Reserect Your Classic 486 Win 3.1x PC

Updated: 07/13/2002
This page was designed on a Windows 3.1 powered machine using Anansi Freeware Edition HTML Editor Version 1.0. It has been designed to promote fast load times on older pc's and optimzed for 800X600 display, so your not going to find many graphics here. What you will find here are files and links to all the software you will need to reserect that old 486 computer you have out in the garage or in the closet. Older 486 Win 3.xx pc's are capable of a lot more that one might expect, they can be made into great web surfing and e-mail machines, small buisness machines, and much more. They also make great "Starter" computers for young kids. Note: All of the software here is 16-bit and intended for Windows 3.xx and/or DOS 5.0 or later, unless otherwise noted. Links open in a new window
Rating System: (* * * * *) = Excelent software, a must have. / (* * * *) = Good, highly recommended software, very useful / (* * *) = Average, good useful software worth listing but not a must have. Please note that these ratings reflect my personal opinion based on performance and stability on my 486 pc as well as overall usefulness.
Quick Links:
Browsers - Customize Win3.1 - Win 3.xx Software - DOS Software - Games - Links - Doom Legacy

My 486's Basic Specs Are: 486 DX2 66 CPU, 16 Meg Ram, A Master 325 Mb HD & A Slave 249Mb HD, Windows 3.1 W/ Win32's & Calmira II 3.3 installed, DOS 6.22. Connecting to the Internet on a Rockwell 33.6 Modem with MSIE 3.03, Opera 3.62, Netscape 3.04 & Arachne 1.70.

Connecting to the Internet with your old Win 3.1 PC:

To connect to the internet with any effiency, you will need a 28.8 bps modem or faster. Now your not going to be able to get Windows 3.1 or any other 16-Bit OS to display and/or play really "High-End" multimedia or "Java Applets" as most of them all require a 32-Bit enviroment such as Windows 95 or better, but you can get it to play/view "Flash" and "Java Scripting" just fine as well as many of the popular audio and video formats out there, but the faster the CPU and the more memory you have will greatly boost your PC's performance in these areas. Realisticly speaking, most people out there who still have Windows 3.xx PC's are running it on a 486 Processor with about 8-16 meg of ram, which is ok for general web surfing, e-mail, and low end mutimedia. If you want more, update to Win 95 or better or if you want to continue Win 3.xx for whatever reason, try upgrading your Motherboard (Socket 4 or better), CPU (Pentium Class), and/or Memory (16-Meg or More). The easiest way to connect to the internet is in Windows 3.1 or 3.11 using MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer) 3.03 or later. This is because it comes with an internet dialer that you need to establish a dial-up connection to your internet service provider. Once you have installed MSIE 3.03 or later, any other web browser you install can use that same dialer to connect to the internet. If you are running a 486 DX/2 66 or less, I recommend MSIE 3.03 - Netscape 3.03 and Opera 3.62 as your choice browsers as they run pretty fast on 66 mhz machines. I have discoverd Opera to be the fastest browser on my machine (486 dx2 66). MSIE 4 & 5 and Netscape 4.08 run slow on 66 mhz machines and should be reserved for 486 dx4 100 or pentium machines.

Note: In order to play most all of the audio formats used today, you will need a Sound Blaster 16 or compatable sound card or better. This is due to that fact that most all audio formats used today will not play on anything less than a 16-bit sound card. If you have a Sound Blaster 2 8-bit or less, you may find that you will not be able to play most anything on your pc that you download from the internet as these are only capable of sampling at 8-bit. I have an SB 2 card and I gave it a try to see how well it would work and was unable to get it to work on anything I downloaded from the internet. My SB 16 works just fine however and quite well I might add, that is why I recomend it. Check out "Lightspeed's Reference Page" in the links section of this page for some great multimedia software.

