View Full Version : OE and IE to IBM 486 running Windows 3.11

08-11-2004, 02:49 PM
Is this possible?

I have resurrected an old IBM 486 and I want to set it up for email and net surfing for my daughter. I have copied all the OE files via floppy from my working computer running WIN 98 OE V 5.50 to a folder on the 486. I have selected "Setup50.EXE" which I assume is the installation file, clicked "Run" which caused a minor disturbance to the window but nothing else. I tried running this on DOS (PC DOS v 6.3) - no joy - bad command.

The 486 does not have a CD ROM drive and the transfer of Internet Explorer files by floppy is not feasible (about 13 MB). Can IE be transferred by data cable as this is the only way I can think may be possible?

Can someone come to the rescue please and say "YES" and supply the necessary details?

Finally, am I reaching for the moon?

08-11-2004, 02:59 PM
Question 1 is a statment not a question, so I'm not sure what you want to know.

Question2. You can link the 2 using what was commonly called a laplink cable. This should be available from Dick Smiths. If I remember correctly Win98 contains files to do this.

However, the 486 should be capable of running Win98, though you'd need 500mb hard drive space and 16mb RAM as a minimum. Again, you should be able to at least transfer the required files using the laplink data cable.

Graham L
08-11-2004, 02:59 PM
I very strongly doubt that OE would run under W3.11 even if you could install it.

You could call it a generation gap. :D

Arachne is a very nice simple DOS based browser which will handle email well. The download is less than 1 MB the last time I looked. http://browser.arachne.cz is what I very vaguely remember ... if that doen't work, Google will. ;-)

08-11-2004, 03:02 PM
I think what you are try to do wont work, for one win 3.11 doesnt have a registry it uses sys files ie win.ini sys.ini etc.
secound why not just install a cdrom or maybe even try a linux distro (you'll need a cdrom for this also) I think under win3.11 you need drivers for cdroms win3.11 is a totally different animal to Win9x. Win3.11 is a gui wrapper for DOS more so than Win95 and dare I say it 98 and ME.
lastly I also think that win3.11 is 16 bit and those applications you are trying to install are 32bit and therefore are not backwardly compatible (will not run on a 16 bit system)
good luck though

Graham L
08-11-2004, 03:08 PM
There is a 32-bit extension package for 3.1x, but even with that I think OE would be unlikely to go.

08-11-2004, 03:18 PM
Many thanks guys for prompt replies. I think I'll flag that idea altogether. I have Windows 98SE disk. Being a novice I suppose the path would be format the hard drive and install WIN 98 assuming I get a CD ROM drive? How does that sound?

08-11-2004, 03:21 PM
How big is the hard drive on the Win3.1 pc?

Terry Porritt
08-11-2004, 03:27 PM
>>How does that sound?
No, a 486, and you dont say what spec it is wouldn't be any good at all with win98, it just wouldnt hack it.

I have a good Dos 6.22/ Win3.11 set up.

You can still download Internet Explorer 3 for Win3.11, it comes complete with a tcp/ip stack and dialler, though there is an update to tcp that can also be downloaded.

You can use Foxmail 1.6 for email, it is free and a 16 bit program written for W3.11. That is also free and can still be downloaded if you do a Google search.

08-11-2004, 06:11 PM
98 runs fine on a 486, although I would suggest only 66mhz or higher.

Terry Porritt
08-11-2004, 08:04 PM
>>98 runs fine on a 486

Well, I wouldn't say fine :), struggling more like, and you preferably want at least a later version DX/100 or higher with a PCI motherboard, and PCI video card, and plenty of ram.

A DX/66 with Vesa or ISA video card and 30 pin ram probably only 8 or 16MB as originally fitted is struggling even with win95.

Now the AMD 586/133 MHz cpus were pretty good, about equal to a Pentium 75/90.

Then there is all the subsequent update bloat for IE and OE as compared with the original installed versions.

It's horses for courses.

Graham mentioned Arachne, I used to run that when on dial-up, it's a good dos browser. But my WFWG 3.11 is networked to my other machines, and I didnt find a way of using Arachne with ADSL.
The problem with earlier 486's is getting hold of any spares like I/O cards if they go kaput as they were prone to do.

08-11-2004, 08:32 PM
The system I had several years ago ran fine. It was I believe:

486 DX2/66Mhz
32MB 72-pin RAM + 4MB on-board
2MB graphics ram (inbuilt but not shared)
853MB hard drive
No PCI ports (5 ISA I think)
ISA 3COM Etherlink III (10Mbps)

Didn't struggle at all. My next PC was pretty much the same, but DX4/100. But I would still suggest Win95 if it's 66 anyway. If less then 3.11.

