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As part of my MSDN with Visual Studio Enterprise subscription I just got, I can download Windows 3.1.

MSDN Screenshot

I want to install it to a VirtualBox VM so to remember good old days. I don't want to use DOSBox as I'll try some old viruses and I want the OS completely isolated.

The file you can downloaded is an .exe SFX file that outputs these files.

I already have a MS-DOS VM working.

I'm looking for answers telling me how to pack these files and how to mount and run them in MS-DOS, so this is different from my other question.

marked as duplicate by Kuba Tyszko, Anthony Pham, Chenmunka Jun 12 '16 at 18:07

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 3
    I've also asked the same for ms-dos. – Ave Jun 12 '16 at 4:17
  • You should merge that into one question. – Kuba Tyszko Jun 12 '16 at 5:33
  • 1
    @KubaTyszko I don't know if combining them is necessarily the best option. While he'll need a DOS VM to install Win 3.1 on top of, instructions on how to install Win 3.1 won't be relevant to installing DOS. – mnem Jun 12 '16 at 6:39
  • 3
    I don't see how this is a duplicate, the MS-DOS installation explanations are useless for installing Windows from the MSDN download. – Stephen Kitt Jun 12 '16 at 18:10
  • 1
    @KubaTyszko, the VirtualBox-relevant portion differs considerably between MS-DOS and Windows: MS-DOS doesn't require you to configure drivers. Windows does. – Mark Jun 13 '16 at 19:17

This technique requires you to have a second VM, with a more recent operating system that supports shared folders.

  1. Install MS-DOS on the target VM.
  2. Shut down the target VM. Attach its hard drive image to the second VM as an additional drive.
  3. Boot the second VM. Import the Windows 3.1 self-extracting EXE, and unpack it onto the target drive (this might be drive D: or E: in the second VM).
  4. Shut down the second VM, and boot up the target VM.
  5. Run C:\W31\SETUP.EXE (assuming you unpacked it to \W31 in step 3).
  6. Once you're happy the target VM is working correctly, you can detach its hard drive from the second VM.
  • 2
    Alternately, you can install MS-DOS on the VM from floppy image, then use MSCDEX to add CD-ROM support to DOS. Make an ISO containing all the widows files, and whatever other drivers you want, then mount the ISO in the VM. Boot to DOS, MSCDEX makes the ISO your D: drive. Install. – Geo... Jul 23 '16 at 1:06

Windows 3.1 pre-dates nearly anything else in terms of installation media than floppy disks. So your only way of getting the installation files into the VM will be via floppy disk images.

Your other question relates to how to install MSDOS into a VM - Let's assume you have done that, I would propose you use the standard installation floppies als images to install. Because no VM I'd know comes with guest additions for DOS that would allow shared host/guest media, I don't see any other way to install.

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