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Minesweeper (Windows, 1990)

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Title Screen


Also known as: WinMine, Mines, BombSquad, Prato fiorito (IT)
Buscaminas (ES), Démineur (FR)
Developers: Curt Johnson, Robert Donner
Publisher: Microsoft
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: October 8, 1990

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Minesweeper is one of the games shipped with Windows, where you try to clear a field without tripping a mine. It has a surprisingly large following, and competitions are commonly being held with this game.

To do:
Keyboard support.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info

Debug Mode

While the game is open, type in xyzzy then press Shift+Enter. A pixel at the top-left corner of the screen will now tell you what is below the mouse cursor - if it's a mine, the pixel turns black, if it's a safe spot, the pixel turns white. To stop the timer, hold Down and press Esc. Minimizing and maximizing will start it again.

Unused Graphic

Did somebody forget to turn the counters on? An empty digit that would be used for the two counters...except they always show a number and include leading zeroes, hence this is never used.

Source Code Oddities

In 2004, a large portion of the Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 source code was leaked. Despite most of them not being in NT 4.0, the source code for several Microsoft Entertainment Pack games were included as well. These oddities are also present in Rattler Race and TicTactics.

Alternate Names


PROGRAM: WinMine  (a.k.a. Mines, BombSquad, MineSweeper...)


At the start of winmine.c, a couple alternate names for the game are mentioned.


Please copy winmine.exe and aboutwep.dll to your machine and run it from there.

This message would appear in an early version of the game if it was ran from "X:\\WINGAMES\\WINMINE\\WINMINE.EXE".

This game has expired. Please obtain an official copy from the Windows Entertainment Package.

This would appear if an early version of the game was ran after September 1990.

Revisional Differences

To do:
Is there any differences between the original Entertainment Pack release and the 3.1-bundled version?

There have been several changes to Minesweeper since its introduction in the Windows Entertainment Pack.



Windows 3.1/NT4/2000/WEP Windows 95/98/ME Windows XP
Small mine. Bigger mine. Shiny mine.

The game's 32×32 icon was changed for Windows 95, but was reverted (along with the rest of the changed graphics) for Windows 2000...only to change again in Windows XP.

Windows 3.1/NT4/2000/WEP Windows 95/98/ME Windows XP
Shrunk mine. Pointy mine. Shiny shrunk mine.

Minesweeper originally didn't have a unique 16×16 icon. The Windows 95 version added one, which was removed in the Windows 2000 version and added again in the XP version.

It is worth noting that the 16-color icon variant still actually exist in Windows XP version, as a low color depth fallback.


Windows 3.1/NT4/2000/XP/WEP Windows 95/98/ME
Fat numbers. The numbers are on a diet.

The shading of the tiles was changed in Windows 95: the flag was made more square, the question mark became blue and was made thicker, the mines were shrunk, the mine was removed from under the X, the color of the 7 and 8 tiles were changed, and the numbers were made thinner for Windows 95.

All of this was reverted for the Windows 2000 release.


  • The Windows 95 version removed the menu options Contents, Search for Help on... and How to Use Help and added the menu option Help Topics. This was reverted in the Windows 2000 release.
  • The Windows 2000 version had 5 non-graphical changes:
    • The beginner grid size was increased from 8×8 to 9×9.
    • The Timer Jump bug was fixed. In previous versions of the game, the system clock was used as a makeshift timer, which caused the first second to "jump" when the game is started at the middle or near the end of a second. In Windows 2000, a separate timer is used.
    • The Moving Window bug was fixed. Every time the difficulty of the game was changed, the window moved one pixel upwards, which made it possible for the window to leave the screen altogether. This does not occur in the Windows 2000 version.
    • Winmine.ini was removed. Instead, the game stored high scores and other data in the registry.
    • The Sound option was added to the game menu due to the nonexistence of Winmine.ini.
  • Versions that do not have a sound option in the menu require the addition Sound=3 (it must be 3 or higher) and Tick=1 in winmine.ini to enable them. Also, sounds differ between versions. For example, the Windows 3.1 and XP versions have full (but different) sounds, whereas the Windows 98 version just has a faint ticking sound (and requires Sound to be enabled).

Regional Differences

In 1999, Sergio Chiodo of Italy set up the International Campaign to Ban Winmine, complaining that Minesweeper was offensive to minefield victims and suggesting the mines be changed to flowers. Microsoft took this suggestion and implemented it into the Italian versions bundled with Windows 2000, ME, and XP, renaming the game to Prato fiorito ("Flower Field"). The explosion sound is changed into a melody previously used in the Windows 98 Leonardo Da Vinci desktop theme.

Minesweeper (Windows ME) Prato fiorito (Windows ME/2000) Minesweeper (Windows XP) Prato fiorito (Windows XP)
Small mine. Big green flower. Shiny mine. Shiny yellow flower.
Minesweeper (Windows ME) Prato fiorito (Windows ME) Minesweeper (Windows XP) Prato fiorito (Windows XP)
Pointy mine. Small green flower. Shiny shrunk mine. Shiny shrunk yellow flower.

For some reason, the 16×16 Prato Fiorito green unique icon that was in Windows ME, was removed in Windows 2000.

Minesweeper Prato fiorito (Windows ME/2000) Prato fiorito (Windows XP)
Mines icon. Green flowers icon. Yellow flowers icon.
Minesweeper's explosion Prato fiorito's melody

(Source: minesweeper.info)

Hidden Hide Menu Option


Adding Menu=1 to winmine.ini gets rid of the menu (in the Windows 3.1 and 98 versions at least).