Microsoft Windows 3.1 and 3.11

Updated: 05/24/2017 by Computer Hope


Microsoft Windows Workgroup boxReleased in 1990, Microsoft Windows 3.0 was a revolutionary operating system for the PC as one of the most used GUI operating systems.

Later Windows 3.1 was released in 1992 by Microsoft and was one of the first major PC GUI operating systems widely used. Windows 3.1 allowed users to utilize several features previously not available in MS-DOS. Some of these new features were the use of a mouse that allowed the user to navigate and manipulate data on the computer with one hand and now did not have to memorize MS-DOS commands. Windows also has multitasking, which means you can run multiple applications at once without having to close out of each program before running another. Windows along with other GUI operating systems are one of the many reasons computers have become easier and more widely used.

Setup options

All the below commands need to be run from C:\Windows> and when run need to have the win statement added to statement. For example, on the below first switch you would type "win winsetup /a" (without the quotes).

winsetup /a - Install a group license version of Windows to a network server. The Administration option requires 29 MB hard disk space on the server for Windows for Workgroups allowing users to run Windows over the network.

winsetup /n - Set up Windows from a workstation connected to the server's shared directory where the Windows files are stored.

winsetup /i - Tell setup to ignore automatic hardware detection, especially useful with certain network cards. Symptoms of problems including locking up during the hardware detection phase.

winsetup /b - Set up Windows with monochrome display attributes.

winsetup /t - Searches the drive for incompatible software that should not run at the same time as Setup or Windows 3.1 (maintenance mode only). It does not setup Windows but does the TSR checking.

winsetup /p - Restores Windows defaults and replaces missing icons.

winsetup /h:fn - Run an automated batch mode setup. The command is setup /h:filename, where filename is the name of the system setting file that contains the information about the user's configuration.

winsetup /o:fn - Specifies the SETUP.INF file, including the path if necessary.

winsetup /s:fn - Specifies the SETUP.INF file, including a path for the Windows installation disks.

Run options

WIN /S - Starts Windows in standard mode (also WIN/2 will work). Standard mode is faster than 386 Enhanced mode. You might want to use this option if you only run Windows programs or are experiencing hardware compatibility problems when running in 386 enhanced mode. Note: Not available in Windows for Workgroups3.11.

WIN /3 - You can use this option if you want Windows to run in 386 enhanced mode even though your 80386 (or higher) has less than 2MB of RAM (however, must at least have 1MB).

WIN <program path/filename> - Run the program from DOS booting into Windows without showing logo.

WIN: - Runs Windows without displaying the logo screen, (if you have a program like shareware WINGIF, you can compress any bitmap into RLE (run length encoded) format and create a logo screen. RLE format files still work as wall paper in their compress form. The compress file in this procedure cannot exceed 55k in size.

WIN /R - Windows 3.0 uses this switch to force running in Real Mode. Other version of Windows higher than 3.0 do not support Real Mode. Note this causes the computer to run slower.

WIN /N - (WFW 3.11 only) No protected mode network support. The Windows Network System drivers are not loaded. A real mode network started before Windows is still operational since Windows in only a shell to the operating system.

WIN /B - Creates a text file called BOOTLOG.TXT detailing every step of load process.

WIN /D: <below option> -

X - Prevents KRNL386.EXE from using the UMA
S - Sets SystemROMBreakPoint=OFF same as in [386Enh] section
V - Sets VirutualHDIRQ=OFF same as in [386Enh] section. Also, disables 32-bit disk and file access since the virtual drivers controlling the hard drive are not enabled.
F - Disables 32-bit Disk Access.
T - Does not load virtual mode drivers from the [386Enh] section. (WFW 3.11 only)
C - Disables 32-bit File Access (WFW 3.11 only)


Create a never changing Program Manager

By default, Windows 3.x saves your settings each time you exit Windows, which can cause users to need to organize their Program Manager each time that Windows loads. Arrange your Program Manager exactly how you want it to appear each time Windows loads. Once everything is the way you want, click Options and ensure there is a check on Save Settings on Exit.

Once a check has been placed by Save Settings on Exit, exit Windows and then once again enter Windows. Once back in Windows, click Options and uncheck Save Settings on Exit and now Program manager will permanently look just as it is now unless Save on Exit is rechecked.

Running out of hard disk space

When running out of disk space you can safely delete all files ending with *.tmp and *.chk, which can save sometimes several megs or several hundred megs.

Windows 3.1 (enhanced mode) System Requirements
Released 1992
Computer: 100% IBM Compatible
Processor: 80386 or higher processor
Memory: 2MB + RAM
Drives: 8MB Hard disk drive space
3.5" or 5.25"Floppy
Video: VGA
Controls: Keyboard and Mouse
operating system: DOS 3.1 and Higher
Price: No longer available
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 System Requirements
Released 1994
Computer: 100% IBM Compatible
Processor: 386 or higher processor
Memory: 3MB + RAM
Drives: 14MB Hard disk drive space
3.5" or 5.25"Floppy
Video: VGA
Controls: Keyboard and Mouse
operating system: DOS 3.3 and Higher
Price: No longer available