Re-install Win 3.1 without loosing Legacy software setting??


Can windows 3.1 and/or Dos be re-installed without compromising windows program settings? I have a hard drive for a piece of machine equipment that used to run Win 3.1 and immediately open a legacy program for system.

It sat around for some years and now it only boots to Dos with an error message (messed up paths I think.You can though, navigate around but can’t even manually start windows.

As a slave drive, I can navigate around just fine. I have run every disk utility I can find and work.

I no longer have the disk for the legacy program installation disks. I wonder if I can reload dos and/or windows 3.1 without destroying the legacy software setting within in O.S.


Regards, PK
No. There will be no way to redeploy DOS or Windows without destroying the legacy software.
You should be able to hook that drive up to a working PC, back up the programs' folders, reinstall DOS, then restore the folders without too much trouble.

Software for DOS and Win 3.x usually had all its needed files in the same folder, making minimal use of the DLL repositories and the registry.
O.K Thanks,

So there is no XP like “repair” option if win 3.1 see’s another 3.1 installation. I thought I had slipped in beneath a reinstall somehow way back when, with Win. 3.1.

Over writing all things Wndows, I wonder if it’s worth backing up the registry and grabbing all the dll’s in Windows file folders then dumping them back in after reinstall.

As I recall the program kind of had lots of folders allover the place. Pretty complicated batch file. May have tentacles in the O.S.

Thank you both for the information.

Regards, PK
Well that might work for restoring your files/programs, but at the same time it'll add in any undesired changes from the previous registry that left your current installation crippled.
Your best bet would be to install Windows 3.1 in a virtual machine, and see if that old program will run with just its files. If it does, then you can go ahead and format + reinstall then restore the files it needs.