Windows 3.x in DOSBox

PLEASE NOTE: This chapter is for experienced users. It’s assumed that the user is familiar with the basics and able to help himself in case of problems.

In this chapter we’ll explain how to get Windows 3.1, 3.11 and Windows for Workgroups run in DOSBox. Since Win3.x is “just” a graphical interface for DOS, it’s possible to run 16-bit Windows applications (and such games, of course) without relinquishing features of DOSBox.

Please keep in mind that this is an emulation. So, there might be minor issues in some cases.

Preparation

Before you start, you need the Windows installation disks. Copy the content of the disks into a folder that you’ll mount in DOSBox later.

You might also need:

Configuration

[dosbox]
machine=svga_s3
memsize=16

[cpu]
core=dynamic
cputype=auto
cycles=max

[autoexec]
SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\WINDOWS;
SET TEMP=C:\WINDOWS\TEMP

Installation

  1. Mount two folders: An empty one that you want to use as drive C:; and the one with the content of the installation disks. Please do not mount your real system partition, you might harm your regular system otherwise.
  2. Switch to the drive with the installation files and execute setup there. Follow the instructions on the screen until the installation has been completed.
  3. If you want to change something afterwards (like the display drivers), execute setup in the Windows folder and change the settings.
  4. Don’t start Windows yet, but install the Sound Blaster drivers.
  5. Now you can run Windows using the win command.

You also might want to install Video for Windows, because it’s often used by several games.