Goal is to build a Windows OS and/or GUI that is fully compatible with Microsoft Windows.
The way to achieve this is very different than similar projects I found so far.
Unlike other projects I make fully use of available software (why recreate when its already freely available?).
To illustrate this: I have used no programming skills whatsoever (until now) to get this far. I have just used my knowledge of existing software.
First of all I choose Windows 3.1 because this OS/GUI seems most suitable.
One of the advantages is that it can run on top of DOS Operating Systems like OpenDOS (free for non-commercial use), DR-DOS, MS-DOS, PC-DOS and possibly FreeDOS (freeware).
Another reason to use this GUI is because thereīs plenty of (modern) software available for it (wordprocessors, webbrowsers, e-mail clients, fax-software, multimedia-software, etc.) and it runs on both modern and very old computers (like a 386).
The first version that is available here for download I have named OpenWINDOWS version 3.2a.
Thanks to Watler (from Watlers World) who archived and send me this file (which I couldnt find myself until now) the link to OPNW32A.ZIP is working again.
After installing you will have a GUI that is identical to Windows 3.1 from Microsoft, only this one has newer files!
Unfortunately you still need some files from the original Windows 3.1 which I havenīt found available for download elsewhere until now.
Hereīs a list of the 11 files needed:
From the \WINDOWS directory you will need:
CONTROL.EXE is the file control2.exe which I found on gaby.de possibly a replacement?
From the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory you need:
MAIN4.ZIP Possible replacement made by Watler, unfinished so it needs some work to create the MAIN.CPL file
SND.ZIP Possible replacement made by Watler
At least the WINOA386.MOD and PRINTMAN.EXE MUST be from Windows 3.1 and NOT the Windows 3.11 version because then it will result in some errors. The safest thing is to use ONLY 3.1 files.
First you need a computer with DOS installed and some kind of memory manager running (like HIMEM.SYS or EMM386.EXE)
Unzip the OpenWINDOWS package in your root directory (mostly C:\). Make sure you use the -D switch (if you use PKUNZIP) to create subdirectories. This will create a directory called \WINDOWS and a subdirectory called \WINDOWS\SYSTEM with some .INI, .INF and .GRP files (donīt know if they are all necessary) and also a file called REG.DAT.
Now download these files. Do a Google search for the files that donīt have a working link, they can be found on different locations on the internet (I encourage everyone to upload some of the files here too, as they become rare and I dont want to overload the last servers which provide them):
WDL_MSC2.ZIP this one is from the MS Windows Driver Library, which still can be found on the Net
WD90C33.ZIP this one is a Western Digital/Paradise video driver
SVGA.EXEworking link since 4-4-2021 (I assume/hope it is the right one ;-)
SMC_D1.EXEworking link since 4-4-2021. It's a driver from an old Fast Capture Card
HSW22.ZIP this one has a duplicate file on the net with the same name now I guess, because the one I found with Google is not a driver. I will look for the original
MCICDA.EXEnot working link due to MS, once I have found the file I will provide working link below
WW1000.EXEworking link thanks to gaby.de
64W31303.EXE this is the Trio/Ati_mach64 driver for sure
Extract these files and put the content of it in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory.
Most files are self extracting or zip compressed, but some need additional extraction tools.
For HSW22.ZIP you will need an utility which can expand files (like EXPAND.EXE). Only the files with extention .DL_ need to be expanded and placed in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory.
If you use the order given above and you encounter the "File already exist" warning you can safely overwrite it with the newer version.
There are 2 files with the name MYSTFIX.ZIP on the net, but you need the one which has TIMER.DRV in it.
To extract the content of 64W31301.EXE you will need an utily that can extract .LZH files. You only need to extract the content of MACXE.LHZ and place it in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory.
Now only one other file needs to be downloaded and the content must be extracted to the \WINDOWS directory:
W31FILUP.EXE working link since 4-4-20231
This file is of course WINFILE.EXE, which for now will acts as a shell replacement for PROGMAN.EXE.
Now run the following DOS commands:
REN WIN.* WIN.COM
If all goes well you now have a working Windows.
After starting up Windows you will have to start the Control Panel (CONTROL.EXE) and go to the Fonts section. There you can remove all existing fonts and after that you can reinstall them again from the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory (just select them all). By doing this Windows 3.1 will recreate all .FOT files and it will not complain about fonts which arenīt installed correctly anymore.
The first update I recommend is Win32s. If you install it you will have the 32-bit Help file (.HLP) viewer, which you can associate with .HLP files.
If you want to use a different driver (like for your VGA card) and youīre lucky it comes with its own setup program. If not thereīs a chance you can install it manually by editing some .INI and/or .INF files.
If its still too difficult I guess you want to use the SETUP functionality for it. I think you only need the DOS part (SETUP.EXE) that comes with the original Windows 3.1 and a SETUP.INF file (so WINSETUP.EXE is not needed I guess).
If SETUP.EXE is needed the number of original files will be 12.
Please help me to replace these 11/12 files that are still needed from the original Windows 3.1.
I hereby ask Microsoft to release at least these files to the public domain and possibly all of Windows 3.1x and its source.
If I donīt receive help from Microsoft I challenge everyone here to provide (legal) replacements for the files left. If software developers can help to rewrite these files I encourage them to do so (in the same way the IBM BIOS was rewritten in the early eighties!).
I guess replacing the .CPL files can be done by someone with experience easily (thereīs also software available for creating .CPL files, so maybe this software can be used to clone the 4 .CPL files).
I also think that people who have experience with the Wine project and its source code can help me here (I donīt have any experience in using and compiling this code until now).
Here is a link to my personal homepage if youīre interested: