Networking Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC

Networking Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC

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Well - now that we have Windows 3.11 up and running under Virtual PC with sound and SVGA video support - the next challenge is to get this sucker on to the Internet.

First there are a bunch of updates you will need to download (many thanks to x-com who posted these links - saving me from having to search around for them tonight).  You will need:

Windows 3.11 network drivers:

The Windows 3.11 TCP/IP stack:

Internet Explorer 5.01 for Windows 3.11:

You will also need to have the install disks for Windows 3.11 handy.

You will probably also want to get WinZip for Windows 3.11 ( - at the bottom of the page) so that you can unzip the files inside of the virtual machine.  To get all of these files into the virtual machine you can use floppies, a CD, an .ISO or my favorite - folder sharing (Note - in order to use DOS folder sharing under Windows 3.11 - you will need to load VMADD386.SYS in your config.sys file.  VMADD386.SYS is included in the DOS Additions that shipped with Virtual PC 2004 SP1). 

It would be best to copy them all to a temporary location (like 'C:\TEMP').


  1. Start Windows 3.11
  2. Install WinZip
  3. Extract the above three files into separate directories under C:\TEMP
  4. In the Program Manager go to 'Main' --> 'Windows Setup' --> 'Options' --> 'Change Network Settings'
  5. Select 'Networks...'
  6. Select 'Install Microsoft Windows Network:' and hit 'OK'
  7. Select 'Drivers'
  8. Select 'Add Adapter'
  9. Select 'Unlisted or Updated Network Adapter' and enter in the 'WFW311' directory under the path which you extracted the network drivers to (in my case - 'C:\TEMP\NIC\WFW311')
  10. Select the Intel 2104x adapter and hit 'OK'
  11. By default Windows 3.11 will enable IPX and NETBEUI

    feel free to leave these enabled if you think you will use them - but there is no harm in removing them

    (note that NETBEUI is not used by Windows XP - so this will not work for Host <--> Guest file sharing)

  12. Select 'Add Protocol...'
  13. Select 'Unlisted or Updated Protocol' and enter in the location that you unpacked the TCP/IP stack to.
  14. Hit 'OK', Select 'Microsoft TCP/IP-32 3.11b' and hit 'OK'
  15. Select the TCP/IP entry and hit 'Set As Default Protocol'
  16. Select 'Setup'
  17. Setup the network according to your network

    Note: While Windows 3.11 supports DHCP, if you use it you still need to define the gateway and DNS servers by hand (you do not need to configure a WINS Server).  If you are using shared networking you should set both of these values to ''.

  18. When you are done - hit 'OK' and 'Close' and then 'OK'
  19. Enter in your username, workgroup and computer name for the virtual machine
  20. Hit 'OK'
  21. Enter Disks 7 and 8 of the Windows 3.11 install disks when prompted
  22. Select to 'Restart Computer'
  23. Start Windows 3.11
  24. Login with your new user account (you will need to create a new password)

    To confirm that networking is working at this stage - try opening a MS-DOS Prompt from the 'Main' group and running 'ping'

  25. Open up file manager and go to the place where you extracted the Internet Explorer files ('C:\TEMP\IE' for me)
  26. Run 'setup.exe'
  27. Select to install the 'standard' version - not the 'full' version. 

    The full version will install a tweaked TCP/IP stack that will constantly try to connect over a modem (and drive you crazy - trust me - I know).

  28. Complete the installation of Internet Explorer
  29. Select to reboot your computer again
  30. Start Windows 3.11 and login again
  31. Internet Explorer will finish setting up
  32. Specify your timezone (that was unexpected - wasn't it?)
    (the default home page setup by Tucows will cause IE to crash)
  34. Go to 'Main' --> 'Control Panel' --> 'Internet Properties' and change the home page to something else
  35. Start Internet Explorer and enjoy the heady experience of browsing the Web under Windows 3.11


Now - that wasn't too hard was it? :-)

Here are some screen shots for your patience:

