OS/2 Warp 3 under Virtual PC 2004

Before I get going – I should warn you that this is going to be a big post.  Today I am going to talk about getting OS/2 Warp 3 running under Virtual PC.  Specifically – I am going to talk about OS/2 Warp 3 Red and Blue.  You see – there are actually three versions of OS/2 Warp 3:

1) Red – is OS/2 Warp 3 without the WinOS/2 subsystem.  This is meant for users who do not want to have the WinOS/2 subsystem – or want to ‘upgrade’ from an existing copy of Windows 3.1.
2) Blue – is the standard release of OS/2 Warp 3 – with the WinOS/2 subsystem.
3) Connect – is OS/2 Warp 3 with networking capabilities

I will talk about the details of installing OS/2 Warp 3 Connect on another day.

So to get going – you will need to have your OS/2 Warp 3 Red / Blue install CD.  You will also need to have the two boot floppies.  OS/2 Warp provides a batch file to create these floppies – but as a cool alternative – you can just copy the floppy image files directly off of the CD and boot them directly under Virtual PC.  The images that you want to copy are DISKIMGSOS235DISK0.DSK and DISKIMGSOS235DISK1_CD.DSK.

You should then create a new virtual machine.  OS/2 Warp 3 requires that you have a 2GB or smaller virtual hard disk in order to install successfully – and conveniently enough – if you select ‘OS/2’ during the New Virtual Machine Wizard, we will create a 2GB virtual hard disk for you.

First boot the virtual machine off of the Install floppy disk (DISK0.DSK) and then insert Disk 1 (DISK1_CD.DSK) when prompted. *NOTE* OS/2 uses a floppy format called ‘XDF’ and Virtual PC is not able to use these disks directly – however if you have a XDF formatted disk image – this will work fine with Virtual PC.

You will then be asked to specify an ‘Easy’ or ‘Advanced’ install (I always select ‘Advanced’).  You will also be asked to partition your virtual hard disks (accepting the defaults here is fine – or you can specify your own).  Once this is done – the virtual machine will need to reboot – and you will need to use the two boot floppies again.

The second time through – you will be asked to format the virtual hard disk – and OS/2 install will copy a bunch of files.  Finally it will ask you to remove the floppy disk, and reboot into the graphical phase of the installer.  The first page you see in the graphical setup will ask you a bunch of information about the hardware.  You should make the following selections:

1) Select VGA for video (Not SVGA – we’ll update this later)
2) Select ‘Other’ for the CDROM
3) Select ‘Sound Blaster 16’ for the sound card (and use the default settings)

You can then click through the rest of the installation – and reboot at the end.

When the install is done – you will not have a CD inside of the virtual machine. To fix this Start an OS/2 command prompt and run ‘e config.sys’.  Then Go to the end of ‘config.sys’ and add a line saying ‘BASEDEV=IBMIDECD.FLT’. Save the file and exit – then run ‘shutdown’ and reset the virtual machine.  You now have a CD.

Finally – you should download and unpack: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/pub/os2/system/drivers/video/eng30316.zip.  Copy the contents of DISK1 to a floppy (or use WinImage – http://www.winimage.com – to create a virtual floppy disk) and label the floppy ‘S3 DRV1’.  Then put this floppy in the virtual machine, open an OS/2 command prompt and run ‘A:setup’.  Select to ‘Install Using Defaults for Monitor Type’ and reboot the virtual machine when you are done. The best display setting to use with this driver is 800 x 600 x 65536.

See – that wasn’t hard:

OS/2 Warp 3 under Virtual PC

   OS/2 Warp 3 under Virtual PC   OS/2 Warp 3 under Virtual PC   OS/2 Warp 3 under Virtual PC