OS/2 2.0 LA

I just read this great post on OS/2 Museum, and I was greatly intrigued.

While a kind person had sent me a copy of this rare pre-release version of OS/2, I never could install it because it crashed on my real hardware, nor would it install in any emulator I had access too.

Apparently the two problems for this version, like the 1.x series of OS/2 revolves around timing issues, and floppy drivers.  While the limited availability seems to be more laid out like a 1.21 version it still 32-bit, so attempts to replace the floppy/country.sys from 1.21 or 1.3 just result in instant crashes.

Back when I ran OS/2 the big issue with 486 computers and booting was the L2 CPU cache.  It would induce all kinds of timing problems with booting from floppy to install.  And the number ONE fix for this was to disable L2 (and even L1) cache, and the install could proceed, then once you are booting from hard disk you could re-enable them.

The funny thing is that while OS/2 2.0 & 2.1 were so temperamental on so many clones, they install just fine in emulation.  So I had an idea…

What if I used the 2.0 GA to boot up the LA install program?

So I simply copied the following files from LA’s disk1 onto 2.0 GA’s disk1 ..

  • CMD.EXE
  • HARDERR.EXE
  • SYSINST1.EXE
  • SYSINST2.EXE
  • FDISK.COM
  • SYSLEVEL.OS2
  • DISK.NUM

So then I simply booted off the GA install/disk1 then swapped in the LA disks as needed.  Surprisingly it boots from the hard disk on Virtual PC 2007 without issue.  It traps on Qemu.

So as a ‘quick’ tour, here is the LA desktop.. .It’s… almost 2.0 but not quite there.

The LA includes a tetris clone, Blox that never made it to the GA.  I wonder if it’s a SDK example or maybe IBM didn’t want to get into licenses etc etc..

Also the applications were more or less the same, although there is some icon differences and it feels kind of rough around the edges as it isn’t finished but it does work.

OS/2 2.0 LA & GA ... And the American Flag

Nubble lighthouse, edited after the fact

Another weird thing I noticed while looking to see if there was any exciting bitmaps in OS/2 2.0 LA, and finding it’s the same lighthouse.  But something looked different, I’m amazed I even caught it.  So I quickly fired up an OS/2 2.0 GA VM, and put them side by side.  Do you see it?

For some reason, IBM edited out the American flag.  I presume it was to make it more “international” but at the same point I had always assumed this lighthouse was in the USA.  It does seem like a strange thing for an American company to do, as Americans always tend to slip stuff like flags & music into their products…

I figure someone out there who wants to run OS/2 LA will want this to get this OS running. At the same time, I haven’t even thought about seeing if LA upgrades 1.3 and how 2.0 GA overlays the LA.

This entry was posted in OS/2, OS/2 2.0, Virtual PC by neozeed. Bookmark the permalink.
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About neozeed

What is there to tell? I've loved UNIX like things since I was first exposed to QNX in highschool (we had the Unisys ICONS!), and spent the better time of my teenage years trying to get my own UNIX... I should have bought Coherent in retrospect.. Anyways latched onto Linux in 1992, and then got some old BSD admin books and have been hooked on the VAX BSD & other big/ancient things since...!

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