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

Is anyone interested in a guide for creating an OS/2 2.1 Installation CD-ROM?


I recently picked up a boxed edition of OS/2 2.11 on 3.5" disks. This is the fairly rare OS/2 2.11 which is essentially OS/2 2.1 with Fixpaks, I don't believe it's the other OS/2 2.11 (i.e. the SMP version).

I also have OS/2 2.1 on CD-ROM and since the CD-ROM really just contains the contents of each floppy disk in appropriately named folders I was convinced that I should be able to find a way to turn my OS/2 2.11 floppy disk version into one that I could install from CD instead.

Moreover I naturally wanted to use a regular ATAPI/IDE CD-ROM drive, and of course I wanted large hard drive support as well.

So by slipstreaming the official IBM updated IDE and ATAPI drivers and by making lots of mistakes along the way, I actually managed to get it to work!

That is:

* I created a CD-ROM containing the contents of each floppy disk, the printer drivers, the display drivers and MMPM.
* I created a modified Diskette 1 which supports large hard drives and ATAPI/IDE CD-ROM drives.
* I modified the config.sys on my modified Diskette 1 to actually use the CD-ROM rather than floppy disks for Diskette 2 onwards.It was one of those things that probably took me an awful lot longer to accomplish than any time that I actually saved by being able to install from CD instead of from floppy disk! Nevertheless I was pleased to get it working, and it's given me a much better understanding of OS/2's installation and boot process.

I took plenty of notes along the way but they're only in Notepad and they could probably do with a little tidying-up before being posted for anyone else to follow. And whilst I did all this with OS/2 2.11 I expect the same steps would work to convert a regular OS/2 2.1 floppy disk edition into a CD-ROM installable version.

Would anyone be interested in a write-up of this process, or would this be useful for the Wiki at all?


Martin Iturbide:
Hi Richard

I think that the documentation will be very interesting for OS/2 retro and vintage hardware users.  I will be happy to include your article on the wiki.

I have some questions here, did you installed this Slipstreamed OS/2 2.11 on real hardware or VM ? Did you included all fixpacks and drivers for OS/2 2.x ?


Dave Yeo:
Somewhere I have a CD of OS/2 2.11, actually it came with a floppy that installed some WinOS2 fix IIRC that made it 2.11. IBM was giving these out around 1994 when Warp was released. At the time I never did get it installed due to not knowing how to add IDE cdrom support, so directions for those who don't know would be a good idea.

Thanks both for your replies, I'll go ahead and write-up the process properly and then send it to you directly Martin.

To answer your questions Martin:

I haven't slipstreamed anything other than the updated large hard drive support and ATAPI/IDE CD-ROM support (in fact I wouldn't know how to do so!).

"ver /r" reports:
The Operating System/2 Version is 2.11
Revision 6.617

As I understand it that's the same as the result of installing regular OS/2 2.1 followed by XR06200a, but I'm happy to be corrected by anyone more knowledgeable.

I used my regular Windows 10 workstation to create the modified Diskette 1 and the installation CD-ROM. I then used that modified diskette and the new CD to install it on my IBM PC 300GL - i.e. real hardware, not just a VM.


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