Author Topic: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports  (Read 6983 times)

Daniele

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OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« on: February 11, 2021, 03:31:43 pm »
Hello,
I have some old industrial tools that has Pc with OS/2 warp 4 with a multiple serials ISA board interfaced with a 8 rs232 hub. I need to replace it with a windows7 pc host with virtualbox and OS/2 guest. The VHD clone of the original HD works, but I cannot manage more than 4 COM ports (limit of emulation softwares).
I see boards PCIe or serial hub with USB connection, but none has Os/2 drivers.
Does someone know a solution of this ?
Thanks

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2021, 03:42:42 pm »
I worked extensively with this problem at several industrial sites. There is no reasonable solution. You must have OS/2 on bare metal to work with more than four serial ports.
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Daniele

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2021, 03:56:02 pm »
What does it mean OS/2 on bare metal?
Means that OS/2 cannot be virtualized if needs more than four serials?
Sorry I’m Italian...
Thanks

ivan

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2021, 06:01:19 pm »
Hi Daniele,

Having worked for many years with OS/2 controlled machine tools all I can say is that you need an OS/2 computer to run most of the programs and connect to the machinery - virtualized will not work if you need more than the standard number of ports i.e. Com1 to Com4.

That usually means a very careful look at what is available in the way of components that will allow you to assemble a computer that will do what you want.  You shouldn't need to look for the necessary OS/2 drivers if you are moving from a working OS/2 system because they will be already installed.

In the past we were able to update the base computer with a new version of OS/2 and then copy the necessary drivers to it with the control program and after a few adjustments the equipment was back in operation - it can get much more complicated when the main control program is on a server connected to several slave machines.

 

Martin Iturbide

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 08:40:36 pm »
Hi Daniele

I would love too know more about the industrial machine that you are using with OS/2. I want to document the industrial solutions on the OS2World wiki. Type of machinery, Machine models and even pictures are welcome.

About a reply to your question, I also think it may be hard to virtualize OS/2 with 8 COM ports, but you may check some other VirtualBox forum when they play with the idea of adding Serial USB adapters. But it will require a lot of experimentation from your side.

It may be interesting to try ArcaOS on that type of machinery (with real hardware) and remain using the OS/2 software with the 8 serial ports. I think that for the kind of industrial business they run, a license of ArcaOS business will not be that much.

My only advice is to please, save a copy of the OS/2 HDD image while you experiment, some of the OS/2 software and drivers it has may be hard to find. It may be good to have some different hard drives on that machine to experiment.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Daniele

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 09:34:49 pm »
Hi Martin,
The tools It’s for semiconductor industries, produced in 90’s by Gasonics.
https://images.app.goo.gl/jqKjd7zR9uZ6Pkst6
It have 3 pc, one cluster and two process chamber.
Unfortunately we don’t have installation floppies or cds od OS/2 so the only solution I have is to clone the HDs and try to run it on new pc.
The VHD clone works very well in Virtualbox, but I cannot test on a tool until I can have 8 COM ports.
Other problem may be the communication between the 3 pc via internal network. I think erhernet...
Regards

ivan

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 10:29:35 pm »
Hi Daniele,

You have it easy because the 3 PCs are using Warp 4 which means everything should run on a new computer, for example I have Warp 4 running on a MSI A320M Pro-VD Plus motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G CPU with built in graphics without any problems (if you wanted to use the latest third generation Ryzen processors you would need ArcaOS).

Could you copy the OS/2 config.sys and attach it to one of your posts here so I can get some idea of what drivers you are using.  I will also look up some 8 com port PCIe cards to give you some idea of what is possible (what you are trying to do is very similar to what we did except we interfaced to engineering machine tools).

Roderick Klein

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2021, 11:22:43 pm »
Hi Martin,
The tools It’s for semiconductor industries, produced in 90’s by Gasonics.
https://images.app.goo.gl/jqKjd7zR9uZ6Pkst6
It have 3 pc, one cluster and two process chamber.
Unfortunately we don’t have installation floppies or cds od OS/2 so the only solution I have is to clone the HDs and try to run it on new pc.
The VHD clone works very well in Virtualbox, but I cannot test on a tool until I can have 8 COM ports.
Other problem may be the communication between the 3 pc via internal network. I think erhernet...
Regards

If you want to migrate to new hardware it is indeed a good idea to clone the hard disc before the discs fall over.
You can use DFsee for this www.dfsee.com. You can hook up the disc from the OS/2 system with a USB PATA adapter on a Windows machine and clone the disc.

I have seen more people who want to clone an OS/2 to new hardware. But I found it easier simply copying the directories with the application to  new OS/2/ArcaOS system and modidy the config.sys as needed. Takes some trial and, but real cook book how to do it, just try.

Check libpath, path etc and any set statements. Especially check for entries in the config.sys that contain the directory in which the software is installed.

Roderick Klein

Martin Iturbide

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2021, 12:17:28 am »
Hi Daniele.

For what I understand, on this industrial machine,  you have three PCs with OS/2 Warp 4, with network connection (ethernet), and 8 serial ports on each machine and these 8 serial ports are connected to the PCs with ISA cards.

I think it will be hard to VBox to emulate the 8 COM serial ports.

Backup everything. Clone the hard drives of each three machines.  (Possible you already did that).

