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 Windows NT 3.51, aka Windows 1993
post Jan 27 2007, 07:30 AM
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wendy
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I decided to take a look at windows 3.51. This is one of the older ancesters of Windows 2k/xp etc.

The UI looks very much like Windows 3.1 and DOS. But deep in the heart of this is beating the same VMS core that powers win xp.

Still, the overall install diskette can be trimmed down to 70 MB, but i have also the resource kit (50 MB), and SP5 (27 MB unpacked) on the same cdrom. There's also some kind of post sp5 package, which has updated files to allow it to read/write to fat32, and a few other niceties. There are a few other features for modern iron as well.

There's also Newshell, the experimental "explorer" like interface for Win3x, but this is incredibly buggy. I uninstalled the blighter.

Still. It's a nice OS, and it will dual boot with something like XP.

W


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post Jan 27 2007, 03:20 PM
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TheHive
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Thanks for the info. Good read.


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post Jan 31 2007, 01:25 PM
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Moon Goon
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I think 3.51 was supposed to be the optimised version of 3.5. I tried it a few times and got nowhere. Poor Internet Explorer 5 crashed endlessly. Disk defragmentation utilities could destroy the filesystem because M$ made slight, undocumented changes to NTFS.

The only way this would be viable is if it could be booted from RAM and work with files on modern NTFS partitions.. seems like an impossible task, but I can dream smile.gif
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post Jan 31 2007, 01:39 PM
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Nuno Brito
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Also found the link to the Chicago edition review: http://toastytech.com/guis/chic58.html - this was the ancestor to win9x back in 1993, why have they insisted on Chicago and Windows 95 when there was an NT OS already available? blink.gif

Wendy, can you post some screenshots - seems a really interesting OS.. thumbsup.gif


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post Jan 31 2007, 02:09 PM
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MedEvil
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QUOTE (Nuno Brito @ Jan 31 2007, 02:39 PM) *
Also found the link to the Chicago edition review: http://toastytech.com/guis/chic58.html - this was the ancestor to win9x back in 1993, why have they insisted on Chicago and Windows 95 when there was an NT OS already available? blink.gif

Wendy, can you post some screenshots - seems a really interesting OS.. thumbsup.gif

Because of DOS and Win3.1 compatibility.


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post Jan 31 2007, 02:14 PM
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Moon Goon
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Got some screenshots right here:

http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/winnt351

I remember the betas of Windows 95.. They were MORE STABLE than the finished product. Multitasking was smoother too. Although this could just be my experience *shrugs*
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post Feb 1 2007, 07:53 AM
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wendy
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I may well dig around and post screen shots of the OS.

I have some rather interesting patches to it, too. One, for example, allows Win351 to read/write to fat32 partitions, along with the usual fat16 and hpfs partitions. The nr 2 box (where it lives at the mo), has both of these (os2 and win98). It can read upto the 48 bit limit (ie 137 GB), with a suitable fix.

At the moment, i only have 16bit drivers for it (vga), so it's still rather quiet. must hunt down drivers for it.

In the main, i found the raw OS rather interesting.

As with winnt4, one can slipstream odds and ends to allow installation on modern iron. The as-provided kit did this ok, but when i slipped in some updates, eg fastdisk.sys, this became quite elegant.

W


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post Feb 1 2007, 09:35 AM
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Nuno Brito
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This might sound like a naive question since we're talking about an NT system, but can it run 32bit apps? smile.gif


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post Feb 1 2007, 05:51 PM
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Moon Goon
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QUOTE (Nuno Brito @ Feb 1 2007, 04:35 AM) *
This might sound like a naive question since we're talking about an NT system, but can it run 32bit apps? smile.gif


Wendy probably has a more accurate answer for this, but.. yes and no smile.gif

It can run apps with a very early subset of Win32 calls. I would guess that any Win32 app that can run on Windows 3.11 with Win32s tacked on can run on NT 3.51. It really is random chance though. Like I mentioned before, IE 5 barely ran sad.gif

At the time Intel thought that true 32 bit operating systems and software would dominate the world. Alas, M$ proved them wrong with Windows 95, 98 and ME tongue.gif
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post Feb 2 2007, 08:00 AM
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wendy
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One must realise that it's not so much '32-bitness', but particular API's that might be supported. No version of Windows supports the 32-bit APIs from either OS/2 or BeOS. Still, Windows 3.51 supports a set of APIs that were used in Windows systems at that time.

Windows 3.1, 3.11, NT 3.1, NT 3.51, NT 4.0 and 95 all appeared before Microsoft discovered the internet, so there's no browser supplied. Many of the 'explorer' intergrations were not present: only NT4 and 95 even featured the explorer interface.

NT 3.51 basically is a composite of Windows 3.1, NT 3.1, and Win-32 addin. In essence, you can run programs that rely on the older Win32 API. The registry exists. but .reg files are not. Use regedt32.exe to read it. Programs that make use of new or redirected APIs in NT4 and later generally don't work.

I tried 4NT 2.52, tcmd32 1.02, winrexx 3.5, and file commander 2.2 on it. All of these worked as expected. I ought try norton commander/win on it too. the latest version of TSE/Win works. On the other hand, some programs that i have in my tweakme directory (autoruns, unknowndevices), did not work.

I have not got a video driver for it as yet, so we're using vga. Such is how it was in Windows...

One notes, that some of the WinXP programs are not even recognised as valid win32 apps by windows 2k.

W


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