[TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Tutorials for Operating Systems, Applications etc can be posted here.
Post Reply
DeFacto

[TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by DeFacto »

This was already discussed and solved here, but I thought posting a tutorial would make it a bit easier to find.

Anyway, as you probably know, you can't run Windows 3.00 in 386 Enhanced mode in Virtual PC. Attempting to do so will only result in Windows hanging at a black screen. The cause for this is Virtual PC's VGA BIOS, which uses the address space all the way up to CBFF, whereas VGA cards normally used A000-C7FF. This conflicts with Windows 386 memory management, which in turn hangs the system.

Luckily, Microsoft was aware of the issue back then and made a KB article with a fix for this. All you have to do to fix this issue is to open SYSTEM.INI of Windows 3.0 and find the [386Enh] section. Then just add the following line to that section: EMMExclude=A000-CBFF. Save the file and start Windows in 386 enhanced mode (win /e). The result should be the following:

Image

This is best done under MS-DOS with EDIT, as MS-DOS has to be installed anyway + you don't have to reboot after modding. An alternative solution is to replace VPC's default Video BIOS (a generic Trio 32/64), with a different S3 BIOS, such as Trio3D2X (I can confirm this one doesn't conflict with Windows 3.00).

WinPC

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by WinPC »

There really needs to be a comprehensive list of these tutorials, in my opinion, so that people can search for them easily without having to constantly look through loads of unrelated posts.

But anyway, this seems quite useful, especially for new members, and I also greatly appreciate it that someone else is trying to help to preserve these earlier operating systems.

George_528
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 6:04 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by George_528 »

Very helpful tutorial.
Main Client Operating System: Windows 8 Pro x64
Main Server Operating System: Windows Home Server 2011 with Update Rollup 4 on Desktop Computer

Computer addict, Web Designer and Advanced Programmer.

Battler
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:13 am
Location: Slovenia, Central Europe.
Contact:

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by Battler »

DeFacto wrote:An alternative solution is to replace VPC's default Video BIOS (a generic Trio 32/64), with a different S3 BIOS, such as Trio3D2X (I can confirm this one doesn't conflict with Windows 3.00).
You can even use a standard S3 Trio 32/64 BIOS, all of them are 32 kB. The VPC default video BIOS though is a custom-made one, seems it was even written by IBM (it has an IBM copyright) and it's 48 kB or so. However beware, all the BIOS'es in circulation report less than 4 MB VRAM, the best out there reports 2 MB. I do have a patched version of the 2 MB VRAM BIOS of Trio 32/64 that I modified to report 4 MB VRAM (just like the default VPC video BIOS), but I'm not sure how to distribute it.
Join [url=irc://irc.ringoflightning.net/softhistory/]#softhistory @ RoL IRC[/url], a nice community for true enthusiasts!
Anime channel: [url=irc://irc.ringoflightning.net/aniboshi/]#doki-doki @ RoL IRC[/url], Mibbit, KiwiIRC.
The 86Box help channel is #softhistory now!

Check out our SoftHistory Forum for quality discussion about older software.

DeFacto

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by DeFacto »

Pretty much all BIOSes have that IBM thing at the beginning, it means it's compatible with IBM's VGA standard. You can distribute the BIOSes in RAW shape (.bin or .vbi) or already patched EXE...

Here are some sites with various video BIOSes, in case anyone wants to play with them:
http://www.vgamuseum.info/
http://chukaev.ru54.com/video_en.htm

Be warned though that most don't work with VPC. They either don't work at all, only work in BIOS/DOS and fail in Windows. Only a handful will work into Windows...

Battler
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:13 am
Location: Slovenia, Central Europe.
Contact:

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by Battler »

- DeFacto: The S3 Trio32/64 BIOS does work well in VPC, for both DOS and Windows, I tested it even with Windows Powered and Neptune, as well as 9x and 3.x. :p

In any case, not all BIOS'es have that IBM thing - the real S3 ones have a copyright of Phoenix/Diamond/9fx/whoever sold that particular card with the S3 chip instead.

And my biggest problem is where to host my patched BIOS, not sure if BA allows BIOS'es/wishes to carry them.
Join [url=irc://irc.ringoflightning.net/softhistory/]#softhistory @ RoL IRC[/url], a nice community for true enthusiasts!
Anime channel: [url=irc://irc.ringoflightning.net/aniboshi/]#doki-doki @ RoL IRC[/url], Mibbit, KiwiIRC.
The 86Box help channel is #softhistory now!

Check out our SoftHistory Forum for quality discussion about older software.

DeFacto

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by DeFacto »

Obviously all the Trios will work, but most others wont... I've tried various cards and I can tell you that nvidias and most others dont work, ati works until you get to windows and s3 cardd mostly work.

Battler
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:13 am
Location: Slovenia, Central Europe.
Contact:

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by Battler »

- DeFacto: Well, VPC emulates a Trio32, 732 chip, so obviously any BIOS not designed for that chip or another compatible chip, won't work right. :p
Join [url=irc://irc.ringoflightning.net/softhistory/]#softhistory @ RoL IRC[/url], a nice community for true enthusiasts!
Anime channel: [url=irc://irc.ringoflightning.net/aniboshi/]#doki-doki @ RoL IRC[/url], Mibbit, KiwiIRC.
The 86Box help channel is #softhistory now!

Check out our SoftHistory Forum for quality discussion about older software.

keksinen
User avatar
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:39 pm
Location: Ćuprija, Pomoravlje, Serbia

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by keksinen »

The EMMExclude solution doesn't work for me.. Anyone have those Win3.0 S3 drivers could PM me?

TheCollector1988
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 3583
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:11 am
Location: Italy
Contact:

Re: [TUT] Windows 3.0 386 Enhanced mode in VPC

Post by TheCollector1988 »

keksinen wrote:The EMMExclude solution doesn't work for me.. Anyone have those Win3.0 S3 drivers could PM me?
there are no S3 drivers for Win3.0 and those for 3.1 don't work on 3.0.

Post Reply