Then a P75 @ 100Mhz
Then a PIII 500
Then a PIII 733
Then a Cel 1.2 @ 1.4
Then a Cel D 2.4 @ 2.99

And moving into the future, an AMD Athlon64 5400+ :D


Terry Porritt
08-11-2004, 08:45 PM
Yes I have to admit 'struggle' is all relative. At the time if you havent experienced anything faster then there is nothing to compare it with, and it seems ok.

Just last year I retired a DX/100, with I/O cards, ie the HDD and FDD controllers were on the ISA cards, a 1MB vesa video card and I think 32 MB ram. I just used it as a 'test bed' running up to Win95, but that really struggled.

My lowest spec 'test bed' now is a Pentium MMX 200 with 128MB of SD RAM with plugin hard drive caddies. Windows 3.11 really flies on that, and Windows 1.01 flies even faster :)

10-11-2004, 09:34 PM
Thanks all.

Graham - I downloaded Arachne OK but the setup is beyond my limited capabilities - thanks anyway. ?:|

Terry - I looked for IE3 but couldn't find it - perhaps you could point me in the right direction? :)

10-11-2004, 09:38 PM
> Then a P75 @ 100Mhz

how you oc this? i cant seem to oc my 166, must be through the jumpers?

Terry Porritt
10-11-2004, 10:25 PM
Hi Morse, you can get various versions of IE for Win3.x from Tucows:


Prescott, ~~~~~~~~sy~~~~~~~ achieved immortal fame a few years ago on PF1 for overclocking a P75? to over 100MHz. He was even mentioned in despatches in PC World mag :)
Ask him he will know.

10-11-2004, 11:07 PM
> > Then a P75 @ 100Mhz
> how you oc this? i cant seem to oc my 166, must be
> through the jumpers?

its all in the jumbers ;-) all depends on what mulitpliers and bus speeds are advaiable on the board.

11-11-2004, 07:32 PM
50MHz FSB,

I put the multiplier up from 1.5X to 2.0X.

For yours, a 66MHz FSB, put the multiplier from 2.5X to [Whatever you feel like].


12-11-2004, 11:47 AM
cool, might give this a go in the holidays, no point really, ill just do it for fun

15-11-2004, 09:36 PM
To all interested...
Had a great leap forward when I obtained a floppy set for Windows 95 but when I tried to load it was advised that it was for a clean install only. From then on it was a great leap backward following some "happening" when the beast refused to change to Windows and came up with many DOS error messages presumably indicating damage and missing files etc. :(
Anyone know how to clean up the hard drive as it advised can not be unformatted for some reason? (C:\ format /s with Windows 95 setup floppy in A drive). Failing that a prayer and a burial seems to be the only option to this illiterate. :_| :_|

15-11-2004, 10:22 PM
Not sure about PC-DOS but with MS-DOS you would use FDISK to delete the partition(s) from the logical drive (and then create a new partition or not?) - once this was done you could slam the first Win95 disk in the drive and it should find it and use it as a boot disk and either start the Setup sequence or put you at a DOS prompt so you could switch to A: and type "setup" to install...

It's been a while since the DOS days - I could be wrong?! :D

16-11-2004, 01:32 AM
If you need a MS-DOS bootdisk, you can download a DOS 6.22 (or win95b) version from:


Click the downloaded .exe file and insert a floppy when prompted..

Bud-a-bing- one Dos 6.22 bootdisk. (instant mayhem)

Boot using the DOS disk, format that sucker (type 'format c: /s' from the a:\ prompt) and when it's finished, re-insert the win95 setup 1 disk, reboot and type 'setup'. It should all be good. I hope. :P

I can't for the life of me remember whether booting from a win95 setup floppy gets you to an a: prompt or to a graphical setup. If it gets you to an a: prompt, just try the 'format c: /s' from there.


16-11-2004, 08:02 AM
I wouldn't worry about the /s switch - I doubt Win95 will need the DOS system files - and if your using a boot disk you don't need DOS on the hard drive.

Graham L
16-11-2004, 01:33 PM
Delete the win.com file in C:\WINDOWS. That's what the W95 installer looks for. :D

16-11-2004, 05:25 PM
Hi all...some reports -

Terry - downloaded IE3 for Win.x from Tucows but file too big for floppy!
Thanks your help. :)

HadO - FDISK comes back "bad command" presume it is Windows based? Also CHKDSK EDIT and SCANDISK ALL 'bad command".

