Using IEAK 5.x under Windows XP or Internet Explorer 6 / 7

System Requirements:

  • IEAK 5.0
  • IEAK 5.01
  • IEAK 5.5

The Problem:

If you need to build an IEAK 5.0, 5.01 or 5.5 internal distribution for your organisation, or you are just playing with the older IEAK versions, then you will encounter a significant problem if you happen to be using Windows XP, or have upgraded your web browser to Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0.

IEAK configurations are designed to operate exclusively under the Internet Explorer release they are generating redistributable’s for, and will bluntly refuse to work if you attempt to fob it off with a greater IE version.

The Fix:

Pretty simple really. Like most of Microsoft’s application dependencies, it’s nothing more than observable madness, built in for some strange reason (presumably to force Internet Explorer 3/4 users to migrate to 5.x. Quite why it wasn’t deemed sensible to program IEAK…

if MSIE version <=4.01 SP2 then
Terminate
else
Proceed
End if

… is beyond me. Anyway. The fix is so extremely simple, you will wonder why you were reaching for a Windows install CD.

  1. Open up Regedit and navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  2. Find the string value called Version and edit the Major and Minor version to match the version of IEAK that you are attempting to install. For Example:
    Change 6.0.2900.2180 into
    5.5.2900.2180 for IEAK 5.5 or
    5.0.2900.2180
    for IEAK5.0x.

I don’t recommend that you fiddle with the build number, as you’ll probably forget it when you go to switch it back again. As soon as you have run IEAK for the first time, you can safely switch it back to whatever you had before.

It wont bother you again after that.

Running Mozilla Firefox under Windows NT 3.51

Windows NT 3.51 users have had access to Microsoft browser technology on the same release schedule as Microsoft browsers for Windows 3.11. Unfortunately Microsoft’s logic with NT 3.51 (a 32-bit operating system) was to restrict web browser installations to 16-bit client releases.

The result of losing these 16 extra bits of power? The browser runs at half pace, is exceptionally slow and is limited in its execution space. One must conclude that this artificial restriction was the results of a drive towards forcing people over to Windows NT 4.0, rather than for any pragmatic reason.

One thing that it is very easy to forget when absorbing yourself in the Program Manager driven interface of 3.51 is that 3.51 is a 32-bit operating system, and that crucially it has more in common with Windows 95 and NT 4.0 than Microsoft ever allowed it to take credit for. Subsequently it is often possible for it to run code designed for higher windows versions; particularly code not bolted together using Microsoft’s latest IDE runtime mishmash. Open Source Mozilla Firefox is one such example.

Firefox 1.5

Firefox 1.5.0.2 on 3.51

At the time of writing, the latest build of Firefox is 1.5.0.2 (pictured above). Interestingly, looking at the user agent string, Firefox is even able to identify itself as running under Windows NT 3.51 – though this is likely from the registry rather than a hard coded variable.

Themes

Even Firefox themes work as expected under the release, here showing a Luna theme and a minor level of distortion.

Firefox Themes

Tabs

Finally, for those who get a little crazy about such things. Even tabs work under 3.51.

Firefox Tabs

What doesn’t work

Unfortunately, the sweet delights of a 32-bit browser are overshadowed by a few minor (I say minor…) issues.

  1. Firstly, the installer does not work under 3.51. It will inflate the data store, begin running setup.exe and then drop the process without the slightest hint of an error. Even if you perform the inflation for it, it still drops out unannounced.
    I have found that you can get around this by installing Firefox onto another Win32 NT based system and copying the entire Firefox installation path over to the machine, or run firefox over a network share
  2. Windows NT 3.51 lacks common runtime controls and dialogue menus. As I said above, it’s Microsoft’s IDE and API set which causes programs not to run under 3.51, and control dialogues are an exception in the Firefox build. In the absence of commdlg controls, firefox cannot render any of the shell menu’s which we all know and love from Windows 95 and above. Consequently, displays such as the file system navigators wont display
  3. As a side effect of the above, the downloads control doesn’t work as you cannot browse for a download location and under 3.51 the default “desktop” does not exist. You can change the default download locations by adding the following into perfs.js found somewhere under C:\WinNT35\Mozilla:
    user_pref(“browser.download.dir”, “C:\\builds\\04182006\\INS\\unix\\EN”);
    user_pref(“browser.download.downloadDir”, “C:\\builds\\04182006\\INS\\unix\\EN”);

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to get the downloads system working at all.
  4. The above makes getting hold of extensions such as Macromedia Flash somewhat harder
  5. You need to click on hyperlinks twice

Pinnacle Systems PCTV Vision 2.75 Mod

I bolted this one together on a whim because I’ve grown sick of seeing the drab 16 colour PCTV icon lingering in my start menu.

