[vcf-midatlantic] Project of the day - Windows 3.11 386Enh on a floppy

Richard Cini rich.cini at gmail.com
Sat Sep 5 19:20:17 EDT 2020

Not really sure what applicability this really has, but today’s challenge was to get Windows 3.11 Enhanced Mode running from a single 1.44MB floppy disk. There are easy ways to get Standard mode running, including using files from “precopy.cab” on Windows 95 or 98, but this was way more challenging. I started from a full install and pared it down using a guide I found (which was a two-disk solution).


The boot files and required extras (HIMEM, PKUNZIP and a very small ramdrive driver) took about 300K, leaving only about 1.2MB (1.156MB to be exact) for a complete install. A normal no-frills install is about 3-ish megabytes.


There are significant compromises – no virtual memory, no networking, no multimedia, only system fonts, and only a few apps, but once running you could run them from another floppy. I discovered that 386Enh won’t put a temporary swapfile on a RAM drive, so it runs without it.


I guess you could call this the 1992 version of PortableApps :-)





Rich Cini





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