Questions tagged [windows]

Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. For questions specific to one version, use the particular version’s tag. For windowing systems generally, use [gui].

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Device access APIs in Windows 9x

What were the programming interfaces used to access "raw" devices on Windows 95~ME? Specifically GPUs, but I'm also curious about other device types in general. For example, on modern Linux (...
grawity's user avatar
  • 475
25 votes
3 answers
18k views

Since when does Windows support forward slash as path separator?

Historically, Windows used CR/LF and backslash, first for new lines, second for path separator. But it turns out that it supports forward slashes as well: Note that Windows supports either the ...
Eric Cartman's user avatar
  • 6,620
9 votes
0 answers
343 views

How did Citrix for Windows NT 3.1 work?

The design of both Windows 9x and Windows NT (before NT4) was based on the assumption that the OS/kernel is driving a single local graphical console session (this is visible today: Windows Server 2022’...
Dai's user avatar
  • 813
7 votes
2 answers
531 views

Identify a 90's game with a car with a mounted cannon

Looking for a game from the 90's: You drive a brown buggy with a cannon mounted on top. 3rd person view in a 3D-like world. There were ramps, grass, water, walls... Single player campaign with a plot ...
user1803551's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
543 views

Windows screensaver showing "natural selection"

Some time around the (late?) 1990s, I remember seeing a novelty screensaver which showed a fantasy environment- possibly underwater- with its denizens occasionally eating each other and acquiring ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
4k views

In what ways was the Windows NT POSIX implementation unsuited to real use?

Windows NT implemented POSIX compatibility because some US government contracts required such. It is said that the POSIX implementation was only pro forma, not intended or suitable for real use (i.e. ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.3k
-8 votes
1 answer
332 views

Is there a reason why WIndows seems to be eternally bonded with the same File Systems? [closed]

One of the real stellar part of moving away from Billy-G's bloated legacy is that you can have an OS that has a file system that is not NTSF or FAT32. It astounds me as to how much better the Personal ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 6,285
35 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why did DOS-based Windows require HIMEM.SYS to boot?

My understanding is that all versions of Microsoft Windows that ran on top of DOS — that is, the lineage from Windows 1.0 up to Windows ME, even though the reliance on DOS diminished over time — ...
mkay's user avatar
  • 699
1 vote
0 answers
227 views

Install Windows NT 4.0 with floppy disks [duplicate]

Not that long ago, I got this 3.5 inch floppy disk drive, and I would like to install Windows NT 4.0 on a computer with the floppy disks. So, how can I get all 3 floppy .img files, onto the floppy ...
Windows-'NT'-'s user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
422 views

Are Windows 2000 SP4 installation CDs home brewed?

I want to buy the latest official available Windows 2000 (Desktop) CD in both German & English. On https://winworldpc.com/product/windows-nt-2000/final there are CD images without service pack and ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,352
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

What did Windows 2 do about varying aspect ratio?

There was a time when computer graphics had to deal with non-square pixels. Happily that time ended once everyone had VGA or better. But Windows 2 supported both EGA and VGA. And while the latter has ...
rwallace's user avatar
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57 votes
6 answers
8k views

Did Microsoft really reserve secret APIs in Windows?

In the nineties when the antitrust case was building against Microsoft, various accusations of abuse of monopoly power were leveled against the company, some of which were proven true. One of the more ...
rwallace's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
9k views

Why did Microsoft start Windows NT at all?

A related question is: why was the existing Windows not ported to the Intel i860? In 1985 Windows 1.0 was released. AFAIK it had everything: Win32 API, DOS support, multi-tasking. The last OS of this ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,352
17 votes
8 answers
8k views

Why was the DOS kernel discarded?

I've read that the last DOS kernel based Windows was ME. Later versions use the NT kernel. Why did Microsoft rewrite the whole kernel? Why was the DOS kernel discarded?
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,352
4 votes
0 answers
169 views

Searching for encryption software for Windows from around year 2000, encrypting files in folders with names starting with @

I am searching for encryption software I was using around the year 2000, probably on Windows 2000. All I know is, it run at background and was automatically encrypting and decrypting files in folders ...
Martin Jedlička's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

TMP/TEMP Environment variables in Microsoft operating systems

The environment variables %TMP% and %TEMP% are the same. Reading the interesting Raymond Chen blog https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20150417-00/?p=44213, it seems that %TEMP% was introduced ...
Single Malt's user avatar
  • 1,839
3 votes
1 answer
719 views

Windows NT drive recovery without ERD or backups

I have decided to take on this project to help another company that has been using a Windows NT system to run some of their critical field equipment. Unfortunately there is now an error which appears ...
james lavigne's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Windows 2000 Inaccessible Boot Device when running setup from SATA Hard Drive

I have a MS-DOS 7.10 install on my SATA hard drive (BIOS set to IDE compat mode), and so I copied over the Windows 2000 install files and ran i386/winnt.exe. It copies over the files fine, but when ...
the_electro_bros's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

How to wrap 32 bits drivers on 64 bits based Windows or even vxd?

Current state : There are more and more computers like mine which are 64 bits uefi only and thus unable to boot 32 bits based Windows. And as Windows 11 is 64 bits only this means in a few years (ends ...
user2284570's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
232 views

DirectX 8 Win32 GUI Not Appearing/Flickering While Running

I am programming a game with DirectX 8, and I am trying to use the GUI options that are provided by the Win32 window that I am using. However, when I try to render a button or, in this case, a textbox ...
rjhwinner03's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
890 views

Did Windows 2.x actually receive support until end of 2001?

I stumbled on the Wikipedia page for Windows 2.x the other day and briefly scrolled through it. One thing that caught my eye was that it apparently was supported until December 2001. While I know that ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.2k
1 vote
0 answers
131 views

2003 Exchange Server connection problems [closed]

Just fired up an old copy of Win10 again, and after update that environment is showing problems connecting to Exchange 2003. Specifically, Edge is unable to connect to Exchange Web Mail, and Outlook ...
david's user avatar
  • 287
22 votes
3 answers
8k views

Where did the term ‘blue screen of death’ come from?

Did somebody famous coin the term? Where does it originate from? I have it heard many times over the years. I wonder if there is a neat bit of trivia associated with the term?
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 6,285
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was the first Windows NT build to support Windows Registry?

The early alpha builds do not have a registry, thus I wonder what build was the first to include registry?
Anixx's user avatar
  • 1,557
31 votes
4 answers
6k views

What are the "virtual machines" that were running on 80386 and later x86 CPUs before full hardware virtualization?

When reading techy articles about older Windows versions I often come across the term "Virtual machine". Apparently even Windows 3.11 had some sort of virtual-machine-thing going on in it, ...
Vilx-'s user avatar
  • 1,345
1 vote
2 answers
624 views

Why did the description of the Windows shutdown command imply power-off was manual even with ACPI available?

The description of the ‘Shut down’ option in earlier versions of Windows reads: Ends your session and shuts down Windows so you can safely turn off power. Why was this shown in Windows 98–XP even ...
user23482's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
345 views

How do you start a minimized MS-DOS session on Windows 98 SE?

How do you start a minimized MS-DOS session (i.e., launch a Command Prompt window that is in the minimized state) for Windows 98 [version 4.10.2222]? I thought the solution would be: start /min But ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
888 views

Usage of Windows default 20-color palette

Currently I'm digging in the history of computer graphics and found the Windows default 20-color palette. It's based on the Windows and IBM OS/2 default 16-color palette but has the four additional ...
hefe's user avatar
  • 661
37 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why does Windows 1.01 crash at the splash screen?

When Windows 1.01 is started under DOSBox, FreeDOS or one of the later versions of MS-DOS, garbage characters are printed on the screen right after displaying the Microsoft logo. Here’s an example in ...
user3840170's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why did fonts in Windows 1.01's Write application look so poor?

In Windows 1.01 Write, the fonts were kind of blocky: Here's what the same text looked like in a modern word processor: Even the terminal had smoother text than Windows 1.01: Why did Windows 1.01 ...
no ai please's user avatar
  • 1,123
4 votes
1 answer
381 views

Why doesn't `https://tls-v1-0.badssl.com:1010/` open in Internet Explorer 6, when Internet Explorer 6 supposedly supports TLS 1.0?

Internet Explorer 6 supports TLS 1.0. However, for some reason that escapes me, https://tls-v1-0.badssl.com:1010/ (which is supposed to test whether a browser supports TLS v1.0) fails to open in ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
259 views

Why were the audio peak meters removed in Windows 98 but re-added in Windows Vista? [closed]

In Windows 95 and Nt 4.0 and earlier, there were audio meters that represented the loudness of the playing audio (for wave and synth), but it was removed in Windows 98 and NT 5.0. Then, it was re-...
user22021's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
221 views

How to perform a DNS lookup in a VxD?

Is there a documented way of performing a DNS lookup in VxD-land? Windows 98 provides TCP/IP-32 VxD that mimics the function of the Windows NT/2000 TDI, however this interface usually works with IP ...
user1628056's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
183 views

Was There a Release of WMI for Windows NT 4.0 Running on DEC Alpha?