It’s pretty shocking really in the modern age of vibrant iconography and flash interface design that Pinnacle shipped this as a graphical afterthought in what at the time in my opinion was the better commercial option for a TV viewing application.

The modification is very simple, it replaces the shell icon with a new high contrast application icon, and replaced the old splash screen, (comically named the Potato Spash by the original programmer).

 

System Requirements

PCTV Vision 2.75 is the Stand alone viewer application which ships with PCTV Pro 5.50a. You must have a working Pinnacle PCTV card in your system running PCTV 5.5 (CD or web download) which has been patched to PCTV 5.50a .

Download

For PCTV 2.75 (PCTV 5.50a)Download : 600KB

Installation

  1. Simply backup the files Vision001.dll and Vision.exe found under the installation directory
    Default: C:\Program Files\Pinnacle\Pinnacle PCTV\Vision
  2. Inflate the zip file download
  3. Replace the existing files in the installation folder with the two from the zip
  4. Start PCTV
Splash Screen Icon
PCTV Icon
PCTV New Splash New PCTV Icon

Copyright information: PCTV is the exclusive copyright of Pinnacle Systems. The new splash screen is designed by C:Amie. The icon set it a converted version of an icon from “Capital Icon Suite” and is copyright ~Capital18.

Installing Windows NT 3.51 under Virtual PC 2004 SP1

This document outlines the steps required to install Windows NT 3.51 Server or Workstation under Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1.

 

Prerequisites:

  • Windows NT 3.51 Server / Workstation
    This guide assumes that the installation source is an original NT 3.51 Gold (RTM) source and does not include any Service Pack revisions. If the source is slipstreamed with a Service Pack some steps outlined in this document may not be required.
  • The guide assumes that you are installing 3.51 into a new Virtual Machine, and not as a dual boot.
  • Windows NT 3.51 SP5 – Available from the Microsoft FTP Server (12.7MB).

Installation:

Windows NT 3.51 can be installed from either a CD, or from the local filing system using the WinNT Setup sub system. For the benefit of readers in this article, the primary focus will be on performing the installation using WinNT Setup rather than a CD.

 

Prepare the Virtual Machine using the New Virtual Machine Wizard

  1. Create a new Virtual Machine
  2. Set the Operating System as Windows NT Server
  3. Select a custom RAM level and set it no higher than 64MB of RAM. It is important that the RAM allocation does not exceed 64MB during the Install process, however it can be increased after installation.
  4. Create a new Virtual Hard disk, with a minimum size of 400MB. Leaving the setup defaults as a dynamically expanding volume is recommended.

 

Installing from the CD/Floppy Disk Set

If you intend to install from a CD ROM you will require the NT 3.51 Setup boot floppies. I have created Virtual Floppy Images of the disks for use with Microsoft Virtual PC which you can download below.

Download: NT 3.51 Virtual PC Boot Disks (1.5MB)

  1. Boot onto the first two floppy images
  2. Press Enter to install Windows NT 3.51
  3. Select C to perform a custom installation
  4. Boot from the third floppy image
  5. Ensure that setup has detected the CD Drive as:
    IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2) / Dual-channel PCI IDE
  6. Press Enter to continue
  7. When prompted either select “To install Windows NT from CD-ROM, press ENTER” if you are installing from the CD or “To install Windows NT from 3.5″ disks (drive A:), press A.” if you are using a floppy disk installation set.
  8. Setup your Installation options, ensuring that 3.51 is setup as a “Standard PC“. Perform the setup using the VGA or Compatible display adapter
  9. At the partition manager setup the physical volume onto which you wish to install Windows NT. You cannot create a drive volume using the default NTFS driver up to the 8GB limit. It is recommended that you create a volume of 4096MB (4GB) to install the operating system onto.
  10. It is recommended that you format the partition as NTFS
  11. Select the Windows Folder for the Install and press enter
  12. Insert your Windows NT 3.51 CD and begin the file copy process. Once complete setup will reboot into GUI mode setup

 

Installing using WinNT.exe

If you are having problems with the CD based setup, or you wish to perform the installation using a local system file copy, you must use the 16-bit WinNT setup command line routine.

