Windows NT 3.1 1991-10 build

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1991-10 build
Build of Windows NT 3.1
1991-10 build
OS family
Architecturex86 free
x86 debug
Works inPCem
TCB.png TCBGallery.png BA.png

October 1991 build of Windows NT 3.1 was compiled for the COMDEX Trade Show in 1991-10 and is the earliest leaked build of Windows NT. Interestingly, this build does not have a build number, unlike both earlier and later builds. Instead, Winver displays "Version VERSION" in place of the actual version number. It is speculated this build was rushed to completion so it was ready in time for the show, which could be the reason for the lack of a build number and a MIPS port. It is also one of few Windows NT builds before Longhorn to have a fully graphical setup, a feature which has not returned until Longhorn build 4001 with its WIM-based setup.

Under emulation, and presumably on real hardware, with the Adaptec AHA-154x SCSI adapter, there is an issue with CD-ROM media changes that make the File Manager and/or Command Prompt to hang. Notably, this build already had long filename support, but only under HPFS partitions. Password authentication doesn't work in this build yet, and the user cannot shutdown in Windows (so to shutdown Windows, the user must power off the machine).

System Requirements[edit | edit source]

GUI setup[edit | edit source]

  • Adaptec AHA-1540 or compatible SCSI bus
(adequately emulated by the BusLogic SCSI HBA device in VirtualBox, 86Box, and PCem)
  • SCSI or IDE hard disk, connected to SCSI port 0 if using SCSI
  • SCSI CD drive connected to SCSI port 2
  • COM1 port enabled
  • At least 16 MB of RAM
  • Hard disk pre-partitioned and preformatted in MS-DOS

Text mode setup (from MS-DOS)[edit | edit source]

  • 16 MB of RAM
  • COM1 port enabled
  • Prepartitioned and preformatted disk in MS-DOS

Supported hardware[edit | edit source]

This is a list of supported hardware as listed out in the Setup:

Computer[edit | edit source]

  • Compaq 386/486 or 100% Compatible
  • IBM PS/2 or 100% Compatible

Display[edit | edit source]

  • VGA
  • Video 7 VRAM II (800x600 16 colors)

Mouse[edit | edit source]

  • Microsoft Mouse or 100% Compatible

Keyboard[edit | edit source]

  • Enhanced 101 or 102 Key

Installation[edit | edit source]

This build can be very picky on hardware, and will usually crash on startup if the right configuration isn't used. As of now, this build performs the best in 86Box, but can also work on VirtualBox, PCem, and QEMU. If installed in PCem, the keyboard won't work.

GUI Setup[edit | edit source]

In order to use the GUI setup, the system must have a CD-ROM drive connected to the SCSI bus. This has been confirmed to work in VirtualBox and 86Box.

VirtualBox instructions[edit | edit source]

  1. Make a virtual machine with 500MB hard disk and 24 MB of RAM. Use the NT4 profile.
  2. Go to VM settings and open the Storage tab.
  3. Remove the CD drive from the IDE bus and add an SCSI bus.
  4. Add a CD drive this time to the newly created SCSI bus, mount the 10-91 ISO file. It's recommended to set the SCSI port to no. 2, as it's the default boot option on the NT boot floppy.
  5. Add a floppy bus and add a floppy drive. Mount an MS-DOS boot disk with FDISK and FORMAT.
  6. Go to the Serial Port tab in VM settings and enable the COM1 port.
  7. Save the settings.
  8. Start the VM. MS-DOS should boot. Run FDISK and partition the drive. Then format it with the FAT filesystem.
  9. Mount the boot.img image file and press Right Ctrl+Del
  10. OS Loader boot menu should be displayed. Choose the SCSI port of your CD drive you configured in VM settings.
  11. Follow the on-screen instructions.

86Box instructions[edit | edit source]

  1. Create a virtual machine with the following config:
    • Machine: Award 386DX, 16 MB memory
    • Display: VGA
    • Input devices: Microsoft 2-button Mouse (serial)
    • Ports: Serial port 1 and 2 is enabled.
    • Other peripherals: SCSI: Adaptec 1542CF (enable BIOS in its configuration).
    • Hard disks: Create a 512 MB hard disk and connect it to SCSI ID 0.
    • Removable devices: Set the first floppy drive to 3.5" 1.44M and set the first CD-ROM drive to SCSI ID 2.
  2. Start the emulator with a MS-DOS boot disk image which includes CD-ROM support mounted in the floppy disk drive. Run FDISK and reboot. Format the hard drive.
  3. (If you do already have a boot disk image for this build, head directly to step 6). Change the bus of the CD-ROM drive to ATAPI and reboot back into MS-DOS. Once it's booted, mount the Windows NT October 1991 CD image and create a new 1.44 MB Floppy Disk image in 86Box (Right-click the floppy icon and click "New image...").
  4. Browse to the "setup" folder on the CD drive, then run this command: "MAKEDISK boot A:". This will write the boot disk for this build.
  5. Change the bus of the CD-ROM drive back to SCSI ID 2, then reboot.
  6. On the OS Loader menu, select "NT CDROM SCSI ID 2". The build installer should then boot.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Demo applications[edit | edit source]

This build includes several demo applications for demonstrating the new operating system abilities.

Win Bez[edit | edit source]

Demonstrates the Windows NT Graphics Device Interface (GDI), the API responsible for rendering graphical objects on the screen.

Performance Meter[edit | edit source]

Measures the performance of the then-new NT kernel.

PlayIt[edit | edit source]

Illustrates the sound and music abilities of Windows generally. A version was allegedly available for Windows 3.1x Enhanced Mode aswell.

Mltithrd[edit | edit source]

Demonstrates the multithreading abilities of Windows NT.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Setup[edit | edit source]

Desktop[edit | edit source]

Applications[edit | edit source]

Demos and samples[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]