDD header and compression type B which differs from type A only in the size of the maximum matched string size, which is bigger in type B, so type B produces slightly smaller files (SZDD type B is identical to KWAJ type 2, by the way).
Windows 3.11 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 generally use KWAJ header and compression type 3 which is LZSS + Huffman (so you can't discern the contents of the file at all when compressed).
Note some versions come with completely uncompressed files, such as some Chinese versions, so this doesn't apply to them.

3. The version and Build number in USER.EXE:
Windows 3.1 will have 3.10.103 there, Windows for Workgroups 3.1 3.10.102, Windows 3.11 3.11.002, and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 3.11.300.

4. Number of floppy disks (this is about the 3.5" versions, others will differ):
The standard English and Western European localized versions are generally as follows: 3.1 6 disks, 3.11 6 disks, for Workgroups 3.1 8 disks, for Workgroups 3.11 8 disks.
The English versions for Central and Eastern Europe and the Central and Eastern European localized versions are generally as follows: 3.1 8 disks, 3.11 8 disks, for Workgroups 3.1 10 disks, for Workgroups 3.11 10 disks.
The asian versions (both Middle East and East Asian ones) vary though, and aren't as easily discernible by this.
Also, there's the 1992 version of Windows 3.1 for Central and Eastern Europe with only 7 disks.

5. File dates/times (standard English RTM versions only):
Standard English RTM versions: Windows 3.1 will be generally dated from March to June 1992, Windows for Workgroups 3.1 October 1992, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 November 1993, and Windows 3.11 December 1993.
English RTM versions for Central and Eastern Europe: Windows 3.1 will be generally dated from March to April 1993, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 will be dated 1994.
Other versions will vary.

This is all I can remember off-hand right now, but if I remember or find out anything else, I will post it here. Everyone else is welcome to contribute too.
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Re: [Guide] How to identify the build of Windows 3.1x

Post by os2fan2 »

The update files to convert windows 3.1 into 3.11 is something like 4 or 5 files.

This table shows the various wallpapers collected from Windows 3.x diskettes. Some NLS versions have these files renamed. They include the Winnt files, but not the display logos.

a = beta b61, b = beta b68, c = available for wincd, j = japan builds, k = korean builds
0 = windows 3.10, 1= wfw 3.10, chicago betas, 2 = wfw 3.11, windows 3.11, 6 = in the wdl wfwadd.exe
The last entry shows the file's original name. Different files are different, eg tartan.bmp has different colour thin strips in the two versions, and 256 color are different sizes.

egypt.bmp reappeared in windows 95 as 'carved stone', which is evident in some early beta, but they found a way to make the bitmaps smaller, mostly by removing dead data.

leaves.bmp appeared in the 3.10 releases, but was dropped from the 3.11 releases, and not made available for download. Everything else has eithe a '2' or '6' where '1' appears - ie they were in the 3.11 release or made available for download.

Code: Select all

256small.bmp 5078 0 1 2 256color.bmp
256large.bmp 19994 a b 3 256color.bmp
arcade.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3  c
arches.bmp 10358 a b 0 3 6 
argyle.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3 c
ball.bmp 32886 3
cars.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3 c
castle.bmp 778 a b 0 1 2 3 c
chitz.bmp 19918 a b 0 3 6 c
concrete.bmp 32886 c
egypt.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3
flock.bmp 1630 a b 0
karepet.bmp 153718 p (kare)
hana256.bmp 77878 j (Japan)
honey.bmp 630 a b  0 1 2 3 c
leaves.bmp 15118 a b  0 1 3
marble.bmp 27464 a b  0 3 6
mun.bmp 26678 k (Korea)
puppy.bmp 308278 j (Japan)
redbrick.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3
rivets.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3
slash.bmp 2038 a b
spots.bmp 4558 a b
squares.bmp 630 a b 0 1 2 3 c
steel.bmp 7174 a b
taegeuk.bmp 12918 k (Korea)
tartan.bmp 32886 b 0 3 6 c
tartan2.bmp 32886 a tartan.bmp
thatch.bmp 598 b 0 1 2 3
winlogo.bmp 38518 b 0 1 2 3
zigzag.bmp 630 b 0 1 2 3
Most of the files in all the reference sets are identical.


kwaj is the older of the compressions, but mysteriously dropped for dos 5 and windows 3.10, which use szdd. The usual name to unkwaj is 'uncomp.exe'. It's a tighter compression than szdd. szdd appeared with windows 3.00, and dos 5.00. The compress.exe appeared in the sdk.
  • older compress (kwaj) uses the rename with $ (eg excel.ex$)
  • 3.00 compresses (szdd) the file without renaming.
  • dos 5 compresses (szdd) the files, to edlin.ex_ expand.exe does not rename.
  • 3.10 compresses (szdd) the files using underscore rename (eg notepad.ex_), expand -r works
  • dos 6 compressed (kwaj) the files to edlin.ex_, expand.exe does not rename.
  • 3.11 compressed (kwaj) the files to edlin.ex$, expand,exe can rename, and unpack szdd and kwaj files.
win311 was released as a legal requirement (about hijacking the home network market).

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