It will be interesting to know why you want to have OS/2 virtualized there over Windows. Is there some functionality that you don't know how to use on OS/2, like using USB flash drives to extract files or VNC for remote control? Or is it that you are missing the OS/2 installer CDs? or is it that OS/2 is different to install?

Possible solutions with bare metal (real hardware) are:

1) OS/2 Warp 4.52. Since it seems you didn't upgrade any of the PCs to newer maiboards (you have that old ISA cards that you need for the 8 serial ports).  You can install OS/2 Warp 4.52 from the CD-ROM, get USB support (maybe for a flash drive), and copy the required software for this machine from the clones Warp 4.

OS/2 Warp 4.52 will save you some time with all the fixpacks for Warp 4.

2) Buy ArcaOS and it will save you also too much trouble with the OS/2 Warp installation process and it will install more actual tools and drivers (network). Since it is the same OS/2 kernel is almost sure that every driver and software will run. To install ArcaOS you need a DVD drive, or the capacity to boot from the USB port.

It would be very awesome if you can share the config.sys file (upload it as config.txt) too see if there is any special driver or specific thing for that machine we can point out.

I would love to be in Italy to check out that machine !!!! ;D

Regards
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 12:21:54 am by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Neil Waldhauer

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2021, 04:37:22 am »
I rebuilt a Gasonics Plasma Etch Processor in 2013. They are picky about network cards.
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Daniele

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2021, 12:40:56 pm »
I rebuilt a Gasonics Plasma Etch Processor in 2013. They are picky about network cards.

Interesting !!!
Do you still have list of hardware you used?
Thanks

Daniele

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2021, 12:47:03 pm »
Hi Daniele.

For what I understand, on this industrial machine,  you have three PCs with OS/2 Warp 4, with network connection (ethernet), and 8 serial ports on each machine and these 8 serial ports are connected to the PCs with ISA cards.

I think it will be hard to VBox to emulate the 8 COM serial ports.

Backup everything. Clone the hard drives of each three machines.  (Possible you already did that).

It will be interesting to know why you want to have OS/2 virtualized there over Windows. Is there some functionality that you don't know how to use on OS/2, like using USB flash drives to extract files or VNC for remote control? Or is it that you are missing the OS/2 installer CDs? or is it that OS/2 is different to install?

Possible solutions with bare metal (real hardware) are:

1) OS/2 Warp 4.52. Since it seems you didn't upgrade any of the PCs to newer maiboards (you have that old ISA cards that you need for the 8 serial ports).  You can install OS/2 Warp 4.52 from the CD-ROM, get USB support (maybe for a flash drive), and copy the required software for this machine from the clones Warp 4.

OS/2 Warp 4.52 will save you some time with all the fixpacks for Warp 4.

2) Buy ArcaOS and it will save you also too much trouble with the OS/2 Warp installation process and it will install more actual tools and drivers (network). Since it is the same OS/2 kernel is almost sure that every driver and software will run. To install ArcaOS you need a DVD drive, or the capacity to boot from the USB port.

It would be very awesome if you can share the config.sys file (upload it as config.txt) too see if there is any special driver or specific thing for that machine we can point out.

I would love to be in Italy to check out that machine !!!! ;D

Regards


I’m trying to virtualized OS/2 because I have many old office PCs for free from our IT service and for me should be free this way...
But for shure I can buy new hardware and make a new bare metal 😉.
We don’t have installation Cd because in past we bought HD already configured for our tools when ee need to replace it.
How can I export CONFIG.SYS fron the virtual machine?
I have access only to VM now...

Regards
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 12:52:08 pm by Daniele »

Daniele

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2021, 01:38:49 pm »
I done it !!!

Here the CONFIG file...

Thanks


ivan

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2021, 02:54:14 pm »
Hi Daniele,

The Config.sys shows that the original OS/2 was just a standard install of the early Warp 4, including voice type and setup for a US keyboard.  The only strange thing is that it is setup to boot and run from the D: partition which indicates it might have been a dual boot setup for some reason.

Now you say you van get 'retired' computers from the IT department.  If those computers were running Win 7 then they will run OS/2 without problems.  Depending on how you have the disk image of OS/2 that you built the virtual disk image from you might be able to copy that image to the hard disk of one of the computers and it could run without problems other than changing drive letters in config.sys.  It is also possible to 'find' an ISO* of Warp  4 on the net, which might make things easier for you.

Let us know what sort of hardware you have available and the what form you have the master disk image then we can, hopefully, point you in the right direction.

The only real problem for you is going to be the cost of 8 port com add in cards - they are not cheap, the last ones we got were almost 200 euro each for PCIe ones.


https://winworldpc.com/library/operating-systems

EDIT to clean up typos.


Something else I just noted, there doesn't appear to be anything to run more than the normal 2 com ports, not even com3 and com4.  Are these controlled by the equipment program?
 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 03:43:55 pm by ivan »

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2021, 03:47:14 pm »
I rebuilt a Gasonics Plasma Etch Processor in 2013. They are picky about network cards.

Interesting !!!
Do you still have list of hardware you used?
Thanks

The only thing that's required is that you MUST use 3com network cards. The rest you are asking is because of OS/2. You'll save a lot by going to ArcaOS.

The 3Com network card requirement is interesting. Most people who think they know NetBIOS don't really know that much about atomic message transfer. It's in the IBM help, though. They only say that implementation is up to the network card manufacturer.

I think a simulation of the 3com card might work. But if the VM simulates something else, you can stop using that VM.
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