Tuesday, July 01, 2014

When Microsoft NT 4.0 was the future

The number of people, even within IBM who have ever remarked on my Windows NT bag made by IBM is depressingly low.

But I have it as physical proof that many moons ago IBM really did promote and even encourage the use of Windows NT (New Technology).

Of course I mention this in the context that it is now time to try and load Microsoft NT onto my circa 1998, IBM 7249 PowerPC laptop.

Where are the binaries?
If I told you that they are on every Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0 CD you would never believe me so here is the screenshot.


Making an ARC floppy
If I told you this step took me longer than the entire NT installation you might say how come!

All I needed was to write out this dd image to a 3.5" floppy!

I tried to use my Virtualisation PC but it had a 5.25" floppy
I had to change to 3.5" 1.44MB floppy
I tried to write the floppy using Windows 2012 Server.  It can format the floppy but my dd command failed to write to a:

I installed Linux Mint 17, fdutils  and even then the native dd command failed!

Man alive this is getting difficult

Finally, what worked?
Windows 8.1, 64 bit,  this dd image,  written with this prehistoric  rawwrite

Windows NT 3.51 - No Sir
Boot from the Arc 1.51 floppy diskette

The full installation will completely format your hard disk.  It will create a partition with the Arc floppy contents, i.e. this bootloader and menu system

 This is how it formatted the hard disk showing partitions

Now this is the actual machine type as seen by the Arc diskette Model 6042

So at the installation screen you will notice no 6042

About 9 failed installations later  (every menu choice) I can conclude that NT 3.51 will not install.

The installation would always start but usually came to a grinding halt with a garbled graphics screen.

Oh dear

Windows NT 4.0 - Yes
I just knew all that money I personally paid for the Windows NT 4.0 CD back in the day would be come in handy sometime ....

 No need to tell NT installer about my system. It found it perfectly including the Graphics adapter.

 Wow, it is just like the Intel install.

Believe me 96MB of memory in this laptop is quite something.

Remember de-select and select component categories to include everything

 Found the Graphics adapter perfectly

 Of course I did make a diskette

Logon without issue!

Windows NT 5.x - Where?
Windows NT 5.0 was the beta name and the production name became Windows 2000.   The rumour was that the early Betas contained PowerPC support.

But I never saw the Media so I'm unable to verify this. Anybody?

I am thrilled that I managed to get Windows NT 4.0 working. Now, had  this had been 16 years ago I would be cutting edge :-)

Arc 151 dd image