Accessing Folder Sharing in Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC    WinZip on Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC    MSN.COM on Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC   This Blog on Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC


Leave a Comment
  • Please add 3 and 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Hi, do you know where can I get the installation disks for windows 3.11, either free or commercial ?
  • Ben,

    Hi mate. Slightly off-topic but still relating to VPC - is a future version planning support for USB devices? That would be so handy in my case. I have to use the VMWare version for USB support.
  • Hi Dotnetjunky,

    Unfortunately I do not know of any legitimate way to get a copy of Windows 3.11 apart from eBay or second had software shops (they do exist). I am lucky enough to have two copies on Windows 3.11 that I have kept from the days of yore.

  • Hi Marcus,

    USB is a very high demand feature for Virtual PC - however talking about future releases of Microsoft products on your blog is an excellent to loose your job around here - so I am afraid that I can't give you much detail on this.

  • other solution for getting ie5 clean from tucows crap is deleting the
  • I had done this a while ago and can appreciate the work you put in getting wfwg3.11 up and running. I am glad that I am a pack rat and had all the dos 6.22 and windows 3.11 still laying around. I had evenput them all on a cdrom which I then was able to use. It is really a trip running windows 3.11 and getting on the web..
  • On MSDN Download (part of the MSDN Subscription, ) Windows 3.11 can be downloaded.

    I don't know what MSDN level you need though, as you can see there are a couple. With MSDN Universal I can see/download it, if that helps.

    It's under /Platforms/Windows 16-Bit Editions/Windows 3.11/Windows 3.11 (English)

    You can also get MS-DOS 6.0,6.2, Windows For Workgroups 3.11, etc... I love my MSDN subscription. :)

    Hope this helps.

  • WFW 3.11 running on VPC? This is wrong on so many levels.

  • Hi Ben,

    Firstly congratulations for your Blog!!!
    Secondly I've installed successfully Windows 3.11 for WorkGroup, and got installed all the components to surf the web. BUT in some pages, like for example and others I get an error that causes IE to close it, hanging the system. This doesn't happen oppening the same pages from the Opera browser, but I think the error is caused due to I've an Athlon XP processor, and probably any part of the code executed in this pages are incompatible with IE and this processor. This error doesn't come out on the same pages at home, where I've Pentium IV processor.
    Any ideas about this?

  • Hi Akuma,

    Unfortunately this is most likely going to be a problem with Windows 3.11 on Athlon processors (given that the problem does not happen on your PIV).

  • Uhm... Great guide... Anywayz... When it comes to net start (i mean when i see the command appear at the dos prompt it reports a couple of errors: 7308 and 7321 and it says it cannot find the CFGDRVR0 driver
  • First, thanks for thsi blog post!

    I've followed the steps but I cannot get networking under Win 3.11 to work.

    In step 21 I was not asked for installation disks. Meaby because I have all the setup files on C: drive.

    In step 23 I was unable to start Win 3.11 normally (the win command in DOS). It displays the welcome screen and hangs. The only way I can start Windows is running win /N (without networking), but then I can't connect to the Internet obviously. I've also tried /B (to get bootlog.txt) but it remained empty.

    Any ideas.

    I'm running W3.11 under Win7 in VirtualPC. Networking is set to NAT.


  • You can download the original MS (not branded) version of IE5 here:

  • AWWWWWWW sweet posting man, i got a pentium 133mhz with 32 meg ram(putting more in tonight) with a 613 meg hard drive and using it as a dos play box, im formatting right now with MS-Dos 5.0  right now to install windows 3.11, this is exactly what i needed.

    EVERYONE I GOT LEGIT VERSIONS OF BOTH MS-DOS and Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98se, send me email and ill let you know how to get them

  • Dear Ben, it installed, but when I boot into Windows, it doesn't work. Here's the DOS part of boot-up:

    C:\>C:\WINDOWS\net start                                      

    Error loading device driver CFGDRVR0.                        

    Error 7308: The driver file could not be found.              

    CFGDRVR0 was not loaded.                                      


































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