Author Topic: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files  (Read 1253 times)

Lawrence Wickert

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Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« on: February 25, 2017, 06:43:54 am »
I want to load OS/2 onto a (real) computer with a (real) 3.5 floppy drive. So I down load OS/2 WARP 4.0 (3.5) from the Winworld Library and unzip it. Yikes! 111 image files. Before I go out and buy a crate of 3.5 floppies I take a look at these files. Most are 1,474,560 byte image files but many are 1,884,160 byte image files?????????? Never heard of such an animal.

So I download OS/2 3.0, same story but only 43 image files and some are 1,884,160 bytes in size.

Finally I try OS/2 2.0. OK only 21 image files and all are 1,474,560 bytes in size.

Can anyone explain what is going on with these apparently oversized image files?



Lars

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2017, 07:15:24 am »
It's the XDF floppy format. It allows more data on a 3.5 inch floppy. OS/2 comes with a filter driver XDFFLOPPY.FLT that is able to access these floppy disks. You should try and get a CD-ROM version of Warp 4 instead of using floppies ...

By the way: OS/2 has a tool to create 3.5 inch XDF floppies from the floppy images (image.exe or savedskf.exe should do).

Another issue: XDF formatted floppy disks CANNOT be read when inserted into a USB floppy drive. Only legacy/built-in floppy drives will do.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 07:36:07 am by Lars »

André Heldoorn

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2017, 07:18:37 am »
I want to load OS/2 onto a (real) computer with a (real) 3.5 floppy drive. So I down load OS/2 WARP 4.0 (3.5) from the Winworld Library and unzip it. Yikes! 111 image files. Before I go out and buy a crate of 3.5 floppies

I won't explain what is going on, because it doesn't matter. If you use the right image files, then you can install OS/2 Warp 4 by using 3.5" floppies without any weird disk full-errors. If you have two computers with such a drive, e.g. a second $5-$10 old one, then you can create the next floppy while installing the current one. That works most of the time. You won't need all image files during the install. Additionally you may want to install a Y2K-proof FixPak too, which also requires floppies.

With a second computer you also don't have to create floppies to be able to execute a bootdrive CHKDSK, so installing OS/2 Warp 4 requires 1 (bare minimum) or 2 (efficient production line) floppies. A second computer should be cheaper than a crate of floppies.

If the machine in question has no CD-ROM drive, they you already may have a second computer to create the floppies, so you'll need 1 or 2 standard 1.44 MiB 3.5" floppies.

Lawrence Wickert

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 07:36:31 am »
It certainly makes more sense to use and re-use a few floppies rather than burn dozens.  I'll have to see if I can actually burn the XDF images on by linux machine. 

Lawrence Wickert

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2017, 08:33:34 am »
dd if=filename.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024 conv=noerror

This seems to work for writing these large images.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 10:05:42 am »
dd if=filename.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024 conv=noerror

This seems to work for writing these large images.

And is totally useless and wrong, because XDF uses variable sector sizes and not 1K constant. The only way is to use the XDFCOPY utility program shipped by IBM and also included in later versions of PC DOS. Perhaps it can run in dosemu under Linux.

The only virtualisation solution that can deal with XDF image files (not physical XDF floppies) is Microsoft's Virtual PC.

The only reason for including XDF still on Warp 4 CD-ROM were it's use for older CID redirected installation methods. In an ususal attended installation only the 3 FAT floppies are needed.

Lawrence Wickert

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2017, 05:55:24 pm »
dd if=filename.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024 conv=noerror

This seems to work for writing these large images.

And is totally useless and wrong, because XDF uses variable sector sizes and not 1K constant. The only way is to use the XDFCOPY utility program shipped by IBM and also included in later versions of PC DOS. Perhaps it can run in dosemu under Linux.

The only virtualisation solution that can deal with XDF image files (not physical XDF floppies) is Microsoft's Virtual PC.

The only reason for including XDF still on Warp 4 CD-ROM were it's use for older CID redirected installation methods. In an ususal attended installation only the 3 FAT floppies are needed.

Do you know is Microsoft Virtual PC will tun under Wine?  How about Virtual Box?


Pete

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 06:34:15 pm »
Hi Lawrence

Probably "naughty" of me to suggest this but if the computer involved is newer than ancient I suggest you have a hunt for an ecomstation (aka ecs) 2.1 torrent. Make sure the torrent includes a licence key.

That would negate the need for a floppy drive as it boots from cd and may have better hardware support for the computer involved.


Regards

Pete

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2017, 11:19:35 pm »
Quote from: Lawrence Wickert
Do you know is Microsoft Virtual PC will tun under Wine?  How about Virtual Box?
I'm note a spokesperson for Codeweavers or whoever sold this Wine to you. The only thing I know about XDF in general is also written in IBM's Technical Document # 1173721 http://service5.boulder.ibm.com/pspsdocs.nsf/c7a34b35e55986f9862563cc00604815/cffcff2514ac2b28852561ac0076c6b4?OpenDocument

VirtualBox only supports DOS floppy images under Linux host systems. Physical floppy discs only under Windows hosts afaik. USB and SCSI floppy drives will also not work for XDF, but I think it was already mentioned in this thread.

Virtual PC 2007 SP1 can be installed inside a Hyper-V or VMware virtual machine.

Valery Sedletski

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Re: Question about OS/2 3.5 floppy image files
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2017, 11:45:57 pm »
Quote
Physical floppy discs only under Windows hosts afaik.

And OS/2 VBox host now supports physical floppies. The only problem for now that it is now not very stable and slow.