Virtual disks revisted…

Again for Linux/ OSX users, it’s no big deal as they have access to the ‘dd’ command. Well I was installing AT&T SYSVr4 when it hit me that you can somewhat convert physical disks with Virtual PC & Qemu…
linked disk1
In Virtual PC you can create a ‘virtual disk’ that links to a physical volume..
linked disk2

And again, just select a physical slave disk with your legacy OS already installed.

Once the disk is linked, re-run the utility and you can then convert the linked disk into a dynamic disk. Once you have your .vhd, you can use Qemu’s qemu-img tool to convert the disk image into qcow,qcow2 (Qemu) or even VMDK for VMWare. The syntax is pretty simple..

qemu-img convert –f vpc attsysv.vhd –O qcow attsysv.dsk

I’ve tested it with AT&T SYSVr4 & OS/2 1.3! Much to my amazement with the fixpacks, OS/2 1.3 will actually RUN on Virtual PC 2007. It’s a shame that IBM saw the SDK’s for OS/2 as a revenue generation opportunity, as it’s amazing how quick it is (once it’s done initializing….) but I guess that’s a given of any 16bit OS that’s written in assembly….

For the heck of it, here’s a screenshot.

OS/2 1.3 running from a linked disk
OS/2 1.3 running from a linked disk

 

Fun with Qemu & Large Disks….

I was playing around with NeXTSTEP under a snapshot of qemu and I noticed that my arrow keys were not working correctly. After a few hours of digging about I found the fix was easy enough:
-k en-us
That’s it, just append that to your boot string, and away you go! Another annoyance has been my quest to install AROS onto a P4 computer.. I picked up a new 320GB IDE disk (WD Caviar Blue) .. which the BIOS & AROS promptly refused to acknowledge corectly. Everything was going to hell until I gave up and read the manual. Once again it was simple, there is a jumper setting for ‘older’ OS’s to see only 32gb, and naturally the BIOS is now happier. If only I could say the same of AROS…