Getting Windows 3.1 connected to the internet (in DOSBox of course)

What if, for historical reasons, you wanted to test early Windows internet software?

You would do well to run up DOSBox. Better still, the Megabuild version which includes an emulated NE2000 network card.

Then you install DOS and Windows 3.x. Not too difficult if you can find copies of the software.

What next? This is where I wasted a certain amount of time. I found this information:

Run 0×65 3 0×300 and winpkt 0×65 before starting Windows

I found from the above link, but where was winpkt? Eventually I found it in on

I still was not up and running. Then it dawned on me that I needed WinPcap on the host PC for the NE2000 emulation to work.

Next, I took a look at the DOSBox configuration file, which for this build is dosbox-SVN_MB6.conf. Nothing will work until you edit this file, since you need to specify which real NIC DOSBox should use. By default it is set to “list”, which means you get a list of candidates when you start up DOSBox.

I use Windows 8 with Hyper-V virtual networking installed, which complicates matters. It was not obvious which NIC to use, since three of mine are distinguished in the list only by GUIDs. I got it right on the second attempt.

Now I was getting somewhere. I had already added the driver initialisation into autoexec.bat. I installed Trumpet winsock which is still for sale though you get 30 days trial.  You just have to configure it. No DHCP but not too difficult:


Note that the values here are examples; yours will be different.

IP address: a valid, unused IP address on your internal network

DNS server: the same as used by the host PC

Domain suffix: optional, your internal domain

Vector: this must match the first argument you gave to, without the 0x

Netmask: same as you use on the host PC

Gateway: same as you use on the host PC

The other values I left at the default. Then you can try a ping to check that it works:


Happy retro computing!

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