I want to install Windows 3.1 on my MS-DOS 6.22 Machine. I have the 6 disk images. But I only have 1 or 2 spare Floppy disk that I can write the disk images onto. One way I can think of is to write the first disk image on one, and then when the next is requested, I make the next one. But of course this will take forever (and I have to repeat this if later I want to reinstall it for whatever reason). So is there a better way to do this or I am forced to write them one at a time?

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    As I remember, the word "burn" wasn't generally used with floppy disks. It's only with optical media (CDs, DVDs etc.) that the word came into use (as they involved essentially burning a pattern of 0s and 1s onto the medium). Commented May 21, 2017 at 1:46
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    @ShreevatsaR fixed it
    – Tom Shen
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 3:20
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    "Burn" was used with EPROMs before, which were... ROMs, just like CD-ROMs.... Commented May 22, 2017 at 11:39
  • Were Win 3.11 floppies also DMF format? If so you'd have to format any physical floppies you're using as DMF.
    – Alan B
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 7:56

2 Answers 2


If my memory serves well, Windows can be installed from a directory on hard disk. You need a means of reading all disks and storing its files on the same directory on the hard disk of your target machine. There may be files that are the same (DISK.ID or something). Just overwrite them. Then, invoke the INSTALL application from the copied directory. I think that's the way I did to install Windows 3.11 into a DosBox VM.

It may work if all the files are in a directory in a CD ROM as well.

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    Yep, tried that it works. I just mounted all the disk images, copied it to a folder in the machine's C: drive and it works.
    – Tom Shen
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 15:40
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    For what it's worth, this "put all the files in one directory" solution works for almost all software that comes on floppy disks. In particular, I've never found a piece of Microsoft software that it didn't work with. Not only is it now especially handy in these days of VMs, but it was even handy back in the days of old to have a copy on the hard disk when you wanted to add/remove features or repair the installation without having to hunt down the diskettes. Commented May 21, 2017 at 7:50
  • Some uncooperative software (such as GEM) checks the volume labels on the floppies. Windows doesn't, though.
    – john_e
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 14:26
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    "You can install it DIRECTLY FROM THE FLOPPIES??" <- 6 years old me. I xcopied a LOT when I was a child until I accidentally found out you could install from the floppies, which is slower, but a really small and tight HDD meant I needed to erase stuff to xcopy and install new stuff and then xcopy and reinstall the old stuff in descending size order...
    – xDaizu
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 16:35
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    @CodyGray -- The "All files in a directory on the harddrive" is the best way to install all windows versions up though XP. Having them there puts the Source Directory in the proto-Registry or Registry. You will never be prompted for the CD to install any drivers ever again. Win 98 and later you could copy the files after install and manually update the registry, but installing from the HDD was usually faster even taking time to copy the CD to the drive in the first place. it also cuts down on service calls. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 20:20

You can get a floppy emulator that physically connects to the floppy controller in place of the floppy drive. To "load" a floppy disk, you simply choose the image file. Then you don't have to mess with floppy disks at all, and the computer doesn't notice any difference.

Some of these emulators mount in the floppy drive bay, then you load the images onto an SD card or USB stick and select the active image using buttons on the front of the emulator.

Other emulators connect via USB to another computer running software to choose the image file. Then you don't have to mess with SD cards or fiddle with buttons, but the downside of course is that it depends on a second computer sitting nearby.

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