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I was digging through my storage and came across this old copy of Windows 3.1. It's a strange looking version though and am wondering if anyone has any info on it.

The copyright page only mentions Microsoft Corporation but it doesn't look like any version of Windows or Microsoft product I have seen before. I did an image search and I cannot find anything that looks similar. The "W" logo doesn't appear to be a version of the Windows logo that I can find either. Perhaps it's from an alternate version of Earth? Who knows?

Anyone have any knowledge of this? I have a similar thread on Reddit and they referred me here so hoping y'all might be able to shed some light on it.

I would be very surprised if there was any value to it but I am open to giving it to someone if they wanted to preserve it for the ages.

The copyright page has no ISBN number. For the disks they are all identical except disk 1 with the instructions on how to run it.

Copyright page

Disks

Widows 3.1 Disks and Manual Cover

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  • 11
    That’s an OEM version of Windows, there might be a mention of the manufacturer in the manual (or on the back cover). Do you know which computer it came with? Jan 4 at 5:54
  • 2
    Does the manual have an ISBN number ?
    – Alan B
    Jan 4 at 9:20
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    If you’d be willing to image them yourself, a sector image made with a cheapo USB floppy drive should be enough, no need to go for anything fancy and expensive like Kryoflux. Jan 4 at 9:44
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    @Zenboy - what country? That could, I suppose, affect what Microsoft does or did. Jan 4 at 23:31
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    I have also seen this logo in the 90's (in northern Europe) but cannot remember what it is. It could be a "W" or a up-trending curve.
    – simon
    Jan 5 at 12:02
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It was usual for OEMs to provide their own disk labels. My Windows For Workgroups disks say "DELL", rather simply, no fancy logo.

No Microsoft Windows flag, either. Didn't that only come in with Windows 95?

WfWg disk

Thus I'm pretty sure the "W" is merely the logo of the company the disks came from, rather than indicating some sub-variant of Windows.

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  • @user3840170 - I stand corrected. WfWg was the only 16-bit Windows I ever used, and that only briefly. Jan 4 at 14:59
  • But is it also normal for the OEM to print their own custom manual? OP's manual has the same logo as the disks.
    – JBentley
    Jan 4 at 20:40
  • @JBentley - I don't know the answer to that. My own WfWG manual is not Dell-ified; it's got something like "for sale only with a new PC" on it, so I assume it's Microsoft-printed for OEM use. Jan 4 at 23:28
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    I'm surprised it's a:/setup and not a:\setup.
    – gerrit
    Jan 5 at 8:27
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It looks like the base install of 3.1, which came on seven diskettes. 3.1 can be differentiated from 3.11, because 3.10 uses SZDD compression (the first four characters of a compressed file), while 3.11 uses KWAJ.

The W appears to be a manufacturer's device, but the dots on the right-hand side are the sort of thing one sees in Windows flag-logos of that era.

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    My copies of Windows 3.1 (in Microsoft-branded boxes) come on six 3.5” disks. Are you sure the “base install” came on seven? (And yes, I am talking about 3.1, with SZDD compression.) Jan 4 at 10:36
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    I got my copy on the day it was released. There were OEM versions with five and six disks, but the thing in the box had seven. Jan 4 at 11:08
  • Thanks for the responses all. Much appreciated. Sounds like it might be of some interest for the right person. I don't have the tools or inclination to do anything with it but I feel bad about throwing it away. Anyone willing to pay the shipping let me know and I can send it your way. Something to think about.
    – Zenboy
    Jan 5 at 4:50
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    @StephenKitt Windows 3.1, Disk 7 is labelled "Disk 7 - Additional Printer Drivers" and a typical install process won't request that it be inserted.
    – ssokolow
    Jan 5 at 6:40
  • @ssokolow good to know, but it’s surprising that none of my boxes have it (I got them shrink-wrapped). Jan 6 at 11:04

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