Windows 3.1

Windows 3.1x is a series of 16-bit operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers. The series began with Windows 3.1, which was first sold during March 1992 as a successor to Windows 3.0. Further editions were released between 1992 and 1994 until the series was superseded by Windows 95.

Windows 3.1 (originally codenamed Janus, of which two betas were published), released on April 6, 1992, includes a TrueType font system (and a set of highly legible fonts), which effectively made Windows a viable desktop publishing platform for the first time. Similar functionality was available for Windows 3.0 through the Adobe Type Manager (ATM) font system from Adobe.

Windows 3.1 was designed to have backward compatibility with older Windows platforms. As with Windows 3.0, version 3.1 had File Manager and Program Manager, but unlike all previous versions, Windows 3.1 and later support 32-bit disk access, cannot run in real mode, and included Minesweeper instead of Reversi (though Reversi was included in some copies).

Windows 3.1 Multimedia PC Version (Beta only, released Nov 1992 – codenamed Bombay) included a media viewer, and the ability to play video files. It was targeted to the new multimedia PC and included sound and video integration with CD-ROM support.

Windows 3.1 dropped real mode support and required a minimum of a 286 PC with 1MB of RAM to run. The effect of this was to increase system stability over the crash-prone Windows 3.0. Some older features were removed like CGA graphics support (although the Windows 3.0 CGA driver will still work on 3.1) and compatibility with real mode Windows 2.x applications.

Windowed DOS applications (in enhanced mode) gained the ability for users to manipulate menus and other objects in the program using the Windows mouse pointer (provided that the DOS application supported mice). A few DOS applications such as late releases of Microsoft Word can access the Windows Clipboard. Windows' own drivers cannot directly work with DOS applications; hardware such as mice require a DOS driver to be loaded prior to starting Windows.

Icons could be dragged and dropped for the first time in addition to looking more detailed. In 386 enhanced mode, Windows 3.1 can theoretically access up to 4GB of RAM (no single application can use more than 16MB). The File Manager was significantly improved over Windows 3.0. Most significantly, Windows 3.1 added multimedia support for the first time.

Windows 3.1 was the first version of Windows to be distributed on CD-ROM (although this was more common for Windows for Workgroups 3.11, which typically came with DOS 6.22 on one CD) in addition to 720k, 1.2MB, and 1.44 MB floppy distributions. Installed size on the hard disk was between 10 and 15MB.

32-bit disk access (386 enhanced mode only) brought improved performance by using a 32-bit protected mode driver instead of the 16-bit BIOS functions (which necessitate Windows temporarily dropping out of protected mode).


Windows 3.11

On December 31, 1993, Microsoft released an update for Windows 3.1 known as Windows 3.11. Thus, Windows 3.11 is not a standalone version of Windows, but rather a software update from Windows 3.1, much like modern Windows service packs. For those who did not own Windows 3.1, full disk sets of Windows 3.11 were available at the time.

ESS 1869 Sound Card Windows 98 SE Drivers

Modern operating systems should install the drivers for the ESS-1869 sound card, older operating system will need drivers to get the card to be recognized by Windows or DOS. Drivers are Below.

Roland LAPC-I Drivers

The Roland LAPC-I is a sound card for IBM PC compatibles, first introduced in 1988 by Roland Corporation. It is basically the MT-32-compatible Roland CM-32L and the MPU-401 unit, integrated onto a single full-length 8-bit ISA card. In addition to normal Roland dealers aimed at musicians, it was distributed in the USA by Sierra On-Line for use with the company's games. The price of the card was around $500 (US).

486 Laptop Without Sound Card Solution wav/midi

Back in the mid 90’s sound card in 386/486 laptops were somewhat of a luxury. There was a little known fact that you could play .wav files through your PC Speaker (You know that thing that makes the beep just before your computer boots the OS or when you hit the wrong key. Below are the drivers that can be install for Windows 3.1/Windows 95 so you can play basic wav files and even play that jingle when Windows loads up.

USB drivers for Windows 3.1

This page contains a collection of USB drivers for Windows 3.1 USE with extreme caution as there is limited success getting drivers working in Windows 3.1 on DOS considering there was never official support for USB on this OS. Windows 95c was the first DOS based Windows OS to have official support for USB.

Cypress DOS Driver

HP LaserJet 4 Drivers (DOS, Windows 3, 3.1, 9x, NT, XP)

The HP LaserJet 4 (abbreviated sometimes to LJ4 or HP4) is a group of monochrome laser printers produced in the early to mid-1990s as part of the LaserJet series by Hewlett Packard (HP). The 4 series has various different models, including the standard LaserJet 4 for business use, the 4L for personal use and the 4P for small businesses. Additional models included the 4Si model, created as a heavy-duty business printer, and the 4V model, a B-size printer for desktop publishing and graphic artists.

Creative Phone Blaster

The Creative Phone Blaster was a Sound Card and modem combo ISA card based on the ViBRA16 chipset. Phone Blaster and Phone Blaster 28.8 (VIBRA + modem, CT3120 and CT3220.)

S3 Trio

The S3 Trio range were popular graphics chipsets for personal computers and were S3's first fully integrated graphics accelerators. As the name implies, three previously separate components were now included in the same ASIC: the graphics core, RAMDAC and clock generator. The increased integration allowed a graphics card to be simpler than before and thus cheaper to produce.

Sound Blaster AWE64

The AWE32's successor, the Sound Blaster AWE64 (November 1996), was significantly smaller, being a half-length ISA card (meaning it was only half the length of the AWE32). It offered similar features to the AWE32, but also has a few notable improvements, including support for greater polyphony. However, these additional voices were achieved via software emulation using host CPU resources, called WaveGuide, rather than being processed on the card, and were thus of questionable value in some situations.

Sound Blaster AWE32 Drivers

Sound Blaster AWE32 is an ISA sound card from Creative Technology. It is an add-on board for PCs. The AWE32, introduced in March 1994, was a nearly full-length ISA card, measuring 14 inches (356 mm) in length. It needed to be this large because of the number of features included (the most available at the time). At the time, manufacturing technology was incapable of integrating all of the functions into a smaller number of chips.

Sound Blaster 16 Drivers

Sound Blaster 16 (June 1992), the successor to Sound Blaster Pro, introduced 16-bit digital audio sampling to the Sound Blaster line. They also, like the older Sound Blasters, natively supported FM synthesis through a Yamaha OPL-3 chip. The cards also featured a connector for add-on daughterboards with wavetable synthesis (actually, sample-based synthesis) capabilities complying to the General MIDI standard. Creative offered such daughterboards in their Wave Blaster line.