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Old 09-05-2011, 04:31 PM
Hendrik Boom
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

The ancient laptop in question has about 24M main memory, a 2G hard
drive, a plug-in floppy drive, a CD drive, and a 10Mhz coaxial ethernet
PCMCIA card. (Remember those?)
The hard drive will probably fail one of these years. I'm surprised it
hasn't already.
It runs an ancient Windows system, probably Windows 95.

I can probably rig up enough hardware on another machine to talk to its
ethernet.

I can probably find a small enough Linux Live CD system to boot on it and
use the sshfs or NFS o copy the entire hard drive over the ethernet
connection. But recommendations would be very welcome.

Getting the bits is only the first problem, though. Quite a few of those
files are in file formats that can only be understood by the Windows
software that also resides on that machine.

Oh, the machine also contains one of my favourite legacy video games.

I'd like to run all that in emulation (or otherwise (any suggestions?))
on one of my new. shiny Debian boxes.

Any suggestions as to what emulators are up to the challenge? Or better
ways of accomplishing the whole project?

And would I have to rescue just the files or make an entire block-by-
block hard drive image? And would that image have to be in any
(preferably documented?) form?

-- hendrik





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Old 09-05-2011, 06:36 PM
Walter Hurry
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

On Mon, 05 Sep 2011 16:31:17 +0000, Hendrik Boom wrote:

> The ancient laptop in question has about 24M main memory, a 2G hard
> drive, a plug-in floppy drive, a CD drive, and a 10Mhz coaxial ethernet
> PCMCIA card. (Remember those?)
> The hard drive will probably fail one of these years. I'm surprised it
> hasn't already.
> It runs an ancient Windows system, probably Windows 95.
>
> I can probably rig up enough hardware on another machine to talk to its
> ethernet.
>
> I can probably find a small enough Linux Live CD system to boot on it
> and use the sshfs or NFS o copy the entire hard drive over the ethernet
> connection. But recommendations would be very welcome.
>
> Getting the bits is only the first problem, though. Quite a few of
> those files are in file formats that can only be understood by the
> Windows software that also resides on that machine.
>
> Oh, the machine also contains one of my favourite legacy video games.
>
> I'd like to run all that in emulation (or otherwise (any suggestions?))
> on one of my new. shiny Debian boxes.
>
> Any suggestions as to what emulators are up to the challenge? Or better
> ways of accomplishing the whole project?
>
> And would I have to rescue just the files or make an entire block-by-
> block hard drive image? And would that image have to be in any
> (preferably documented?) form?

DSL?

Once you have the files transferred, I'd suggest trying with DosBox as a
start.

apt-cache search dosbox
dosbox - A x86 emulator with Tandy/Herc/CGA/EGA/VGA/SVGA graphics, sound
and DOS

I've tried DosBox - Doom and DoomII run fine in it.



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Old 09-05-2011, 06:58 PM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

Hendrik Boom wrote:
> I can probably find a small enough Linux Live CD system to boot on it and
> use the sshfs or NFS o copy the entire hard drive over the ethernet
> connection. But recommendations would be very welcome.

Personally since I am a hardware type of guy I would pull the hard
disk and mount it directly on another machine and dd the contents
since that would be fastest. But if that seems difficult at all then
by all means boot a live cd and copy the contents over the network.
The result would be exactly the same.

> Any suggestions as to what emulators are up to the challenge? Or better
> ways of accomplishing the whole project?

I would look at Virtual Box. It is very easy to get going using it.

http://www.virtualbox.org/

It is packaged for Debian. In Squeeze it is virtualbox-ose and in
Wheezy / Sid the package has transitioned to be named simply
virtualbox.

http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/virtualbox-ose

http://packages.debian.org/wheezy/virtualbox

The Debian wiki has a useful bit of documentation on it.

http://wiki.debian.org/VirtualBox

> And would I have to rescue just the files or make an entire block-by-
> block hard drive image? And would that image have to be in any
> (preferably documented?) form?

I would image the hard drive. At 2G it is small by today's standards.
Having the full image would be the safest way to go. You can always
subsequently mount the drive in loopback mode and pull individual
files off of it.

Bob
 
Old 09-05-2011, 10:34 PM
Walter Hurry
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

On Mon, 05 Sep 2011 12:58:38 -0600, Bob Proulx wrote:

> I would look at Virtual Box. It is very easy to get going using it.
>
> http://www.virtualbox.org/

Bob,

Looking at the spec and age of the machine in question, one suspects that
these are old DOS games. If that's the case, would not DosBox be a better
bet than VirtualBox?


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Old 09-05-2011, 11:01 PM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

Hi Walter,

Walter Hurry wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > I would look at Virtual Box. It is very easy to get going using it.
> > http://www.virtualbox.org/
>
> Bob,
>
> Looking at the spec and age of the machine in question, one suspects that
> these are old DOS games. If that's the case, would not DosBox be a better
> bet than VirtualBox?

Please don't take my suggestion of VirtualBox as being a negative
review for DOSBox. I hadn't read your suggestion at the time I wrote
mine. I expect there will be other different suggestions from others
on the list with their favorites too.

