I spent some time this weekend installing, and then re-installing OS/2 Version 2.0 (with Service Pack 2) on my Retro Overkill Pentium 4 system. Here are the specs I used:
- Pentium 4 2.8GHz (Northwood)
- Industrial Socket 478 Motherboard with ISA
- 2GB of DDR RAM
- ATI Graphics Ultra Pro (PCI MACH32, 2MB DRAM)
- D-Link DFE-500TX Network Card (PCI)
- Sound Blaster 16 (CT2230) with Dream Blaster S2
- Generic DVD Drive (EIDE)
- Generic CD-RW Drive (EIDE)
- 16GB SD Card in a SATA Card Reader to a SATA-to-IDE adapter
I know OS/2 can get pretty fiddly, but Version 2.0 seems to be about the worst. It doesn’t have any CPU speed issues with the drivers, but the kernel fails to boot every other time from the install floppy and about once in 5 boots from the SSD. No worries, I just keep restarting the system until the kernel boots. It also refused to format a 2GB partition with HPFS (and FAT for that matter) during the installation process. I ended up formatting the 2GB partition with DOS 6.22 first, and then installing OS/2 to the drive without formatting the partition it again.
I also learned that I should install the ATI graphics drivers after updating OS/2 with the Service Pack (Fixpak?). ATI had slightly different drivers in the package for OS/2 Versions 1.3, 2.0 GA, and 2.0 with the Service Pack. Installing the Service Pack completely messed up the graphics. I had to re-install the OS to get it right. Regardless, seamless Windows won’t work with the ATI drivers, unfortunately.
I still need to install networking and TCP-IP (even if the best I could do is FTP with it). I also need to figure out how to get the SB16 working in a DOS box. So far, I initialized the SB16 in a DOS session, but programs (such as Doom and Epic Pinball) crash when starting their sound drivers. Oddly, if I use the PC speaker for sound FX, I can get General MIDI to work in Doom.
I’m also a bit disappointed that the version of Windows 3.0 that came with the OS/2 install disks doesn’t include any Windows utilities, including File Manager. It’s almost useless. I copied the utilities from a Windows MME installation into the WINOS2 directory which helps a bunch.
I will say that OS/2 runs really fast on a Pentium 4. I also found IDE CD-ROM drivers on virtuallyfun.com that work really well with both of my drives. While I installed from floppy images and a Gotek, I bet it could install from CD-ROM a lot faster if I made a directory for the hard drive style installation and copied the files to CD. Maybe I’ll play around with that next.