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How to install Windows 3.1 in VirtualBox, well explained

March 8, 2021
In this post we will show you how you can install Windows 3.1 (a very old system) inside a virtual machine, called VirtualBox. ENTERS!

In this post we will show you how you can install Windows 3.1 (a very old system) inside a virtual machine, called VirtualBox. ENTERS!



Welcome to another new post. This time I come to show you how to install Windows 3.1, one of the oldest systems in the world, in a virtual machine called VirtualBox, specifically in version 3.0. This guide was originally made for a school assignment, but since I love you so much, I'm going to share it with you. It's SUPER EXPLAINEDSo much so that I even think an adult who doesn't know about technology could understand how to install Windows 3.1. So without further ado, let's go to the tutorial!

How to install Windows 3.1 on VirtualBox

Welcome to this guide. Before you start to install Windows 3.1, you will need to make sure you have the program Sun xVM VirtualBox in its version 3.0. May check the following link to download it in case you don't have it.

You should also ensure that you contain the necessary files for this tutorial.

The files are in RAR format, which is a compressed format. You must have a special program To be able to decrypt them, the password to unzip them is: mastercoria-win-3-1.

Now we can continue with our process to install Windows 3.1.

Creation of our virtual machine

First of all, to start installing Windows 3.1, we will start creating our virtual machine:

Step 1: Open the program Sun xVM Virtual Box, which will be found on your computer desktop.

Step 2: Click on the "New" icon, located at the top left of the program:

Step 4: Click Next".

Step 5: A window will open for you. You will see that there are different sections:

  • Name: enter the name of the system to install. In this case, the field goes with "Windows 3.1".
  • Type: Leave that section as is (on Microsoft Windows).
  • Version: pull down the menu and choose the option "Windows 3.1".

Then click "Next".

Step 6: On the next slide, it asks you for the memory size. Leave the default field at 32 MB, and then click "Next".

Step 7: Then, check the box "Boot Hard Disk (Primary Master)", and select the option "Create new Virtual Disk".

Step 8: A pop-up window will open for you. Click Next".

Step 9: Select the "Dynamic Expansion Storage" option, and click "Next."

Step 10: Select the location of the file. By default, that value is "Win95", but if you want to change it, you can. In the field called "Size (S)", it is recommended to set the value between 1.00 GB and 5 GB, but it will depend on the task to which that computer is assigned. When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 11: Click on "Finish", then, in the same way, on "Finish".

Step 12: The window will close. You can see that on the left side of the program a new section has been added. Select it.

Step 13: After that, go to the “Configuration” section (it is found in the upper left part of the program).

Step 14: Access the submenu "Diskette" (left section of the window), and click on "Mount Floppy Drive".

Step 15: Select the "Image File" option, and then select the folder icon, which is located on the right side of that section.

Step 16: Click on the "Add" icon. Now, locate the file “Disk 1.img”, which you downloaded from the add-ons of this guide (inside the “Windows 3.1” folder there will be two other folders, the disk will be inside the “MS-DOS 6.22” folder), select it and click "Open."

Step 17: The file will be added. Now, click on "Select", and then click on "OK".

Step 18: Then in the upper left, click "Start" (green arrow sign). Wait for the program to load.

Step 19: You will see a blue screen. Press Enter only once (note that the prompts are also marked at the bottom of the blue window).

Step 22: You will then see another screen. Press Enter once again.

Step 23: Now the wizard will ask if you correctly inserted disk 1. If you are sure, press Enter, otherwise go back to step 14.

Step 23: Wait. Drive from disk 1 that you added earlier is loading. When finished, you will see a screen that has selected a text that says “The settings are correct”. Verify that the 3 options above that text are correct. The section "Date / Time”Specifies the date and time; the section "Country”Specify your country of origin; and the section "Keyboard Layout”Specifies the keyboard language.

If for any reason any of these sections is configured incorrectly, please scroll using the up and down arrow keys.

To enter any of the 3 options, position on the option you want to configure and press Enter. Once inside, scroll using the arrow keys required to use and edit the values. Once finished, press Enter to exit that setting and return to the previous screen again.

When you're ready, click on "The settings are correct”And press Enter.

Step 24: Now press Enter again.

Step 25: Wait. In a few seconds, a screen will appear saying “Please insert the following disk in drive A: Setup Disk #2”. What it tells us, is that we add disk 2. To do this, locate the menus at the top of that window. Locate the menu called “Devices”, and access the submenu called “Mount Floppy”.