I really don't know much about DOSBox and haven't used it previously.
Looking at it now it does seem very capable. Looking through the
compatibility listings for DOSBox it does list many of my old
favorites listed as known working good. I will have to give it a try.
Thanks for the suggestion!

Bob
 
Old 09-06-2011, 12:06 AM
Walter Hurry
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

On Mon, 05 Sep 2011 17:01:19 -0600, Bob Proulx wrote:

> Hi Walter,
>
> Walter Hurry wrote:
>> Bob Proulx wrote:
>> > I would look at Virtual Box. It is very easy to get going using it.
>> > http://www.virtualbox.org/
>>
>> Bob,
>>
>> Looking at the spec and age of the machine in question, one suspects
>> that these are old DOS games. If that's the case, would not DosBox be a
>> better bet than VirtualBox?
>
> Please don't take my suggestion of VirtualBox as being a negative review
> for DOSBox. I hadn't read your suggestion at the time I wrote mine. I
> expect there will be other different suggestions from others on the list
> with their favorites too.
>
> I really don't know much about DOSBox and haven't used it previously.
> Looking at it now it does seem very capable. Looking through the
> compatibility listings for DOSBox it does list many of my old favorites
> listed as known working good. I will have to give it a try. Thanks for
> the suggestion!

Don't get me wrong. I think VirtualBox is a fine application (for now at
any rate, until Oracle screws it up). I use it for a couple of VMs (XP
and Fedora 16 alpha at the moment) and it works very well indeed. I'm
just not sure that it is the best solution for the OP in this thread if
he just wants to run his old DOS games.

If he really wants to try to run Windows 95 though (which I doubt) then
VirtualBox is probably the only solution - but IMHO it is unlikely to
yield anything useful.


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Old 09-06-2011, 01:06 AM
Scott Ferguson
 
Default Rescuing ancient laptops into emulation.

On 06/09/11 02:31, Hendrik Boom wrote:

The ancient laptop in question has about 24M main memory, a 2G hard
drive, a plug-in floppy drive, a CD drive, and a 10Mhz coaxial ethernet
PCMCIA card. (Remember those?)
The hard drive will probably fail one of these years. I'm surprised it
hasn't already.
It runs an ancient Windows system, probably Windows 95.

I can probably rig up enough hardware on another machine to talk to its
ethernet.

I can probably find a small enough Linux Live CD system to boot on it and
use the sshfs or NFS o copy the entire hard drive over the ethernet
connection. But recommendations would be very welcome.

Getting the bits is only the first problem, though. Quite a few of those
files are in file formats that can only be understood by the Windows
software that also resides on that machine.

Oh, the machine also contains one of my favourite legacy video games.

I'd like to run all that in emulation (or otherwise (any suggestions?))
on one of my new. shiny Debian boxes.



Yes. It is possible, and usually fairly simple.
The process is called P2V (Physical 2 Virtual) - there are a number of
Virtualisation choices, and ways to do that.


In your circumstances I'd suggest VirtualBox using a virtual hard-drive.
NOTE: I can't guarantee your game will function.

First you need to change the drivers being used by Windoof for your hard
drive so that Windoof doesn't get too confused by a virtual environment.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Assuredly any process not involving
sending more money to North America is some sort of breach of a Faustian
contract. Bear in mind that you are delusion if you believe you "bought"
anything when you purchased your Windoof licence - MS only grant you
liabilities. (sigh)



1. Download:-
http://www.virtualbox.org/attachment/wiki/Migrate_Windows/MergeIDE.zip

2. Install MergeIDE on your Windoof box. NOTE: I have managed this
without changing the Windoof HDD driver, your mileage will vary,
likewise AGP drivers.


3. Shutdown Windoof

4. Image the Windoof drive using dd, see Bob's suggestion:-
http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2011/09/msg00318.html
or do it across the network using Tom's Root Boot, either the floppy
disk or CD version:-

http://www.toms.net/rb/
eg.:-
on Debian where you have free space:-
# ifconfig | grep eth0
note the IP address
# netcat -l -p 2222 | dd of=hda_windoof.img
on the Windoof box running Tom's Root boot
# dd if=/dev/hda bs=512 | netcat IP_of_Debian 2222

5. Install VirtualBox:-
http://virtualbox.org
There are two versions - I suspect you'll need the closed source one for
your game, in which case add the following to your sources.list

==============/etc/apt/sources.list=======================
# wget -q
http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- |
apt-key add -
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian squeeze contrib
non-free

================================================== ========
Download and install the key, then install Virtualbox
# apt-get install virtualbox-4.0

6. Convert the dd image to a Virtualbox hard drive
$ VBoxManage convertfromraw hda_windoof.img Windoof.vdi

If you followed Bob's suggestion:-
# fdisk -l /dev/Windoof_drive
Note the size of the drive in bytes
$ cat /dev/$Windoof_drive | VBoxManage convertfromraw stdin Windoof.vdi
Drive_Bytes


7. Create a new Virtual Machine using Windoof.vdi
Read The Fabulous Manuals in the VirtualBox help ;-p

NOTE: if you have problems on first boot of the VirtualWindoof try
Recovery Mode from an Install CD.


<snipped>

Cheers

--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's just hilarious."
— Bill Hicks


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