How to install Windows 3.1 on an iPad

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How to install Windows 3.1 on an iPad


Thanks to the MS DOS emulator called IDOS2 on the App Store, you can install Microsoft Windows 3.1 on your iPad – then play the classic Windows game or shock your friends. Here’s how to set it up.

Introducing IDOS2

Recently, we saw Harry McCracken, the Fast Company editor (and a friend of How to Geek) on Twitter. Experiment with running Windows 3.1 With his blessing on one member, we are about to tell you how he accomplished this amazing feat.

To run Windows 3.1 on your iPad, you’ll need to purchase an app called IDOS2, which is available in the App Store. Currently, it costs 4.99, which seems like a bargain what it can do.

IDOS2 entry in the Apple App Store.

IDOS has a significant history on the App Store. Back in 2010, Apple pulled out a previous version of the app because it allowed people to run unapproved code loaded through iTunes. Last year, its author updated the app to pull DOS files from iCloud or the File app, and Apple approved it. So far, it’s still listed, so hopefully it sticks.

After purchasing and installing IDOS2 on your iPad, run it once to make sure that the file creates the folder that needs to work in the app. This will create an “iDOS” folder in the “On My iPad” area in the files. This is important.

Before diving into the Windows setup process below, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how IDOS works. In vertical orientation, you’ll see a window near the top of the screen that includes the video output of the emulated MS-DOS machine. Below this, you’ll see a toolbar that lets you load disk images (if you’re tapping a floppy drive), check the DOSBox emulation speed (the black box with the green numbers), and take a screenshot or settings Change (by tapping the Power button).

An example of the IDOS 2 review screen.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a screen keyboard that lets you type whatever you want into the MS-DOS machine. If you flip your iPad horizontally, the MS-DOS display area will occupy the screen, and you can drag a toolbar that allows you to tap the keyboard at any time by tapping the top center of the screen. Access the mouse and gamepad options.

Set up your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse

Once you’ve installed IDOS2, you’ll want to use it with a hardware mouse and keyboard. Fortunately, as long as you’re running IPODS 13 or higher, it’s easy: just go to Settings> Bluetooth and connect your favorite Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Connect mouse and keyboard to iPad Bluetooth settings.

If you’re having trouble getting your Bluetooth keyboard to work with IDOS2, open Settings and go to Accessible> Keyboards and disable “Full keyboard access”. If that doesn’t help, you can still use IDOS2 with a virtual screen keyboard.

Related: How to use mouse with your iPad or iPhone

Get and prepare Windows 3.1 setup files

The hard part is this: To install Windows 3.1 in IDOS 2, you’ll need to somehow copy the Windows 3.1 installation files to your iPad. The good news is that if you own the original Windows 3.1 installation floppy, a completely legal way to do this is to literally copy the files off all the floppies and put them in a folder. If you own a disk (and thus, a license to use Windows 3.1), you’ll be able to find floppy disk images anywhere on the web, but we’re leaving out the legal and ethical implications. You.

However, if you get Windows 3.1 installation disks, you may want to copy the contents of each disk (or disk image) to the same directory, possibly using another machine, such as a PC or Mac. Can extract files from OneImage or 7ZipDisk Images on a PC. In our example, we placed all the installation files in a folder copied from seven different Windows 3.1 installation discs. w3setup.

Copy the Windows 3.1 setup files to your iPad

Once you have all the Windows 3.1 setup files in one folder, you need to copy the w3setup folder to the iDOS 2 folder in the File app. There are many ways to do this.

One way is to add your iPad to Mac, and then find your iPad in the Finder sidebar and click “Files”. In the list of files, drag the Finder to “iDOS” or the W3 Setup folder from your desktop.

(On a Windows PC, you can install iTunes and use iTunes file sharing for that.)

Drag folders into files on iPad using Finder on Mac.

You can also use IC Cloud Drive, Dropbox, or any other cloud storage service as an arbitrator. Once it’s moved to your iPad, use the File app to copy the w3setup folder to the iDOS folder.

Related: You can do everything with the File app on your iPhone or iPad

Install Windows in IDOS2

As long as you make sure you have the contents of every Windows 3.1 installation disk in the W3setup directory, installing Windows 3.1 in iDOS 2 is easy. Everything you put in the files in the IDOS folder becomes the contents of your MS-DOSC: Drive automatically.

