installing a printer driver on Windows 3.1

By BrianBooher ·
I have an issue with a very old computer.

I want to install new printer drivers on this computer, but the driver file is 2.6 MB, which is too much for a floppy. There is not USB ports or a network connection for this computer.

I want to compress it and put it into a zip file, but I cannot get the file to compress a whole lot.

Any ideas would be helpful.


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Is the driver even compatable?

by dawgit In reply to installing a printer driv ...

I would first find out from the Manufacture if that driver is compatable with DOS/Win3.1. Putting the file in a .zip package won't help you unless you have an un-zip program of the DOS/Win3.1 machine. Big question there. What I would do, and do do is to split the driver file up into 1.4 MB sizes and copy them to the old computer by flopy. For that a program called 7-zip is available. [ ] -d

Collapse -

What's the file format of the driver?

by robo_dev In reply to installing a printer driv ...

is it an EXE that's a self-extracting archive?

If so, run it on another box and then copy the individual files over.

Many times a "setup.exe" has some options such as setup /a which just extracts the files. Also try opening with uniextract.

Collapse -

Span disks

by Jacky Howe In reply to installing a printer driv ...

A self-extracting Zip file created by WinZip Self-Extractor can span multiple removable disks.

Use winzip to span the file across a couple of floppys and uninstall it to the other PC.

Collapse -

Why not a CD?

by TheChas In reply to installing a printer driv ...

I see you have several other comments and suggestions.

Why not burn the driver onto a CD?

I assume that you have verified that the driver supports Windows 3.1 (16 bit) and that the system meets the hardware requirements for the driver.

Plus, if no one has told you yet, there is no way to add USB ports to a Windows 3.1 system. Well, you can find a few DOS level USB drivers with VERY limited hardware support and functionality.

That said, for an old Windows 3.1 system, you best option is to find an old design printer that uses a standard parallel port configuration and has DOS mode support. That way, you know the printer will work with the hardware.


Collapse -

Perplexing problem

by mjd420nova In reply to installing a printer driv ...

I don't know of any way to get that large of a file into the system. WIN3.1 doesn't support USB or even a serious CD drive. Most WIN3.1 systems were X386 processors and a CD drive was a real stretch for them. The only way I have been able to get a file that large into an X386 system was to load it onto a clean hard drive with another system and then install the drive as a second drive in the older system. I have an ABOVEBOARD 10MB hardrive that plugs into the PCI slot for these kinds of problems but they are a very rare piece of hardware.

Collapse -

Another alternative

by Jacky Howe In reply to installing a printer driv ...
Collapse -

floppy disks....

by BrianBooher In reply to Another alternative

I found out that the .exe file for the printer I wanted to hook up is split into two folders that can be loaded onto two floppies.

Then I found out that the printer was broken anyways, but at least I know what to do when I search for another Windows 3.1 compatible printer.

Collapse -


by dawgit In reply to floppy disks....

It happens that way sometimes. Thanks for letting us know BTW. -d

Collapse -


by Jacky Howe In reply to floppy disks....

a bummer. At least you know that there are several ways to perform the operation next time. Good luck :)

I just rememberd the old program that I used to use Slice & Splice :)

Related Discussions

Related Forums