Support for PCI Computers and Peripherals in Windows NT 3.1

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Article ID: 113345 - View products that this article applies to.
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Windows NT version 3.1 should run on PCI bus computers if its SCSI and video adapters are non-PCI or have a PCI driver specifically designed for Windows NT version 3.1.


Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) standard is a local-bus technology that is becoming increasingly common in new desktop computers. A blueprint or specification rather than something physical, it is a method of holding together PC components--the processor, memory, hard disk, etc.--that makes PCI computers and peripherals differ from other computers and peripherals currently available.

The March 1994 Windows NT Version 3.1 hardware compatibility list includes a number of PCI bus computers. In general, Windows NT 3.1 should work on PCI computers. The current Windows NT hardware abstraction layer (HAL) does not support PCI functionality, but should allow Windows NT to run in a mode that is ISA/EISA compatible.

If an adapter is working under Windows NT 3.1, it probably is running in a non-PCI or ISA/EISA compatible mode. Problems are most likely to arise with PCI adapters rather than PCI computers.

Support Issues for PCI Adapters

  1. PCI computers should work with any adapter on the Windows NT hardware compatibility list (HCL).
  2. Some, but not many, vendors are including PCI adapters in their PCI computers. To work with Windows NT 3.1, the adapter must include a Windows NT 3.1 PCI driver, and any driver support issues must be referred to the manufacturer. Presently there are no PCI adapters or peripherals on the Windows NT 3.1 HCL.
  3. OEM Windows NT 3.1 PCI drivers do not enable Windows NT to support PCI functionality--they simply allow the PCI adapter to function in an ISA/EISA compatible mode, so it may work under Windows NT. Again, there are no plans to support PCI functionality under Windows NT 3.1.
  4. PCI video adapters should work with Windows NT 3.1 because most of the calls work with standard video BIOS.
  5. SCSI adapters may or may not work depending on the manufacturer's implementation.


Article ID: 113345 - Last Review: October 31, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
kbhardware KB113345

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