Catweazle - I downloaded the Dos 6.22 bootdisk thanks. When booting from this disk message reads "Remove disks or other media. Press any key to restart". Did this and screen said "Starting Windows 95" then the C:\ prompt. Entered DIR command to see what was on hard drive.
DOS_6_~1 EXE
Entered DOS filename EXE and reply was "program cannot be run in DOS mode". I checked DOS version and reply was "Windows 95 (version 4.00.950)" I had to copy the DOS file from the floppy to C drive before this. NEXT MOVE - Windows 95 Disk 1 (setup) to floppy and go.
Messages received -
Routine check - initializing - copying files needed :) thought I had it at this stage!
NEXT MESSAGE - "memory parity interrupt (number group)" :_|
Computer on hangup!
So the sorry story continues with checkmates all round.
Any further comments appreciated from knowledgeable types.
(Yes I know, buy a new one)

16-11-2004, 06:34 PM
Morse > yeah I thought that would be the case - the commands would not be applicable in PC-DOS only MS-DOS (Microsoft's version)...

If you had FDISK (a MS-DOS partitioning program) I think it would be easy...

You could try using the FORMAT command from a floppy disk (don't use the /s switch) and then use the first Win95 disk as a boot disk again.

The memory interrupt is a bit weird though...

16-11-2004, 06:40 PM
Come to think of it FDISK is probably on the Win95 disk!

I think you press F5 or F8 on startup and select safe command prompt only and chuck in the first Win95 disk - switch to it and FDISK could possibly be on there - you have to run it from a floppy...

Once in it you should be able to delete all your partitions and then create a new one and then simply reboot with the disk still in and the install SHOULD go smoothly...

16-11-2004, 06:41 PM
IE 5x was never released in 16 bit so it will never install on Win3x

The highest version of IE that will install on Win 3x is the 16 bit version of IE 4 including the massive upgrade called IE 4.01

While 95 will install on a system with DOS - MS or PC - previously installed, the potential problems recommend installing 95 by itself.

The actual problems created by mixing different DOS versions (in this case MS DOS and the version with 95) are self explanatory. Mixing and matching does not work.

The installation of 95 from floppy (presuming they are the originals or copies of the originals) relies on booting from the setup disk. The setup disk is formatted as a 1.44 disk while the installation disks are 1.66 DMF (distribution media file).

Data transfer between machines is possible at DOS level using either a parallel cable, laplink cable (not to be confused with serial) or network cable depending on installed hardware and software available.

Employ someone who knows what to do or purchase another machine.

Terry Porritt
16-11-2004, 07:21 PM
You have several problems here Morse, and with due respect as Merlin implies, you may be out of your depth.

1. IE3 for Win3.x won't fit on a floppy, you will need a file splitter to spread it over several floppies, or use a zip program to span the file over floppies.

2. If you get "bad command" it means that the dos program you are trying to run is not in the command path.

That is, if the programs fdisk.exe and format.com are on a floppy, ie A:\ drive and you issue the command from C:\ drive, then the program will not execute and you will get the bad command message.

3. The dos 6.22 boot disk program Catweazle suggested is dos_6_22_boot_disk.exe.

I take it you downloaded this to your hard drive and then ran it. If so it will ask you to put in a floppy, and the program will turn the floppy into a bootable one and also put a whole heap of files on there.

You then boot the 486 from this floppy, and it will return the A:> prompt.

You can then type from the A prompt format c:

This will remove all data from the 486 hard drive.

Before that though, it would be a good idea to run fdisk, and choose the option to see what partitions are there.

The hard drive is probably 512MB or less so just have one dos primary partition and make sure it is set active.

Now those win95 disks from the version number you quote is Win 95 A, the original release, without service pack 1.

This release only used FAT16, so a dos 6.22 boot disk with fdisk and format is adequate, as you cant have fAT32 anyway.

Also these disks are very old and likely to have "greeblies" growing on them, so scandisk each one first using scandisk off the boot disk.

Win95 disk 1 should should as Merlin said be bootable so after formatting the HDD boot off disk 1, and it should then be plain sailing, providing you have a Win 95 number to put in when it asks for one, a number like

Of course I just made that up, I assume you will have a serial number with the disks :)

24-11-2004, 11:01 AM
Thanks to all for your helpful replies - much appreciated. I have tried all the avenues suggested and have come to a dead end for one reason or another. I eventually replaced the hard drive with from another 486 which I knew to be ok but it wouldnt load windows. In safe mode command prompt I got the message "memory parity interrupt at (group of numbers)" so it appears to my computer-illiterate brain that there is a problem in the memory area as well. Any final comments on this error message before I consign the whole deal to the next inorganic rubbish collection? Once again thankyou to all. :) :) :)

24-11-2004, 12:39 PM
Just from the message it looks like a problem with your RAM - the RAM is probably the parity type and the data is getting corrupted somehow which is causing that error. It could also be a problem with how the data is being fed to the ram (mobo problem) but...

without checking components one a time in a good system or being able to see what you are doing it's quite hard to say and it's probably not worth the effort to replace any components anyway.