Install & Configure MS-DOS 6.22 & Windows 3.1 using Oracle VirtualBox

Installing DOS and Windows 3.x is relatively straightforward, though configuring both to perform the best they can can be a little more tricky. For this guide I’m using Oracle VirtualBox 5.1.4 (the latest at the time) on a Windows 10 machine. VirtualBox isn’t my first preference for emulation, however it’s free to obtain.


Windows 3.1 wasn’t technically an operating system in itself, though common perception is that it was. Unlike newer versions, Windows up to version 3.x would typically sit on top of some variation of DOS such as MS-DOS or PC-DOS which was the operating system.

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Welcome to Socket 3!

I decided to create this site for people like myself who have an interest in earlier personal computing, whether it be to actually own the hardware or in a virtualised environment. The aim isn’t really to be an abandonware site to download a copy of Windows NT or your favourite DOS game, but to be over time a point of reference consolidating potentially interesting and/or helpful bits of information.

I guess it’s always been around in some form, though I get the impression at this point of time there’s greater interest in what would be now known as vintage computing. I find from just observation and often looking at eBay, once items become harder to find and are 10, 15, or even 20+ years and in good shape prices start to climb back up sometimes considerably. This is particularly noticeable with computers and components that were historically significant (Apple Lisa) or were once well regarded (SoundBlaster sound cards). In essence the similarities are close to those who have an interest in classic muscle and sports cars.

To the dissatisfaction of my wife, I have a number of desktop and laptop computers ranging from 486s through to the relatively modern Intel i3/i5/i7 platforms. Most of the laptops are IBM ThinkPads which I originally bought in bulk from a business that used them for taking photos at Christmas time when the kids would go to see Santa Claus.

At some stage I’ll use these in future posts, however given that I’m moving to our new home within the next couple of weeks they’re all stacked up ready to be moved.