I'm trying to install Windows 3.1 on an old machine with already formatted hard drive to FAT16 (5 GB capacity).

I'm booting MS-DOS from floppy drive than booting setup from the hard drive but on the setup screen there is an error saying you need at least 6MB to install Windows, but I have more than enough space on the hard drive. Any suggestions?

  • better to quote the message word for word, and give a screenshot too. And as an experiment try formatting it to something much less like 32MB hard drive. I think 32MB that would've been a normal size hard drive back then. And by the way, win3.1's hard drice requirements are "6.2 MB of hard drive space (14.5 MB recommended)".. So try with a 32MB partition.. if it works then try it on a bigger one. – barlop May 5 '16 at 20:45
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    That is simply not possible since the Fat16 maximum partition size is 4GB. – Julie Pelletier May 5 '16 at 20:46
  • It's 4 GB and 1 GB unallocated. – SteveDev May 5 '16 at 20:47
  • I can't be 100% sure without the means to test it but I'd try a 2GB partition to see if that works. – Julie Pelletier May 5 '16 at 21:05
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    Please let us know if 2GB works or not. – Julie Pelletier May 5 '16 at 21:22

The FAT16 file system only supports up to 4GB, so Windows probably can't recognize the partition.

Also, according to the original Windows 3.1 minimum specification, the recommended disk space is 14.5MB<- yes megabytes. Maybe try with a 500MB partition and see if you're successful.

  • I did it with 320mb or so and it worked like a charm, i guess it's fine with anything under 1GB. Thanks all. – SteveDev May 6 '16 at 7:43
  • Yeah, I remember my first PC with Windows 95, I paid extra to get a second 1.2 GB HDD (so 2.4 in total). And that was already rather big. – TJJ May 14 '16 at 18:03

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