Networking Windows 3.11 under Virtual PC

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:TEMPNICWFW311’)
  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:TEMPIE’ 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