You will need a MS-DOS startup disk containing FDisk, Format and SmartDrive (recommended) and a mathod of transfering the i386 folder of the Windows NT 3.51 Setup CD onto a Virtual Hard drive

  1. Boot onto the MS-DOS boot disk
  2. Run FDisk
  3. Create a new Primary Partition up to the maximum allocation ont he virtual hard disk
  4. Create a new Extended partition on the same drive of a minimum of 300MB
  5. Create a new Logical volume within the extended partition of the maximum size
  6. Exit FDisk and reboot back on to the MS-DOS boot disk
  7. Format C: as a FAT16 disk partition (The size can only be up to 2GB)
  8. Format D: as FAT16
  9. You must now copy the i386 folder of the Windows NT 3.51 Setup CD onto the D: partition. You can do this by mounting the VHD as a secondary drive in another Virtual Machine (e.g. Windows 95, Windows XP) and copying the files over -or- by using a Boot disk with CD ROM support and manually copying the files into a sub folder on d: (as the number of files in the NT 3.51 setup folder is upwards of 1,800 files you must copy them into a sub folder. FAT16 has a file limit of 512 unique file objects on the root folder)
  10. Boot back onto the MS-DOS boot disk
  11. Load SmartDrive (Recommended)
  12. Open (‘CD’) the folder on D: where you copied your setup files. For the purpose of the remaineder of this guide D:\i386\
  13. Type:
    winnt.exe /s:D:\i386 /x /b
  14. The setup file copy process will begin
  15. Once the file copy has completed your will be prmoted to reboot your computer. Dismount any VFD images you are running and remove all floppy disk from your drive.
  16. NT 3.51 will begin booting. This first bootup will take longer than normal boot processes
    Blue screen of... life!
  17. If at this point the system runs into the STOP error:
    KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED Address 801adcac has base at 80100000 – ntoskrnl.exe
    Blue screen of death
  18. The error message is caused because of two reasons
    1. Firstly because setup has incorrectly determined that the Virtual PC system is not a general IBM compatible x86 PC. In order to continue with the installation you must force the WinNT Setup application to run as a IBM Compatible PC.
    2. Additionally, setup may halt at this point if you are using more than one VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) file to access your NT 3.51 setup/installation drives. In order to proceed you must close the Virtual PC and disable the second Hard Disk.
  19. Reboot the system
  20. Immediately after this screen:
    Inspecting hardware configuration
  21. Begin pressing F5 twice a second
    NB: No dialogue prompt will be displayed to the user offering F5 as an option, so do not wait until you see the blue screen
  22. If you were fast enough you will be presented with this screen;
    Computer type
  23. Select Standard PC
  24. Press Enter to install Windows NT 3.51
  25. Select C to perform a custom installation
  26. Ensure that setup has detected the CD Drive as:
    IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2) / Dual-channel PCI IDE
  27. Press Enter to continue
  28. Setup your Installation options, ensuring that 3.51 is setup as a “Standard PC“. Perform the setup using the VGA or Compatible display adapter
  29. At the partition manager setup the physical volume onto which you wish to install Windows NT.
    You must not attempt to delete the C:\ volume of the hard disk, otherwise setup will fail completely. If you wish to add additional drives at this point you can do so.
    If you wish to resize the partition in the future, use disk utilities such as PowerQuest Partition Magic after you have applied SP5.
  30. It is recommended that you specify to convert the partition to NTFS
  31. Select the Windows Folder for the Install and press enter
  32. Windows NT 3.51 will reboot the setup program and boot onto the Windows NT subsystem GUI mode setup at this point in the installation

Installation complete

Before attempting to make use of NT 3.51 it is strongly recommedned that you install Service Pack 5 so as to benefit from update which will considerably stabalise the Kernel under Virtual PC.

Additional Installation Tasks

Windows NT 3.51 Driver Installation

Windows NT 3.51 Workstation Patching & Installation Guide (maintained by me)