To start the Windows installation, launch iDOS 2, and use your keyboard (real or virtual), type w3setupsetup I C:> Quick and press Enter. You will see a blue setup screen that says “Welcome to setup.”

Starting the Windows 3.1 setup process in IDOS 2 on the iPad.

Press Enter, and then press again to select “Express Setup” on the next screen. Windows Setup will start copying files from the w3setup folder to a new directory called C: I WINDOWS.

Copying files for Windows 3.1 setup on iPad.

After a while, the setup will change from MS-DOS character format to a Windows 3.x-style graphical installation with a blue background. At this point, your mouse should work, and you can move the mouse pointer around the screen. When it asks for your name, type whatever you want, and then click “Continue” or double enter. Installation will continue.

Windows graphical setup process on iPad in iDOS 2.

After copying all the files, Windows Setup may ask you to configure the printer. Select “No printer attached” and click “Install”. If it asks if you would like to see the tutorial, select “Scope Tutorial”.

Click "Skip the lesson."

And finally, you will see an “Exit Windows Setup” window pop up. Restarting within MS-DOS does not currently work in IDOS2, so you may have to force IDOS2 to be released by bringing the app switcher and swiping IDOS up from the screen. Will be.

Related: How to close and restart iPhone and iPad apps

Finally, run Windows 3.1 on your iPad!

As soon as you leave IDOS2, relaunch it. Now that Windows 3.1 is installed, it’s time to run it for the first time. I C:> Immediately, type win And press enter. After a moment, you will see the Windows 3.1 splash screen.

Windows 3.1 splash screen on iPad in iDOS 2.

After that, you’ll be on the Windows 3.1 desktop. Congratulations, you did it! You are running Windows 3.1 on an Apple iPad. Time to deal with it like crazy.

In Windows 3.1 desktop iDOS 2 on iPad.

If you’re like us, the first thing you’ll do is open and run a “games” program group. Solitaire Playing a fast game is as much fun as it was in 1992.

Windows 3.1 Solitaire on iPad is running in iDOS 2.

Or, you can try Minesweeper, Which also comes with Windows 3.1. If you’re feeling artistic, go to a “Accessories” program group and run a paint brush, which is an everlasting classic.

Paint brush in Windows 3.1 in IDOS 2 on iPad.

And of course, you don’t always have to look at the IDOS border around the simulation screen. Just turn your member horizontally, and the border will disappear. You’ll get a really great, full-screen Windows 3.1 experience on the go.

Windows 3.1 Solitaire is running on iPad thanks to IPOS2.
Benj Edwards

Related: 30 years of ‘Minesweeper’ (Sudoku with explosions)

Next steps: voice collaboration and more games

By default, Windows 3.1 will not play sounds on your iPad unless you install a special sound driver. To do this, you’ll need to download the SoundBlaster 16 creative audio driver found on the RBG Classic Sports website. Extract the zip file in the called folder sb And copy it to the files in your iDOS directory.

To install it, run iDOS 2 and type sbinstall C: > at the prompt, and then follow the on-screen instructions. Most importantly, you need to change the interrupt from 5 to 7 during the setup process.

When configuring the sound driver for Windows 3.1 in IDOS, change the interrupt from 5 to 7.

If you want to get more Windows games, Internet Archive is a good place to find them. With the help of screenshots and the ability to play them in your browser, you can try them out before you copy them to your iPad.

Windows 3.1 games browsing the Internet archive.

If you find a game you like in the Internet archive, you can usually find a zip file for the game listed in the sidebar on the right side of the screen. Download the zip file on a Mac or PC, extract it to your folder (less than eight characters long if it’s DOS friendly), and then copy it to your IDOS folder on the iPad.

You can install it in Windows 3.1 by selecting File> New> Program Item in the Program Manager. Then, “Browse” in the game directory and select the important EXE or COM file that runs in it. If it sounds painful, here’s why! That’s how Windows came back.

And this is the secret Sixth sense Lastly, you can do this on your iPhone. Just remember that whenever Windows or any other program asks you to restart your computer, you have to force IDOS to shut down and restart it. Enjoy yourself!

Related: How to install Windows 3.1 in Dosbox, set up driver, and play 16-bit game

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