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Is it possible to run Windows 3.11 as a Windows 7 64-bit OS virtual machine?

Posted on 2011-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Is it possible to run Windows 3.11 as a Windows 7 64-bit OS virtual machine?

I need to find a way of running Windows 3.11 as a virtual machine within the Windows 7 64-bit OS host machine.

How can this be done?
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Question by:Knowledgeable
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 36514468
If there is a dos vm profile then it should be ok.
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Greg Hejl earned 46 total points
ID: 36514474
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 227 total points
ID: 36514477
Yes. I have one running on my own Windows7 64-bit machine. You need VMware Workstation and a way to install the Windows 3.11 diskettes. I used a USB connected floppy drive, but it was an iffy approach because Windows 7 has advanced far beyond this. But I got it done and it runs.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 121

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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 136 total points
ID: 36514490
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LVL 95

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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 227 total points
ID: 36514498
If one needs to be serious about virtual machines, VMware Workstation is more flexbile and robust, which is why I recommend it (and use it). ... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 46 total points
ID: 36514612
You don't NEED VMware - if you have Win7 Pro, then XP Mode (which is a $300 value in a virtual XP license) is free. And you can create additional VMs to go with it.  One or more could be Win3.1 based VMs.  Install Win3.1 as you would on a physical machine - install DOS first, then Windows 3.1 from floppy images or a CD.

VMWare has a better reputation and is often considered the leader in VM technology... but you're talking about running an OS that effectively died 15 years ago - the "performance" of the VM system really shouldn't be a consideration nor should USB support since 3.1 didn't come with (or ever have, to the best of my knowledge) any kind of USB support.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 227 total points
ID: 36514643
VMware Workstation has a better reputation because it works better :)

Windows 3.11 can use the USB floppy drive (poorly) and a USB key not at all. It also does not have a version of VMware Tools for it.

However it does work. ... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 136 total points
ID: 36514676
A word of caution about running DOS in a VM which includes Windows 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups 3.11, it causes very high CPU utiliztion because the processor does not IDLE! So expect very high CPU in your VM, and in your HOST!

I would not run all the time, and just run when you require it. Otherwise the performance of the host is severely affected.
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LVL 95

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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 227 total points
ID: 36514707
This is true.

Download dosidle.exe ( http://communities.vmware.com/message/390966 ) and put this in your startup autoexec.bat file and it stops that. I load dosidle in my DOS machine and in my Windows 3.1 machine and that stops high CPU utilization. It can run for long periods then.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 136 total points
ID: 36514750
Those links are defunct and no longer available.

This is the link works

http://maribu.home.xs4all.nl/zeurkous/download/mirror/dosidle.html

Personally, never found it works that well anymore on faster CPUs!

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LVL 95

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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 227 total points
ID: 36514755
I am using dosidle V2 that I got in 2002 (this stuff is getting ancient), but it still works and my current machine is plenty fast. Knowledgeable would have to experiment.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:BillDL
BillDL earned 45 total points
ID: 36518790
Just for experts' info, the Win 3.1 software referred to is also being discussed here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Miscellaneous/Q_27300991.html
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