Windows NT 3.51 was an operating system released by Microsoft in 1995 and was the first version of Windows NT to be released. It offered enhanced security, better hardware support, and improved memory management capabilities compared to its predecessors. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of this classic OS and show you how to install it on your computer so you can experience it for yourself!

What is Windows NT 3.51?

Windows NT 3.51 is a operating system that was released on May 30, 1995. It was a minor upgrade from Windows NT 3.5, with the main changes being support for 32-bit applications and improved security. However, it was quickly replaced by Windows NT 4.0, which was released just six months later.

If you’re interested in running Windows NT 3.51, it can be installed from scratch or as an upgrade from Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. Installing from scratch requires a bit more work, but it’s not too difficult if you follow the instructions carefully. First, you’ll need to create two boot disks – one for Setup and one for Recovery Console. You can find the files for these disks online; just search for “Windows NT 3.51 Boot Disk” or something similar. Once you have the boot disks, insert the Setup disk into your computer and restart it. The setup program will guide you through the rest of the installation process.

The Recovery Console is a handy tool that allows you to fix problems with your Windows NT installation without having to reinstall the entire operating system. To use it, just insert the Recovery Console disk when prompted during startup and follow the instructions onscreen.

How to install Windows NT 3.51 on Virtual Machine

Installing Windows NT 3.51 using an ISO file requires a virtual machine (VM) or physical computer with a CD/DVD drive. Since Windows NT 3.51 is an older operating system, it’s best to use a virtual machine for compatibility and to avoid potential hardware issues. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing Windows NT 3.51 using an ISO file:

Step 1: Obtain the Windows NT 3.51 ISO file
Acquire a legitimate copy of the Windows NT 3.51 ISO file from a reliable source. Ensure that you have the appropriate license to use this operating system.

Step 2: Virtual Machine Setup (Optional)
If you want to use a virtual machine, you can choose from various virtualization software like VirtualBox or VMware. Here, I’ll provide instructions for VirtualBox:

  • Download and install VirtualBox from the official website (
  • Launch VirtualBox and click on “New” to create a new virtual machine.
  • Follow the wizard to set up the VM, providing details such as memory size, hard disk, etc.
  • When prompted, choose “Create a virtual hard disk now” and select the appropriate options. You can choose a dynamically allocated or fixed-size disk.

Step 3: Mount the Windows NT 3.51 ISO
Whether you’re using a virtual machine or a physical computer, you need to mount the Windows NT 3.51 ISO file. In VirtualBox, for example, follow these steps:

  • Select the virtual machine you created from the VirtualBox Manager.
  • Click on “Settings” and go to the “Storage” tab.
  • Under “Controller: IDE,” click the “Add Optical Drive” icon.
  • Choose “Choose Disk,” then navigate to the location of the Windows NT 3.51 ISO file and select it.

Step 4: Start the Virtual Machine (or Boot from the ISO)
If you are using a virtual machine, start it. If you are installing on a physical computer, you may need to change the boot order in BIOS/UEFI settings to boot from the CD/DVD drive.

Step 5: Begin Windows NT 3.51 Installation
The Windows NT 3.51 installation process should start automatically after booting from the ISO. Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the installation. You may need to partition the hard drive and format it during the process.

Step 6: Product Key and Setup Options
During the installation, you will be prompted to enter the product key. Make sure to use a valid product key. Follow the setup options and customize them according to your preferences.

Step 7: Complete the Installation
Once the installation is complete, the system will reboot, and you should see the Windows NT 3.51 login screen.

Remember that Windows NT 3.51 is an outdated operating system, and its use is limited. It lacks many features and security improvements found in modern operating systems, so it’s not recommended for regular use or internet connectivity. Its primary purpose might be for nostalgic or historical purposes or for compatibility with specific legacy applications.

Download Windows NT 3.51

Release DateMay 30, 1995
Developed byMicrosoft
UpdateNo longer updated
Language English

System Requirements

  • Processor: Intel 80386 or compatible CPU (recommended: Intel 80486 or compatible CPU).
  • RAM: At least 12 MB of RAM (recommended: 16 MB or more).
  • Hard Drive Space: Approximately 110 MB of free hard disk space for a full installation.
  • Video/Graphics: VGA or higher resolution video adapter (SVGA recommended).
  • CDROM Drive: A CD-ROM drive is required if installing from a CD.
  • Input Devices: Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.

Why should I use Windows NT 3.51?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use Windows NT 3.51, especially if you’re a fan of older versions of Windows. NT 3.51 was the first version of Windows to support 32-bit applications, which means that it can run newer programs that aren’t compatible with older versions of Windows. It also includes support for NTFS, which is a more secure file system than the older FAT32 file system. Finally, NT 3.51 is less resource-intensive than later versions of Windows, so it’ll run faster on older computers.


Windows NT 3.51 is a nostalgic and important piece of software that still has relevance today. It was revolutionary for its time, introducing many firsts to the Windows OS family and providing users with an unparalleled experience. Installing it on modern systems can be tricky but by following our guide you should have no problem getting it up and running. For those who are looking to explore the exciting world of retro computing or just need some reliable software from yesteryear, Windows NT 3.51 may just be the perfect choice!

Also Read:

William is the primary Writer of the site. He has almost 6 years of experience in the field of technological innovation. William enjoys technology for all aspects, and he's still an ardent DIYer at heart. I've published hundreds of blogs.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here