PC Hardware

Minimum Requirements for Running Windows

Windows was designed to take advantage of improvements in hardware and to overcome limitations imposed by MS-DOS. Therefore, before Windows is installed on a computer, it must meet several minimum hardware requirements. Minimum means just that-Windows will run with these parameters, but performance might not be optimal. The following table lists the minimum requirements of Windows 3.1.

Feature Minimum Requirement Comment
Processor 80386 Must have enhanced mode-the faster the better!
Memory 2 MB Windows runs, but is severely curtailed with only 2 MB; 4MB makes it usable; 8 MB or more is desirable.
MS-DOS version 3.10 The higher the MS-DOS version, the more tools that are available.
Free disk space 8 MB minimum install; 10.5 full install. Needs 20 MB or more for the swap file-the less RAM the computer has, the more free disk space is needed.
Floppy disk Not required to run Windows, but necessary for installing programs and saving data. One 3.5-inch drive.
Display adapter VGA Any VGA or better.
Printer Optional-might have to install the driver software.
Mouse Optional Difficult to use without a mouse, but it can be done. Any compatible mouse will work; however, the appropriate driver software might be needed.