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Solved: I guess I could ask a 3.1 question here...

Discussion in 'DOS/Other' started by Smiles n' grins, Jan 18, 2009.

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  1. Smiles n' grins

    Smiles n' grins Thread Starter

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    So I had this old computer sitting around. One day I said, "Hey, I bet if I found all the old DOS and Windows 3.1 disks that are laying around, I could reinstall Win 3.1 to add to my collection of old computers (see my computer description for my Windows 95 one if you like)."

    Anyway, I only found the 3.1 disks. I got FreeDOS off the web to make up for the lack of DOS. Problem was, I couldn't see ANYTHING when I got the old thing on. So I took the hard drive out and put it in my trusty Windows 95 to install DOS, then 3.1. I got it to work! I played some solitaire to celebrate, then I shut it down and took the hard drive out.

    Now I figured that the reason that I couldn't see anything the first is because I didn't have any drivers since I had formatted the hard drive. Now, I have no clue. I do think that the computer is booting to DOS, since I can hear the "progress" of the computer doing its thing.

    Could the VGA card had gone out or what seems to be the problem? I hope I bring back some memories.
     
  2. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Yes even after you install dos you have to setup the autoexec.bat and config.sys to load the drivers. The fact you can't see anything though is disconcerting as the video card drivers aren't needed to see it get to a command prompt. here is a good dos resource -

    http://www.drdos.net/faq/#p1_2
     
  3. Smiles n' grins

    Smiles n' grins Thread Starter

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    Forgive me, but I am not an experienced DOS user. How would I set the autoexec.bat and config.sys to load the video drivers? What do I need to add? Or did my card go bad?
     
  4. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    You shouldn't need to load any drivers to get to the C: prompt. Win 3.1 will need drivers to use anything but a basic VGA mode, but they will be installed in Win 3.1. You shouldn't need drivers to boot to the FreeDOS CD/floppy either. (Assuming the system supports booting to CD, some older ones don't)

    Can you see the BIOS info when you boot, or even get into the BIOS? If it displays nothing, the card could be bad. Or may just have a bad connection if it's been sitting around for a while, and been moved.

    Open up the case, and completely remove the video card, then re-insert it.

    When you do boot, do you hear the single All OK beep after post finishes, or any beeps at all?

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  5. Smiles n' grins

    Smiles n' grins Thread Starter

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    Ok, before I got some sleep last night (I had been burning the midnight oil working on this thing), I tried the video card out in my Windows 95 computer (which I owe much thanks to you Outcaste) and it worked fine. As far as the All OK beep goes, it's not happening. I can't see BIOS. What confuses me is why it doesn't load the card up.

    I do have a confession, but I doubt it might relate to the problem. Before I had the thing working, I had to hook some cords back up, like the system speaker and the power button. When I first got the power cord on, I turned the system on and was very happy it still worked. Then I noticed the smoke. Gosh, that smoke killed the mood. So I quickly turned the computer off, then diagnosed the problem. The only thing I could possibly think was wrong was that the cord was not put on right. I reversed the cord, and (yay) no more smoke.

    Part of the underside of the board is blackened, but it's on the opposite side of the board than the PCI slots, which is why I don't think that's the problem.
     
  6. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    If you cant see the bios then its not the fact your using DOS/Windows 3.1 or not using DOS/Windows 3.1.

    Its definitely a hardware issue at this point.
     
  7. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    No telling what happened to the MB, but I'd guess that's the problem. It may not be near the PCI slots, but it can certainly kill the whole board. Best case, if the smoke was a power supply trace that got fried, there may be several parts of the board that are not getting power. Fixable if you have a board layout and a lot of time, and like a challenge.

    Worse case, some components got damaged. Problem is, they won't show any outward signs, so finding and repairing them would be quit a task.

    For a Win 3.1 system, an old MB off of ebay would be far easier. And WFW 3.11 at least runs really fast on a PII 400:D Would make for a nice Win 3.1 Win9x Dual Boot system

    Read someones signature just a day or two ago. Can't remember who's now, but it explains the secret of electronic devices. They actually run on smoke. When you let the smoke out, they stop working, similar to cars that run out of gas.

    So all you need to do is put the smoke back in.

    Jerry
     
  8. Smiles n' grins

    Smiles n' grins Thread Starter

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    Ahhh....why didn't I think of that in the first place? Dual-boot! But can't I divide the partition I made to accommodate 3.1?

    I wonder what kind of smoke I'm going to need...oh well, I did manage to get my hands on, oh what did she describe that computer as....a dinosaur computer (hopefully in age and not size)
     
  9. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    You would need some sort of boot manager to use two partitions, as both Win 3.1 and Win9x want to be the C drive.
    There were some issues with dual booting. Sometimes the boot to previous version didn't work so well, as they both use io.sys, msdos.sys, config.sys and autoexec.bat.

    Found a few links:
    Win 3.x and Win95
    http://www.avdf.com/oct95/samp_dualboot.html

    Win3.1 with Win95OSR2/Win98
    http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-31/dual-boot-with-win-311-and-win98/2010.html
    http://www.smspower.org/maxim/16bit/osr2fix.htm

    I seem to recall dual booting Win3.1 and Win98SE without a problem though, just had to use a different folder name for Windows when installing Win98SE.

    Haven't tried either in quite a while. Have to give that a go, just for nostalgia's sake.

    An NT based OS can be installed to a second partition ( or the same for that matter) and happily dual boot.

    Dinosaur computers, that rings a bell. Here's some of my PC names I've used:
    Fred
    Barney
    Wilma
    Betty
    BammBamm
    Pebbles
    MrSlate
    GreatGazoo

    Nothin' like them Stone Age computers;)

    Jerry
     
  10. Smiles n' grins

    Smiles n' grins Thread Starter

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    I'll look into dual booting, although it seems difficult. I might just wait and let the stone age computer fall into my hands, and I'll put Win3.1 on it. Most likely I would use 3.1 more if it was on a separate computer...now all I need to do is round up some old DOS games. Doom comes to mind, along with an old game I used to play called Commander Keen.

    I wonder if it's against the rules to put a request for people to donate old DOS games in my sig.

    Once again, thanks for the help Outcaste. I owe you once again.
     
  11. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Just an FYI that works WONDERS for the DOS games.... DOSBox. This is a program that is a DOS emulator and you can run it off your current OS.

    Here is even a tutorial how to get Windows 3.1. on DOSBox. I use this program ALOT to run my old x86 VGA games when I get nostalgic.
     
  12. Smiles n' grins

    Smiles n' grins Thread Starter

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    I knew about DOSbox, but it's not the same. And besides, I'd rather have the old 3.1 over an emulator any day.

    Solved!
     
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