OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical > Setup & Installation

OS2 Warp 4.52 "vdi2hardware" result

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Hi all, I believe the following experience could be of any interest in this forum for those ones that can go deeper due to their excellent system knowledge rather than me, an average user with peaks of curiosity sometimes -helped a lot here to realize some configuration tasks-
I've seen this videotutorial for converting Virtualbox vdi machines into real hardware installed systems.


and have applied the procedure on my 20 Gb size OS2 Warp 4.52 vdi machine hosted on Windows, so have converted it in an .img file which have then burned in a USB3 pendrive 64 Gb.
After this, I have plugged the USB pendrive on an eeepc netbook Asus T101MT -year 2010 hardware with LEGACY BIOS- for booting.  In the image you can see how it went.
Also tried to boot same USB pendrive from my HP 15 serie laptop -year 2017 hardware with UEFI+LEGACY BIOS-, same result with one beep sound alert at the ending message: hardware conflict?

This is not too bad for me, at least the converting method seems to have done the job; the OS2 Warp installation has been placed inside that USB volume and started the boot sequence. A little bit better than the case of "no bootable OS found in this volume" message, if the conversion had not worked at all.
Pheraps some of you already know what prevented OS2 Warp to boot in this case.
My two cents guess is : unrecoverable real hardware issues with such OS2 Warp installation having all peripherals interfaced by Virtualbox filters.  Maybe config.sys has the wrong entries for the hardware items on the netbook.

Then I made the "reverse-proof" test : had booted that USB volume from inside a separate Virtualbox session, and it works.  It is the OS2 installed system at the state of its first Virtualbox boot, missing the next improvements I made (Guest Additions and other configurations + software + utilities).  Means that the .vdi machine selected for the conversion was the one keeping the original state, but it seemed to me the only valid .vdi file I could choose.
Thank you

Olafur Gunnlaugsson:
I have done this for zonks, I believe there was a small article on the eComStation Facebook page that I wrote on the subject ca 2011, that was removed by Facebook when they changed the rules on article and file permissions when they split groups into groups and pages. I never bothered restoring it elsewhere since no-one ever showed any interest in the technique anyway, just like there was no interest in running OS/2 in a Hyper-V container.

Although in general it is very helpful, there are a few issues doing this, while VB etc. are highly compatible with real hardware there are edge cases of incompatibility, you can end up with an image that boots on VB but not on real hardware and vise versa. It can sometimes by tricky to place an image onto a drive correctly especially if you have multiple partitions and boot drives, for those cases investing in DFSee becomes an absolute must, alignment issues are frequent with any sort of solid state media for instance. The weird behavior of the VirtualBox image manager in recent versions can make maintaining a large  number of VBox images and copies a real pain (unlike VirtualPC, VBox registers (and re-registers) each image into a database). Each version of VBox introduces a new collection of bugs which can throw a spanner into the works, these get fixed eventually but OS/2 is not high upon their priority list (and they are downright hostile to ArcaOS), not a huge issue with images but this makes install in-place frequently impossible on modern VBox which was relatively easy on older VBox versions. In-Place installs were extremely convenient since you could remount the drive on VBox in you had any problems on real hardware. On older versions of OS/2 getting data onto the virtual machine can in some cases be much more time consuming than on real hardware, weirdly enough. etc etc etc

I only really use this technique these days for when installing "legacy" versions of the system, that means I do not have to bother with floppies and I can get the system into a fixpack state that will actually run on the hardware (memory & disk size & driver issues etc). Apart from that and for the fact that I already have a large collection of ready made VBox images, I am not altogether sure I would use the technique except for installing onto systems that run on consumer solid state media eg. embedded systems with SDCards, thin clients with Compact Flash drives or old IDE PC's with CF adapters. In those cases it is very quick, just plonk a converted VBox image onto start of the SD drive and then create other partitions as needed from the install.

I am currently setting up a couple of old VIA C3 systems for compatibility testing, basically each system has 2 or 3 "legacy" Windows installs on primary partitions and a host of various "common" OS/2 versions in an extended partitions. I had intended to convert and copy already made basic installs from VBox onto the extended partition but in the end it actually made more sense time wise to buy a floppy emulator off eBay, load it with a large collection of OS/2 installer floppy images and install from there.

Using PCE rather than VirtualBox also has some advantages since Windows can mount the PCE images directly, you can load software onto the PCE image that contains a windows readable partition type directly from the file manager or folder. It also has a better hardware compatibility in some cases.

And remember you can also go the other way round, DFSee can easily convert your existing OS/2 installs into VBox images.

Dave Yeo:
Hi Mauro, you can not boot OS/2 from a USB stick, the USB drivers load too late in the boot process and your message about not being able to operate the hard drive is accurate. Installers get around this by creating a ramdisk, copying to that and then booting from the ram drive.
As Olafur says, you need to copy your image to the hard drive, keeping the geometry correct and boot from that, which should work with the problems of drivers (usually the networks) not loading and needing to press enter to continue. This can fail during part of the boot as the USB keyboard is not available.

understand, Dave and Olafur, thanks.
Needless to say that wanting to create a RAM Disk booting system as Dave wrote, is not an affordable task, otherwise the appropriate indications would have followed.

To finally update about an improvement, I could obtain the vdi file at the most recent state of the virtual machine.  It was basilar, from VirtualBox just went on the guest machine context menu and found the "Clone" item, then in the cloning wizard there was the proper option to clone the machine at its most recent snapshot.
When all said and done, even without reaching the goal of an OS2 selfbootable USB drive, I could afterall transform its vdi file into a physical USB system installation which is fully working in a VirtualBox session when connected to one USB port -first picture below-, like I already have for other USB installed systems (Ubuntu, Freebsd) with the difference that those ones are also bootable as system disk at computer start.
Furthemore, not bad the fact that this OS2 installation volume is correctly read when plugged in Ubuntu; files and folders are handled in the file manager -second picture below-.
Cool...... 8)


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