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Step 26: Now, access the option "Floppy Image ...". A new window will open for you. Click on the "Add" option (located at the top of this new window).

Step 27: Go to the "MS-DOS 6.22" folder that you downloaded from this guide, and select the "Disk 2.img" file, and then click "Open."

Step 28: Select that disk you added, and then click "Select."

Step 29: Now, hit Enter on the blue screen.

Step 30: Please wait a few moments. The previous box will be removed, and a similar one will appear, with the text "Please insert the following disk in driver A: Setup Disk #3". To do this, we will carry out the same procedure as with disk 2.

Step 31: Now, a screen will appear with the text “Remove disks from all floppy disk drivers”. What it tells us is that we remove the floppy disks. To do this, access the "Devices" menu and click on the "Unmount Floppy" option.

Step 32: Now hit Enter.

Step 33: Another screen will appear stating that MS-DOS 6.22 has been successfully installed on your computer. Click Enter again.

Step 34: Wait. When you see a text that says "done," click on the "Machine" menu, and click the "Restart" option. A confirmation window will appear; click the "Restart" button.

Step 35: Wait. When you see the text "C: \> _", we can continue: go to the "Devices" menu, and select the "Mount Diskette" option, and within it, select the "Diskette Image ..." option.

Step 36: It will open the same window with which you have worked before. Click on the "Add" option, and then go to the "Windows 3.1" folder (where "MS-DOS 6.22" was also located), and open it. Then select the file "Disk1.img", and click "Open".

Step 37: Select "Disk1.img" and click "Select."

Step 38: Now, enter this following path in "C: \>": C: \ DOS \ SMARTDRV.EXE / X and hit Enter.

Step 39: You will get a somewhat long text with information from different discs. Now you will have to restart the machine: click on the "Machine" menu, and click the "Restart" option. You will then get a confirmation window. Click the "Restart" button.

Step 40: Wait. Now, note that when you start MS-DOS, you will see the path automatically entered on your command line. Now, input "A:" and hit Enter.

Step 41: Note that it has changed from "C: \>" to "A: \>". Enter the command "SETUP" and click Enter.

Step 42: Press Enter again.

Step 43: Now, press Enter again to enter Express Setup mode.

Step 44: A screen will open that asks us to insert disk 2. To do this, we will go to the “Devices” menu, and we will enter the option “Mount Floppy”, and we will click on “Image Floppy…”.

Step 45: As we added disk 1 at the beginning, we will add disk 2: click on the "Add" button, select "Disk2.img" and click "Open". Now, select it and click "Select".

Step 46: Now click Enter.

Step 47: Repeat this step one more time, but now with disk 3 (“Disk3.img”).

Step 48: Now, we will enter the main Windows 3.1 installation wizard: enter in the "Name" section, enter your full name, and in the "Company" section, enter the name of your company if it is used for of business. When you're ready, click "Continue."

Step 49: A verification window will pop up. Check if the values you entered are correct, if yes, click “Continue”, otherwise, click “Change” and go back to step 48.

Step 50: Wait. Suddenly, a window will appear asking for disk 4, with a text that says "Microsoft Windows 3.1 Disk #4". In the same way that you inserted disc 1, 2 and 3, now insert 4.

Step 51: Wait. Now it will ask for disk 5, with a text that says "Microsoft Windows 3.1 Disk #5". Repeat the procedure from the previous step.

Step 52: Wait. Now, it will ask for disk 6, with a text that says "Microsoft Windows 3.1 Disk #6". Repeat the procedure from the previous step.

Step 53: Now, it will ask you to enter a printer. If you actually have one, assign it. For the purposes of this guide, we will put “No Printer Attached”, and we will give “Install”.

Step 54: Wait. Now, a window will appear. Select the "MS-DOS Editor" option, and click "OK."

Step 55: Now, a window will appear asking you if you want to take a tutorial to learn how to use Windows 3.1. For the purposes of this guide, we will give you the option “Run Tutorial”.

Step 56: It will exit Windows and enter MS-DOS. Type "WIN" and press Enter.

Step 57: Wait for Windows 3.1 to load, and you will have completed this guide on how to install Windows 3.1.

CONGRATULATIONS! Now you know how to install Windows 3.1

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