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Journeyman III
Journeyman III

Compatibility Issues with Athlon II Processors and very old Operating Systems....

Hello,

I run (beside newer ones) some very old OSes on my AMD-Machines.

I noticed, that some old OSes like DRDOS and Windows 3.11 on DRDOS do not run any more on my AMD-Systems

1st-System: Athlon II 250, 8 GB DDR2, Nvidia-Chipset

2nd-System: Athlon II 280, 16 GB DDR3, AMD 880 Chipset.

I am unable to start Windows 3.11 i.e on these machines (hangs), start works fine on old VIA Nano-System or on old Intel System with Intel Core2-Processor.Does also not run on newer Intel-Machines (i.e. Ivy-Bridge-System).

Is that a known issue?

You may say, O.K., your Athlon II 250 is from 2009, but Windows 3.11 was supprted until 2001. This would mean, that i.e. Windows XP would no longer start on my 2020 AMD-System...

Any ideas?

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Forerunner
Forerunner

Re: Compatibility Issues with Athlon II Processors and very old Operating Systems....

You normally need to install certain drivers (or patches), with a new or an old O/S. These are typically supplied by the mobo maker as the drivers are required to allow the mobo devices to function with a specific O/S. The may even be AMD CPU specific drivers from some mobo or O/S makers. You might be able to find these drivers at the mobo makers or O/S makers website under "downloads" and/or in the Support area.

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Journeyman III
Journeyman III

Re: Compatibility Issues with Athlon II Processors and very old Operating Systems....

Old Operating-Systems like MS-DOS, DR-DOS or Windows 3.1(1) do not need special Drivers to work. They work with Standard-Drivers that are based on Standard-Hardware-Layer (i.e. 8086-compatible, VGA-Compatible, SVGA-Compatible, ATA/IDE-Compatible, etc.

So this cannot be the reason. The only reason might be, that the Hardware is no longer compatible to these Standards - and that is my question to the Tech-Guys @AMD

;-)

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Forerunner
Forerunner

Re: Compatibility Issues with Athlon II Processors and very old Operating Systems....

FYI - These are the AMD User Forums. They are NOT officially supported by AMD Technical support. If you want an official reply from AMD Tech then you need to submit a Support Ticket.

There is at least one iteration of Windows that does require an AMD CPU driver to run Windows. It's been well over two decades since I've used those old Windows versions so I can't tell you which iteration of Windows it was. There are also numerous Windows "patches" for AMD CPUs that are required for the AMD CPUs to perform properly even with the latest desktop FX CPUs as shown in the link below.

AMD FX-8350 4 cores don't work

That being said my personal experience with Windows is that if you install and remove it more than once on a specific hard drive, there can be remnants of a previous O/S installation that causes Windows to get confused and hang or crash. If you have the Windows CD you can try to "repair" the Windows installation. I've only seen Windows "repair" resolve a problem, one time in 20 years. If "repair" does not work you can try a complete new Windows install typically after running "repair" and rebooting your PC. A new install of Windows has about a 50:50 chance of fixing the conflicting files issues on a Windows install, IME. Any updates that have been installed since the original O/S installation will be newer files and the "repair" mode will ask you if you want to replace various Windows files. IME, going with all of the original Windows files on the CD, NOT the updated files, is the only "repair" that ever worked for me.

Unfortunately there is no good known means to fix corrupted Windows installations short of reformatting the drive and a new install. Even hard drives that have only had one installation of the Windows can end up with conflicting files or corrupted files from Windows updates. Your mileage may vary when it comes to fixing a Windows installation. (YMMV).

BTW, there are no known issues per se with AMD processors running Windows regardless of the version. Using the appropriate driver when needed and the Windows "patches" will deliver the best performance from AMD processors. Your Windows issue is not an AMD CPU issue.

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Adept III
Adept III

Re: Compatibility Issues with Athlon II Processors and very old Operating Systems....

The biggest problem is there are no drivers for the motherboard chipsets for old operating system. Now days you are lucky to find drivers for even Windows XP.

Your best bet for old operating systems on current hardware is to use Virtual Machine software such as VMware or VirtualBox. Virtual Machine programs can emulate the required hardware for operating systems from DOS to Windows 10.

VirtualBox

VMware Workstation Player

Using VMware Workstation Player I have installed:

DOS 6.22

Windows for Workgroups 3.11

Windows 95

Windows 10 Pro 32-bit

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

BTW, my computer has the following hardware:

CPU: AMD FX-8350

MBD: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3

RAM: 8GB GSkill (DDR3-1600)

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