Windows NT 3.51 build 854

Build of Windows NT 3.51
OS family
Works in
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Windows NT 3.51 build 854 is a very early build of Windows NT 3.51 that was originally uploaded to warez BBSes in late 1994. Due to its earliness, the system identifies itself as Windows NT 3.5 and setup still has references to it.

For a long time, there was a dispute on whether this build is a post-RTM build of Windows NT 3.5, or an early build of Windows NT 3.51. Considering that it contains many features that would be introduced in the latter, it has been concluded that this build is a build of Windows NT 3.51.[1] Sometimes, this build has been considered a build of Windows Cairo by some due to the inclusion of the Object File System, however, this is unlikely as the component has been included in other non-Cairo builds, including Windows NT 3.51 build 896 and numerous Windows NT 4.0 (Shell Update Release) builds.[1]

New features and changes[edit | edit source]

  • Windows 95-styled common controls have been implemented (e.g. tooltips on buttons).
  • An updated version of the Media Player application is now included.
  • Customization options for the Command Prompt have been added.
  • When selecting SCSI adapters in text-mode Setup, "BusLogic Family" has been renamed "BusLogic Standard SCSI Host Adapters".
  • Graphical identification and authentication (GINA) has been added.
  • NTFS file compression has been added for improved system performance.
  • Support for the PCMCIA interface has been added.

Enhancements[edit | edit source]

Chicago Shell[edit | edit source]

This build includes an early version of the Chicago Shell and User update (commonly known as "NewShell"). To install, follow this procedure:

  1. Copy the IDW, MSTOOLS, and UI directories from the GUI or NEWSHELL folder of the installation media onto the Windows directory (usually \WINNT35) of the hard drive.
  2. Go to Control Panel, open "System", and add %SystemRoot%\idw;%SystemRoot%\mstools;%SystemRoot%\uito the "path" switch.
  3. Run the newshell.cmd file from the UI directory and reboot the computer.
    • If Windows crashes on reboot, then the NewShell doesn't work for the current machine, use a different computer.

OFS[edit | edit source]

An OFS driver (version 0.33) is included with this build. It can be enabled by using The Distractor's batch file.[2]

Bugs and quirks[edit | edit source]

PCMCIA driver[edit | edit source]

The new PCMCIA driver is set to start on every boot by default, even if the computer doesn't support PCMCIA. In this case, an error about a service or driver failing to start will be shown on boot. To fix this, change the startup type for the PCMCIA driver in the Devices control panel to either Manual or Disabled.

S3 graphics driver[edit | edit source]

The mouse disappears if using the S3 graphics driver. This does not happen with other graphics drivers (such as ATi).

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Standard shell[edit | edit source]

Chicago Shell[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]