Windows NT 3.51 Logo

Windows NT 3.51 Workstation was released in 1995 and was the third incarnation of the Windows NT platform. NT 3.51 was the first Windows version to install TCP/IP protocol stacks as default. Something we take for granted these days.
While Windows NT 3.51 is no-longer a productive or viable operating system, there are a few still about who use it for novelty purposes.

In December 2000 the life cycle of Windows NT 3.51 Workstation came to an end, three months after the retirement of it's server counterpart. Workstation, like all NT versions shares the same core code with its larger server family members, allowing for easier QFE (Quick Fix Engineering) updates. Although NT 3.51 is now long retired, meaning updates and supported software will no longer be issued. The patching process is still fairly easy thanks to the introduction of the Windows NT QFE system. Given the amount of time that Windows NT 3.51 has gone without HotFix's being released, there are likely some serious flaws in the released code and urge users to be extra careful when using NT 3.51.

It is important to remember if using Windows NT 3.51 Workstation that it is no longer a supported Operating System. Currently most software required to provide additional security will not function. If your system can support it we recommend looking to upgrade to a newer operating system. Especially if you are hosting a IIS 1.0 based web server from you installation.
It is unlikely that you will be able to find Firewall and Anti-virus solutions for the NT 3 platform as a result you should. Minimise any network shares that you setup on the computer should also be considered. If possible don't connect to the Internet.

This guide is provided for frivolous purposes only. Windows NT 3.51 cannot be used to synchronise a Handheld PC.

 

If you can start with a fresh install of Windows NT 3.51 we recommend that you do the following:

  1. Perform a fully custom installation
  2. Only select the optional components that YOU need
  3. Do not install Dial-up networking (RAS) if you do not need dial-up
  4. Do not install LAN components unless you need it
  5. When installing a LAN, make sure not to install unneeded components and protocols.
  6. If you install any software pre 1996, modify any Windows components that require the Windows NT 3.51 CD, reapply Service Pack 5

 

Recommended Installation Procedure

Before installing any operating system it is important to have all of the pieces of information and software that you will need in order to successfully get up and running.
The main information that you will require are:

  1. Product Installation Key
  2. Network information (If Applicable)
  3. Make and Model of your system hardware
  4. System Drivers, (notably Display, Modem and Network)

Drivers will have come with your PC, its hardware or both. It is important to note however that these drivers may not be current versions. Having updated drivers can provide significant performance benefits for your PC. We recommend that you crate a list of all the manufacturers of your system hardware and then check their web sites for current drivers.

NB: If you are installing a Network Interface Card in your PC, ensure that you have its drivers on a floppy disk.

  1. Turn off your computer and insert Setup Disk 1 into your floppy drive
  2. You cannot install NT 3.51 on a hard drive who's partition is above the 4GB sector mark.
  3. Turn on your computer and follow the Text Mode on-screen instructions
  4. When Graphical mode begins enter your Name, Company information and product key when prompted
  5. When prompted to chose an installation type select Custom
  6. Go through each of the Installation Options and choose the components that you need, click Details to see more on each category
  7. On the Network Installation Screen, if you need a Network Card and it wasn't automatically detected add it using the drivers on the floppy disk.
  8. Ensure that you only install the protocols that you need. Most LAN's require TCP/IP and not NetBEUI or IPX/SPX
  9. Accept the default Network Services
  10. Complete the installation, providing additional drivers and information if required
  11. Once on the Windows NT 3.51 Desktop, install the rest of your Hardware drivers
  12. Install Service Pack 5 from the Patches and Updates Guide below
  13. Install Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 win16*
  14. Follow through the rest of the Windows NT3.51 Patches & Updates Guide (Below), installing the updates, fixes and add-ons listed
  15. Install your preferred web browser if you wish to use an additional one, ensuring you have the latest version

* Although you may not actively use Microsoft Internet Explorer, installing it updates system components and security. It is best to do it now.

 

Windows NT 3.51 Patches & Updates Guide

The following list of updates will provide you with the highest level of security available to Windows NT 3.51. The Approximate total download size of all the listed updates is 25.61MB

NB: This guide does not cover IIS updates

Want to download all of these updates from us? If you would like to make a donation to help towards our running costs, we will provide you with a download link to the files. Find out more.

Prerequisites

This guide assumes a certain level of system components have already

Service Packs and SRPs:


Critical Updates:

Q153296 Write Cache on IDE ATAPI Disks Error Patch
Q197298 Microsoft Libraries Update version 1
Q197298 Microsoft Libraries Update version 2
Q240195 NET User Times Command Does Not Work in Year 2000

Recommended Updates:

Euro Currency Support
Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 1.5
Windows Font Updates (HPC:Factor Package)
Year 2000 Rollup Package


Internet Explorer QFE's:

Internet Explorer High Encryption Pack
Q237824 Outlook Express 5 Year 2000 Update


Additional Installation Items: