Category Archives: Windows NT

Windows NT Hydra (Beta 2: Build 1314)

Windows NT 4 was the next major release of the NT line of operating systems, and was to bring the new Windows 95 inface to the NT platform. Underneath the hood however it is very similar to NT 3.51


The only License agreement I agree to. The first stage of the install is done through a basic blue installer, where the disk volume and storage drivers are selected for install. Once that’s complete the second stage install pick up in a full Windows Nt environment. here the install can be customized.


SoundBlaster Install

Unlike Windows 95, NT4 did not feature a device manager or the Add New Hardware Wizard, making hardware instillation more difficult since Plug and Play was not supported in the NT family until the release of Windows 2000. Adding the sound card can be done through the Multimedia applet and adding a new multimedia device, just make sure you have NT driver files available (95/98 drivers will not work)

3DFX Voodoo Install

Installing 3Dfx Glide drivers, as NT4 shipped with DirectX 2 only with limited upgrade capabilities so having Glide support should allow a wider range of games to be played. Instillation was done using the setup wizard which came with the WinZip self extractor.

Iomega Zip

NT4 did not support Zip drives natively, so additional software is required in order to use Zip disc images. However the only version I could find required the instillation of Service Pack 3 in order for it to run. Accessing the Zip disk is done using that software instead of using Windows NT Explorer.


After the is complete the system will reboot and the default desktop will be displayed

One of the preloaded desktop backgrounds, on this build ‘Click here to begin’ appears on the taskbar after a fresh install or when a new user has been created.

The Windows 95 Explorer interface is present in this build on NT

Control Panel


Used to search and find files and folders, this is not an indexed search to the application has to manually search through the individual files


Command prompt (Also known as Console) allows commands to be entered that is not converted in the GUI interface and also allows MS-DOS 16bit applications to run. Not sure why the clock application was included here since the clock appears in the taskbar.


Windows 95 paint with a default background image

Object Packager

Not sure on what this is?

Imaging for Windows

Bitmapped image editor, designed to open an image from a scanner or a digital camera.

Hyper Terminal

HyperTerminal comes bundled with this build and allows for access to protocols like Telnet

CD Player

A regular CD Player, tracks can be played and renamed


Views detailed system information and the hardware/drivers currently installed


Windows NT requires you to press Ctrl + Alt & Del in order to logon to ensure the logon screen is genuine, which will bring up the login screen. On some systems this may be replaced by the Novell Client logon screen for Netware networks.


Shutting down Windows NT, from here you can log off, restart or shut down. If ACPI drivers are installed the system will power off, otherwise a power off prompt will appear instead

PCem Specifications

  • Motherboard: Packard Bell PB570
  • Processor: Pentium Overdrive MMX
  • Graphics: Built In Video – Cirrus Logic
  • Sound: SoundBlaster AWE32
  • Mouse: PS/2 Intellimouse
  • Network: Novell NE2000
  • 3D Accelerator: 3DFX Voodoo Graphics

Windows Neptune (Build 5111)

Neptune was the supposed successor to Windows 98 and was to be the introduction of the NT kernel for home users.

It’s mostly the same as the Windows 2000 install, makes sense considering both were being developed at the same time, and have a lot in common in terms of visual elements.

When you first login you are presented with this dialog box. You can enter your name or just close it. It does not seem to make a difference.

One issue with this build the the Still Image Service which is faulty in this build and causes a minute hang at startup. This can be disabled without any consequence though the Service management panel (Start, Run, Services.msc)

Once disabled the system will startup and login without any delays or freezing.

Windows Media Player 7, very identical to the Windows ME version

Activity Zones

Windows Explorer has had a slightly new design bringing it closer to the 2000 interface.

Viewing the activity zones in Internet Explorer

Setting the Activity Zones as an Active Desktop background. This may have been the intended use. A lot of the items listed on the activity zone were integrated onto the Windows XP start menu. Shortcuts to the Documents, Music and photos appear here also appears on the XP start menu. E-Mail and Internet shortcuts also appears on the XP start menu where they would show the default respective applications at the top of the stat menu. So one could assume the activity centres made their way somewhat by being embedded in the Start menu.

Customising the desktop activity centre

Alternative background theme

The login screen, the Ctrl+Alt+Del style screen still exists and can be re-enabled.

Unreal Tournament

Unreal Tournament runs somewhat, the mouse aiming is broken partially due to the way Virtual-box captures the mouse, might see if this works better in PCem or 86box instead.

Sadly Neptune did not have a bright future and was scrapped in favour of Windows ME, which was identical to 98 with a few refinements and bringing Windows explorer design inline with 2000. It wouldn’t be until the release of Windows XP (Whistler) when home users would get to take advantage of Windows NT.