I can't start Windows 3.11 in FreeDOS due some protected mode issues:

  • win /s (standard mode) => Can't start Windows in Standard Mode. Try to use the extended mode win /3
  • win /3 (extended mode for 386) => Windows cannot run in Advanced Mode for 386 PC because of the Protected Mode software already installed. Exit the Protected Mode software and try again.

What I have done so far: added InDOSPolling=TRUE to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI section [386Enh].

Is there a way to start Windows 3.11 in FreeDOS?


If I start FreeDOS in Safe Mode I'm able to start Windows but just in the standard mode. win /3 returns Unsupported DOS Version.

  • While there is some Windows compatibility code in the FreeDOS kernel, I don’t think the 386 Enhanced Mode was ever made to work with it. Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 9:57
  • Also, <meta.stackexchange.com/q/127639/620615> Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 10:26
  • 4
    Windows 3.11 is difficult to get running without real MS-DOS and the XMS/EMS memory managers that come with MS-DOS. Why do you think Windows 3.11 will run under FreeDOS and why do you want to try it? It may not be possible or feasible.
    – Justme
    Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


Windows 3.11 extended mode for 386 doesn't run under FreeDOS. From their wiki:

you may experience problems running Windows on FreeDOS; Windows 3.1 in Standard Mode works on FreeDOS, but Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in Enhanced Mode does not (for now).


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