Category Archives: Windows

Antique Display Driving

Here’s a preview of something I’ve been slowly working on, bit by bit: That screenshot surely looks a little funny. That’s because it is Windows 1.04 running with a heavily modified 256-color Windows 3.x display driver, using resources from a … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Microsoft, Windows | 18 Comments

Learn Something Old Every Day, Part VI: Backward Buffer Overwrite

A few days ago I spent far too much time debugging a largish piece of 16-bit Windows code written in assembler. I found a scenario where (fortunately fairly reproducibly) Windows crashed because the internal state of a DLL got corrupted. … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Development, Windows | 24 Comments

FasterModeSwitch: Is It Really?

Short answer: Yes. Before launching into the long answer, let’s recap what it even is. FasterModeSwitch is a SYSTEM.INI setting in Windows 3.1 which applies only to Standard (286) mode and can therefore be found in the [standard] section of … Continue reading

Posted in 286, BIOS, Microsoft, Windows | 10 Comments

Didn’t Expect That to Work

Once the ThinkPad T43p with a bad fan was in working shape again, I restored the preloaded software on it. Which meant Windows XP (this is a system from 2005). It didn’t take long for me to establish that XP … Continue reading

Posted in ThinkPad, Windows | 22 Comments

Crazy World

After I successfully upgraded two Windows 10 VMs to the 1809 release at the beginning of October, I tried to do the same with more VMs and an actual laptop this week. But I couldn’t, no update was offered. While … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Microsoft, Random Thoughts, Windows | 9 Comments

Three Weeks

I happen to own several old laptops, now about 10 years old, that had the misfortune of being delivered with a Windows Vista license and matching Windows Vista OEM installations on their recovery partitions/media. About a year ago, I noticed … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Microsoft, Windows | 27 Comments

Alt Insanity

Several times, a question came up how to synthesize keyboard input to a remote system given a text string.┬áThe remote system is┬átypically but not necessarily a VM. That sounds like something which should be trivial, yet it is anything but. … Continue reading

Posted in Virtualization, Windows | 14 Comments

Windows 3.1 Standard Mode Crash with APM

On some systems, Windows 3.1 and 3.11 in Standard mode crashes when it is configured to use APM, i.e. POWER.DRV is loaded. The crash only happens in Standard mode, not the typical default 386 Enhanced mode. Since POWER.DRV is involved … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Windows | 16 Comments

Updating Windows

Updating older (but still supported) Windows versions can be a tedious tasks. Not only for humans but also for computers. Searching for updates for half an hour every time with the CPU going at full tilt must be a not … Continue reading

Posted in Microsoft, Windows | 20 Comments

Windows 3.0 DR 1.14, February 1989

Another rather interesting software artifact surfaced just recently, after more than 25 years since its release: Windows 3.0 Debug Release 1.14 (further referred to as DR 1.14) from February 1989. This was an alpha version only provided to select ISVs … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Microsoft, PC history, Windows | 89 Comments