Your copy of WIndows 1.0 Alpha is a modified version

edited January 2017 in Site Issues
Here you can download Windows 1.0 Alpha, but it isn't a raw disk dump. It has been altered from its original state. I can tell, because it supports PS2 mouse. Before Windows 2.0 only serial mice were supported. Windows 1.0x release version, as well as Beta and Alpha, are not supposed to be able to support a PS2 mouse. Yet when I run it in DOSBox (an emulator that has no serial mouse support), it miraculously is able to have its cursor moved around with my mouse. It appears that the copy of Windows 1.0 Alpha that you have is not a pure original, but rather a hacked copy. Most likely, this hack consisted of replacing the official mouse driver for Windows 1.0 Beta, with the mouse driver that came with Windows 2.x. This is a well known trick for converting the normal release version of Windows 1.0x to have PS2 mouse support, but was unaware that it worked on a version as old as Alpha (well before version 1.01).

However convenient this may be for those who want to just use it, and don't care about having an authentic unaltered copy, it is an absolute abomination for me, who's trying to find in fact an UNALTERED disk image of Windows 1.0 Alpha. I DON'T want it to support PS2 mouse, because then I know it's been altered/modded. If you guys at WinWorld have any knowledge of where to obtain an unaltered copy of Win Alpha, please let me know.

Also, here's a request to the admin that runs the site and maintains the download links. If you know the contact info for the person who sent you this copy of Win Alpha, I ask you to contact them, and request that they send you an UNALTERED copy of Win Alpha.


  • Sorry to bump this, but it's really important. I want you guys to know you have ha modified copy of Windows 1.0 Alpha.

    @calvinb I think you are a site admin. Can you please do something to fix this situation? Maybe do something like on the download page for Windows 1.0 Alpha mark that the copy hosted here has been modified, so that others will know what they are downloading?

  • edited June 2020

    Well, I don't know this version is from original media or not.
    At lease, I can tell you that it seems not to be faked or handmade image.
    I checked boot sector / root area / memory maped sector of this image.
    It must be dumped from original media or copied disk.
    But I can't say that it is modified or broken.

    (P.S. Please do Not quote my sentence.)

  • Videogamer555: So, do you have a verified authentic "unmodified" copy?

    Are you sure it is not using a DOS mouse driver? I thought DR5 did that, but don't recall this one doing that or not.

  • This dump is pretty much original apart from some bytes (weird 21hs) in the root directory and the deleted PAINT.EXE (could've been deleted by Microsoft). Alpha Release supports DOS mouse drivers and highly likely @Videogamer555 used a PS/2 mouse driver in DOS.

  • @ComputerHunter

    Yes, I also thing so.

    I checked boot sector / root area / memory dumped sector of disk image.
    I get used to check the disk image is faked or handmade image.

  • @ibmpc5150

    That does not stop anyone with some experience to modify the disk image though. File order and their location on the disk should give a pretty good indication as files injected by tools like WinImage tends to place them after the last file on the disk and the slack space after the file is always 00h. I examined the slack space few years ago and the directory entries matches the disk quite perfectly (except for 1 file with a different starting cluster or something). The only thing I am worried about is the 21hs in both DR5 and Alpha Release as they might be an indication of a modified disk or bad dump.

    All four disks images were from Christmas 1996 (maybe timestamps are touched) and matches the BetaArchive version (uploaded by mrpijey originally) so I'd say they are original. mrpijey who uploaded DR5, Alpha Release and Beta Release in 2008 said he had one of them and it was lost to time so unlikely that we will ever find anything more than the raw sector dumps which can be modified very easily.

    Also, @Videogamer555 ran it on DOSBox which supported all Windows 1.0 releases except for DR5 and it is unlikely that he even used a PS/2 mouse driver. Also, if you look at the description of the included mouse driver, you'll notice that it has nothing to do with PS/2. The description string is: Microsoft Windows driver for Microsoft Serial or Bus Mouse.

  • Ok, so the consensus is that even if it might be a hair crufty, it is not fake or altered.

    As for the issue with the mouse driver - It expects a Microsoft Bus or Serial Mouse. But it also supports operation with an MS-DOS mouse driver, enabling other kinds to work - a feature that was later dropped.

    In other words, you could also use it with a Mouse Systems protocol mouse, Joystick Mouse driver, or a USB mouse, as long as a MS-DOS mouse driver is loaded that recognizes the device.

  • edited January 2022
    @SomeGuy that might explain it then. Though I never explicitly ran MOUSE.COM from within Windows. And I know that PS2 mice didn't even exist at the time of Windows 1.0 alpha, so even a DOS mouse driver from the era of Win 1.0 shouldn't be workable with a PS2 mouse under any conditions. Official PS2 mouse support didn't exist in Windows until 2.0 (or DOS mouse drivers from the same era as Win 2.0).

    Also DosBox ONLY emulates a PS2 mouse, so it doesn't emulate a Bus or Serial mouse because it isn't needed for emulating DOS era games (something they told me in the Vogons DosBox forum when I begged the devs to add serial mouse support for Windows 1.0x and earlier, as they said DosBox is only geared toward DOS games and no other DOS related software).

    This shows me that somebody (prior to sending it to you) put a newer driver in this disk image to allow it to use a PS2 mouse for convenience (likely they were thinking somebody would most likely try to use DosBox to run it). They may have even manually edited the file dates and times of the files they injected in the image, to make it seem as if the disk had never been altered, and that all the files were originals. So, I would strongly caution against considering this the original disk image as originally released by Microsoft.

    I think that if possible, someone should try to find another source for an original copy of a Windows 1.0 Alpha disk image, and compare it, to determine for sure if this is an original disk image (as could be found in MS's vault in their HQ in Redmond Washington) or if it has been modified in any way. If that's not a possible determination to make (for example if you never find another source for a Win1.0 alpha disk image), I would like to see some text on the download page for this disk image, that states it's uncertain as to whether or not it has been modified, and that the mouse driver in it is possibly not the original one that would be found on an unaltered disk image.
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