Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

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LeonardoIannelliRETRIEVES
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Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by LeonardoIannelliRETRIEVES »

All the versions of Windows NT before Windows 2000 have versions that can run on MIPS processors, an instruction set that's used in the Nintendo 64 and PlayStations 1 and 2. MIPS the rabbit from Super Mario 64 is named after it. The NT versions after 3.1 also had versions that could run on PowerPC processors, which were used in the Power Macintosh series since 1994, and all Macs after 1997 and before 2006. (Edit: The Nintendo GameCube, Wii, and Wii U also have PowerPC CPUs.)

From what I can tell, an operating system can usually run on any device with a CPU whose architecture it's compiled for. Therefore, would it be possible to run Windows NT on one of the aforementioned game consoles or a PowerPC Mac? If not out of the box, would it be possible to modify Windows NT and/or the devices' hardware to do so? I think it's likely possible as long as those devices don't have something like Secure Boot.

Even if modifying the system files themselves doesn't work, perhaps the leaked Windows NT 3.5 RC2 source code could be forked into a port, with bug fixes from later builds ported over as well to ultimately create something closer to the final release and hopefully Service Pack 5 as well. Actually, don't do that, it's illegal. Whatever. Anyway, would it be possible to use any of these strategies to get Windows NT running on game consoles and Macs? I'd appreciate an answer from people with technical knowledge on this sort of thing.

P.S.: More on running Windows NT on the Nintendo 64: Windows NT itself could be stored on a game cartridge, with up to 64MB of data that isn't system files that shouldn't be modified being stored on a magnetic disk for the 64DD. If 4MB isn't enough RAM for it to be usable, an Expansion Pak could be used to upgrade it to 8MB. The 64DD could also allow it to connect to the Internet (if a driver is created for it), which would make Windows NT on the N64 slightly less useless. Also, the 64DD's real-time clock and/or the Controller Pak could keep the date and time up to date (no pun intended), the N64 mouse (bundled with Mario Artist: Paint Studio) could provide the essential mouse input, and the Randnet keyboard could provide even more essential keyboard input, all of these things making the 64DD slightly less of a failure if they actually work, which is questionable at best.
Last edited by LeonardoIannelliRETRIEVES on Mon May 03, 2021 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Meow
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by Meow »

For the Nintendo 64, well it might run on the console if you replaced the bios. Of course, the bios would have to be compatible as well. And the bios that Windows NT MIPS uses to load is not. It is also not open source so that stops there. The Playstation 1 would also not be compatible for the reasons above, however with one more. 2MB of RAM is not enough to even start the NT kernel. The PlayStation 2, however, might be able to actually run it. You would not be able to run it on the hardware itself, but rather through something like QEMU. The PlayStation 2 actually had a Linux kit. And if there was enough RAM left for the VM, and QEMU ran on it, then yes, NT would probably run on the PlayStation 2.

With Macs, the answer is likely the same as the PS2. Only through QEMU would NT likely run on that platform.
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ATeamInc
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by ATeamInc »

1- I personally think that this is not worth it.
2- NT on MIPS requires specific machines at the time (such as the MIPS Magnum, which QEMU emulates). Same for PowerPC. Even if you managed to get NT to boot on such systems, which is not possible, does the N64 have an ARC bootloader? Also IIRC PPC NT requires a specific type of BIOS and mode (little endian? I'm not an expert at this, someone knows better) not available on PPC Macs. You can see that certain IBM PowerPC laptops at the time were not compatible with PPC NT, but hey, IBM made others that were compatible. Does that mean all of them can run PPC NT?
3- Good luck writing drivers for obscure operating
systems and even more obscure hardware.

EDIT: Yes, little endian. More about that at Raymond Chen's blog.

Xeno
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by Xeno »

Meow wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:52 am
For the Nintendo 64, well it might run on the console if you replaced the bios. Of course, the bios would have to be compatible as well. And the bios that Windows NT MIPS uses to load is not. It is also not open source so that stops there. The Playstation 1 would also not be compatible for the reasons above, however with one more. 2MB of RAM is not enough to even start the NT kernel. The PlayStation 2, however, might be able to actually run it. You would not be able to run it on the hardware itself, but rather through something like QEMU. The PlayStation 2 actually had a Linux kit. And if there was enough RAM left for the VM, and QEMU ran on it, then yes, NT would probably run on the PlayStation 2.

With Macs, the answer is likely the same as the PS2. Only through QEMU would NT likely run on that platform.
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by Voyambar »

I mean Windows 2000 (which was built off of Windows NT) was the OS powering the original Xbox so yes I'd suppose it would be possible but to do it on one that's not an original Xbox or to do it in a manner to where you can access the desktop I think that'd be impossible or at least difficult.

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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by Meow »

Voyambar wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:43 pm
I mean Windows 2000 (which was built off of Windows NT) was the OS powering the original Xbox so yes I'd suppose it would be possible but to do it on one that's not an original Xbox or to do it in a manner to where you can access the desktop I think that'd be impossible or at least difficult.
ReactOS has already done this.
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by computebrute »

This is hilarious. Short answer to these questions is a big, fat, obvious no. Internet on an n64 running windows NT? I haven't laughed this hard in a while.
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by Joet BERNARD »

Anything is possible when you have ambition and will 😉😉
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by rafaelgs »

Meow wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:51 pm
Voyambar wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:43 pm
I mean Windows 2000 (which was built off of Windows NT) was the OS powering the original Xbox so yes I'd suppose it would be possible but to do it on one that's not an original Xbox or to do it in a manner to where you can access the desktop I think that'd be impossible or at least difficult.
ReactOS has already done this.
It's worth to mention that the Xbox's CPU is a custom Intel Pentium III "Coppermine".
So it stills x86 CPU, not MIPS.
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BloxmineXL
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Re: Can you run Windows NT on a game console or a Mac?

Post by BloxmineXL »

The thing to consider foremost is that not all PPC or MIPS processors are created equal. The cpu in the N64 is highly specialised to fully work together with the rest of the hardware.

Think of it like this: The Motorola 68000-series is used in a lot of different computers and gameconsoles, but there’s absolutely no way to run any Amiga 500 software on your Mega Drive.
:idea:

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