Web Browsers and the Internet:

MSIE 3.03 Full Install w/Dialer (* * * * *)

Download MSIE 3.03 Here

MSIE 4 Full Install w/ Outlook Express & Dialer

Download MSIE 4 Here

MSIE 5 Full Install w/ Outlook Express & Dialer

Download MSIE 5 Here

Other Great Web Browsers:

Netscape Navigator 3.04 Complete (* * * *)

Download Netscape 3.04 Here

Netscape Communicator 4.08 Full Contains: Browser, HTML Editor, AOL Instant Messenger, and E-Mail (Aprox. 17 Megs)

Download Netscape 4.08 Full Here

Netscape Navigator 4.08 Browser Only (Aprox 8.5 Megs)

Download Netscape 4.08 Browser Only Here

Archive of all Netscape Browsers ever made:

Check them out here

Netscapes Archive:

Check out Netscapes Archive

Opera 3.62 For Win 3.1 or 3.11 (* * * * *) (Excelent Fast and Powerful Browser. Tested very stable, no crashes or lock-up's )

Download Opera 3.62 Here

Dont have Windows, Just DOS? Then try Arachne 1.70. This DOS based browser is a small but powerful web browser that will work on almost any pc. It comes with it's own dialer and e-mail client. This is a great browser to build up your old 486 on. It is very easy to customize to you and your PC's needs. It does run kinda slow on image intensive sites (you can disable image loading for faster performance), but it is still a great browser and is less than a 1 meg downloadable self installing exe file.

Download Arachne Here (* * * * *) (Aprox. 989 Kb)
Customizing Your Windows 3.1 PC:

There are actually quite a few "Enhancements" and "Updates" available for the old 16-bit Windows 3.1 and 3.11, and not to mention a lot of great software. Listed below are some of these that I have found very useful.

Calmira II 3.3 (* * * * *) - This great enhancement gives your Windows 3.1 a Windows 95 style interface look and feel with a great windows explorer style replacement for the old file manager, Win 95 style start menu & desktop, and it is completely customizable. To find out more, check out the Calmira Web Site. Check out the screen shot of my desktop to see how Windows 3.1 looks enhanced by Calmira. / Calmira ScreenShot of my desktop (800X600 - 22.7Kb Gif)

Win 32's (* * * *) - Basicly, Win32's allow you to run some 32-bit software in your Windows 3.1 16-bit enviroment. They do not allow you to run all 32-bit software, check out the link to a list of known compatable software listed below. There are quite a few useful programs that can run with Win32's, that is why I recomend them for download.

Infomation and Win 32 Download Here / Compatable Software List Here

File Manager Utilities (* * * * *) - These updates to the Windows 3.1 and 3.11 File Manager give it a more "User Friendly" Customizeable toolbar and interface to carry out your disk operations.

Download File Manager Utilities Here

Windows 3.xx Software:

Anti-Virus Software - Pretty self explanitory. Tuscows have a pretty good selection.

Tuscows Anti-Virus Downloads

PKzip / PKunzip 2.63 for Windows (* * * * *) - This probably the best ZIP archive Creator/Expander available and is a must have for most internet downloads. It includes PK ZipFix to fix corrupted ZIP archives and can create disk directories automaticly to unzip your files into..

Download PK Ware Here

WinZip 5.0 (* * *)- Anouther Windows ZIP archiver/expander. This one has fewer options and can't fix corrupted archives nor can it creat disk directories, you have to do this in your file manager or calmira explorer, but is still a good program.

Download WinZip Here

Anansi Freeware HTML Editor (* * * * *) - A great Freeware HTML editor for those of you who know or want to learn HTML. I used this program to design this web page.

Download Anansi Here

Word for Windows 1.1a (* * * * *) - This is one of the earliest releases of Microsoft Word. Even though it is over 12 years old, it is still a great word processor and works just fine for typing up school papers, letters, and things of that sort. Word for Windows 1.1a should take care of all you basic word processing needs. If you want more of a selection in this department, check out the other link provided.

Download Word for Windows 1.1a Here / More Text Editors and Word Processors Here

Paint Shop Pro 3.11 (* * * * *) - This is a surprisingly versitile and powerful image creator/editor/viewer that works with all the most common image file types and quite a few not so common ones. Its from Jasc Software, a big name in the image editing buisness. This program makes a great addition to your Win 3.1 pc.

Download PSP 3.11 Here

AOL Instant Messanger (* * * *) - The popular IM is available for Windows 3.1

Download All Versions Here

WS FTP LE (* * * * *) - This is a great FTP Client and works quite well with Win 3.xx.

Download WS FTP Here

Adobe Acrobat Reader (* * * *) - PDF File Viewer for Windows 3.x.