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) was made available as a separate download for Windows NT 4.0 SP4 and above. I know that WMI installs and works great on Intel IA32 (x86) flavors of NT4, ...
Frank Lesniak's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
981 views

Installing Windows NT 4 without a floppy or CD drive

I need to install Windows NT 4 on a Pentium computer with Windows 98 installed on a FAT32 partition 160 GB drive. I made a 2 GB FAT16 primary partition before this C partition with PartitionMagic, ...
hubertus's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
458 views

What old version of Windows provides out-of-the-box DVD movie playback?

I bought a Playstation 2 in 2000, which famously included a DVD drive capable of playing DVD movies. I wanted the same movie playback capability on my Windows 98 PC. As I recall, I mistakenly thought ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.5k
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does changing a DOS/Windows EXE cause it to not run? [closed]

If I hex-edit an EXE for DOS or Windows, by adding or removing some text for example, it will no longer run. If I just change a single char around to a different one, it may run. Is this some anti-...
Majdi Hasting's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which was this game with collectibles, that came with a washing machine detergent?

Availability I most likely played it in the late 90s (1997+). It might have been the early 2000s as well, but it's less likely. My computer at the time was running Windows 95 or 98. The game came on a ...
George T's user avatar
  • 283
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Where can I find software that was designed for Windows 1.0?

Once every decade I get the itch to boot up a Windows 1.0 environment to poke around at it and marvel at how far we've come. However, in any of the environments I've seen (say PCjs), they never seem ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.2k
3 votes
1 answer
545 views

Windows NT 3.51 title bar buttons

What is exact meaning Windows NT 3.51 title bar buttons? Arrow up is maximize and arrow down minimize? And left button is close? Its my assumption right?
user2120666's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

How did malware spreading through PIF files work?

If you've used legacy Windows, you probably know about program information files aka PIF files. At some point, when Internet usage became widespread, these files became a vector of infection for ...
Eric Cartman's user avatar
  • 6,620
4 votes
2 answers
5k views

How do I install Windows 9x on an older machine from a flash drive (or any other unconventional device)

Windows 9x is no longer common, and isn't commonly supported. While there exist many solutions to burning ISO to USB or other storage device, most fail at some point, with commonly useless if any ...
TAbdiukov's user avatar
  • 982
0 votes
3 answers
325 views

What exactly has the windows OS relationship been towards MS server offerings?

This question is related to this one. I always was understanding that windows the OS was a companion app of sort in regards to the server offerings and that, yes you could use it for home use, but it'...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 6,285
33 votes
8 answers
12k views

How exactly did Windows become the OS of the home PC?

As far as I understand it, the whole personal computing revolution that Microsoft Windows did was not entirely by its own design. Is it true that the Windows OS at its core was originally designed to ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 6,285
26 votes
10 answers
6k views

Why did the original design of COM on Windows rely on the Registry?

In the early 1990s Microsoft introduced COM (Component Object Model) which was widely used in various programming environments including Visual Basic 5 & 6. Also known as ActiveX (or at least if ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
  • 3,856
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

How to emulate Pocket PC (PPC) 2003?

The OS is at least 17-18 years ago. Yet there is a lot of scattered information and dead ends, and no clarity on how to emulate Pocket PC 2003, the early precedent to Windows Mobile. How to emulate ...
TAbdiukov's user avatar
  • 982
4 votes
2 answers
535 views

Do any of the open source Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulators support both TR-DOS and 3DOS?

The number of Spectrum emulators has been growing for decades now so there's quite a lot for different platforms and written in different languages. I'm interested in learning about two of the disk ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,646
1 vote
2 answers
819 views

What was it like to use Windows NT 3.1? [closed]

For those who used it back in the day, what was it like to use Windows NT 3.1 (or 3.5/3.51)? What did you view its pros and cons to be vs., say, the consumer version of Windows 3.1, or heck, against ...
CaptainKoloth's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
306 views

How to force-install Pocket PC (PPC) or Windows Mobile (WM, WinMobile) .CAB apps onto Windows CE

When searching for the apps for these outdated systems, one can often find the apps available for both Pocket PC and Windows Mobile, with minimal or no changes between platforms. Sometimes there is a ...
TAbdiukov's user avatar
  • 982
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I find out the OS version and CPU type in Windows CE?

How can I find out the OS version and CPU type in Windows CE, without disassembling the device or compiling any extra software?
TAbdiukov's user avatar
  • 982