qemu + win 3.1 + pandora = civ 2!

The video above is of an open pandora handheld running Civilization 2 on windows 3.1. Why should you care? Windows doesn’t run natively on an arm processor – okay so you’re bored already.

Brief how to (working off memory):

1. download my compiled arm qemu:  (change ppt extension to zip) qemu

2. take our your old dos disks (not tested with freedos).

3. take out your old win 3.1 disks.

4. create a disk image with qemu-img, eg qemu-image create /media/sd/c.img 100M

5. start qemu.  I put all of my dos files etc in an iso image eg qemu -cdrom dos.iso -hda c.img -boot d

6. let dos create a partition and install dos onto the hard disk.

7. then windows in the same manner.  If you’re having trouble with the ‘:’ key eg cd d: from the dos prompt (pandora colon is not recognised) just create a batch file to install windows and use winimage to inject the batch file into the image.

8. thus far you don’t have the correct resolution, so you have to install svga.drv (if not already in windows directory) and then patch it with vgapatch (google is your friend).  If you don’t have svga.drv then download svga.exe (it will unpack all of the vga drivers).

9. now start qemu with the -vga std option and install the driver via setup.exe in the windows directory.  In the monitors menu go to “other” – browse to the folder with svga/vga patch. Choose your desired resolution.  Then restart windows.

10.  Now copy civ2 files from you original disks and inject into a folder in your disk image (c.img) using winimage.  Make sure this is the ORIGINAL 1996 version of civ2 for win 3.1 (other versions won’t work)

11. launch qemu, launch win 3.1 and setup civ 2.  Setup will say that it installed correctly but it hasn’t.

12. the original civ 2 fails to launch without a sound driver (it will start okay but then crash soon after).  You can try to install a sound driver as qemu can emulate sound cards via the -soundhw option.  I couldn’t be bothered to do this yet – I tried a sb16 driver and launched qemu with the -soundhw sb16 option but windows wouldn’t launch so I gave up.

13.  to get over the sound issue you need to patch civ2 with the civ242 patch.  It can be found on the civfanatics website.

Now you’re good to go!  Enjoy.

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8 thoughts on “qemu + win 3.1 + pandora = civ 2!

  1. Great stuff, thank you!
    > “Windows doesn’t run natively on an arm processor” -In deed, it is one great step for all of us. I mean, to get out of the monolithic Wintel monopoly, and to remain common heritage – and Win 3.x belongs there, like it or not.
    This video shows us it is possible, ARMs will be better and faster, and there will be more and more clever ppl to find out how to run things – no metter is it done through Wine, DOSBox/WINBox, Qemu or some other tool…
    Speaking of Win 3.x, anybody tried Calmira and/or Win32s?
    Calmira is not just fancy shell mimicring 98/XP/Vista/7/whatever, but it provides LongFileName support, “x” icons for exiting windows, proper windows scrollers, start menu and myriad other stuff to make 16-bit Win-living easier!
    Win32s provides partial support to 32-bit programs, e.g. Wordpad from Win95/98, 3D Pinball Space Cadet (from Win NT), 32-bit Xara, Photoshop 4, XNView… could be run
    look at http://stephan.win31.de/w32slist.htm
    There is also ReactOS (www.reactos.org), open source 32-bit Win-compatible OS with extremely small footprint that could be theoretically run from Qemu/Pandora
    Best regards!

    • It should also work with win 3.11? Maybe install it on your pc first and then transfer the disk image to your Pandora.

      The colon fix in that thread is for dosbox. Didn’t seem to work for me with qemu.

      • Thanks for the tip, I’m trying that now.

        I have only tried the colon fix both in DOSbox and qemu and it works.

        The timing when pressing “left_trigger + fn + ;” seems to be sensitive, so most of the time it just ends up as ;, try again until it works. For some reason it works better for me when I press on the rightmost edge of the left trigger, weird…

  2. I’m having a ton of trouble just getting the svga to work, it crashes QEMU no matter the resolution I set. any ideas?

    • Hi Joshua. QEMU for the Pandora has been improved by other members of the community. If you go to the repo you will find a much better version.

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