Download Acrobat Reader Here

DOS Enhancements and Applications:

I have listed some of my favorite dos enhancements and applications here. With what you can get some of these apps to do, you don't even really need windows. These would be great for that die hard dos fan or anyone who wants to add more power and ease of use to their dos. There is software to do almost anything windows can do (within reason of course). Most of the apps listed here are for DOS 5.0 or later unless otherwise specified.

WinDOS (* * * * *) - This is an excelent and rather cool Graphical User Interface (GUI) for DOS. It makes it very easy to manage files and applications and is completely customizable.

Download WinDOS Here

Quick View Pro (* * * *) - This is a pretty versitile mutimedia viewer/player for dos. It supports most of the common media types. Check out the link for for more infomation.

Download Quick View Pro Here

NeoPaint (* * *) - This is a pretty cool graphics editor for dos from NeoSoft. It is surprisingly powerful for its size but only supports 5 file types (PCX, GIF, TIF, BMP, ST), but there are converters available to convert these file types to most any other. It supports video up to 800X600 16-million colors.

Download NeoPaint Here

PkUnzip / PkZip DOS (* * * * *) - The popular zip archive utility for dos.

Download PkWare DOS Here

A few of my favorite 486 DOS & Windows 3.xx Games:

Mario - The Nintendo Classic on PC. This version is kind of a mystery as no one seems to know who made it or when it was made. Despite this, it is a very well done game and has superior graphics than its Nintendo counterpart. It looks as though the games creator(s) attempted to give it a 16-Bit Super Nintendo look, and they did a pretty good job at it. Its a lot of fun to play and quite addictive to a classic gamer. The Arrow Keys Move Forward, Back, and Down Pipes / Alt Jumps / Space Bar Shoots Fireballs / Ctrl Runs / S Toggles The Display / P Pauses / Esc Exits. This is a Dos game but will run under Windows just fine. Have fun.

Download Mario

I stumbled across the source of this mario game and decided to add the link to my page. Check it out here

Arkanoid - The golden oldie from the Atari days. From Taito, this is the original PC release I beleive and can be quite addictive. This is a Dos game but plays just fine under Windows.

Download Arkanoid

Chessmaster - The original classic Chessmaster game for Dos. Although this game is not real graphic intensive, its is quite challenging in its difficult settings. A must have for all chess players.

Download Chessmaster

Microsoft Entertainment Pack 1 - This game pack originaly released by Microsoft contains 7 games and the "Idle Wild" Screensaver set. The games are Cruel (A card game), Golf (anouther card game), Minesweeper (the windows classic), Pegged (you remember, those pegs you played on the wodden boards with holes drilled in them ;-), Tapai (the oriental tile game), Tetris (pc version of the Nintendo classic), and Tic Tactics (Tic Tac Toe on Steroids?). This is a Windows game pack and works great on Win 3.1 and 3.11.

Download MS Entertainment Pack 1

Doom Legacy (aka: Doom 3 / New Doom):

Doom Legacy Add-On Enhancement - This "Add-On Enhancement" for the once very popular "Doom" games, is designed to somewhat modernize the classic that started it all after Wolfenstien 3D. Doom Legacy gives Doom a new look, feel, and playability to compare to the moden games we have become used to seeing. You have got to see it to beleive it. If you want to know more, check out my Doom Legacy Link. it even works with the free to download Doom Sharware version that is available just about anywhere. I have included a link to download the sharware version of doom on my DL page.

Doom Legacy, Chek it out!!!
Links to other great 386, 486, Windows 3.x , and DOS pages:

Lightspeeds Reference Page - This is one of the absolute best "Reference" pages I have found on Windows 3.x and DOS. Lightspeed has compiled a great list of software and links to keep that old PC running and working for you. This is a must visit site. If you can't find it on my page, then check out lightspeed. You can find most anything your looking for either on his page or through one of his many links.

Goto Lightspeed's Reference Page

Igor's Old Windows Page - Need an Operating System? Check out this link! Lots of other stuff available here as well.

Check out & - Looking for some great dos games to play? Check out these links!

Check out / Check out
This web page is "Under Construction" and will be updated on a regular basis. Thanks for visiting and please come again.