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At my job we have an ancient computer (16-bit era) running OS/2 v1.3.

The problem is this computer has some proprietary software for running a particular oven which would be very expensive to replace. But we are worried the computer may fail at any time.

The software was only available for OS/2 and is no longer published so we do not think we can easily acquire another copy.

We are very afraid to even move the hard disk out of the machine so we would need to find a way of copying the disk to another disk with it installed in the same computer if possible.

What software, if any, is available under OS/2 to complete this task? If there is none, what other alternatives could there be?

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You might like to consider virtualising OS/2 so you can run your application under OS/2 on a virtual machine on almost any x86 computer hardware. –  RedGrittyBrick Aug 7 '12 at 11:24

2 Answers 2

The simples way would be to create a full HDD image including the software and the OS. A simple possibility would be to boot from a CD using CloneZilla. This would not change anything of the computer. Even if it does not recognize the used file-system you can still create a complete image of the whole HDD sector by sector.

This has the advantage that you have both the software and the OS. As the software requires OS/2 it would be useless without the OS.

Second I would look for a (used) computer that has nearly the same hardware as the one you are currently using. Old hardware should not cost much. In case of a hardware defect you would have then a replacement.

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The system is so ancient it has a 5 1/4 floppy... it doesn't have a CD drive, but even if it did, I doubt it could boot from it. Can CloneZilla boot from floppy? I don't see anything on the website suggesting it can. –  Thomas O Aug 7 '12 at 11:21
    
What HDDs does it use? SCSI, IDE/PATA or something older? –  Robert Aug 7 '12 at 11:27
    
Even older than IDE, I think it uses MCA! –  Thomas O Aug 7 '12 at 11:46

If it uses MCA then you're probably talking about an early IBM system of some sort. Can you provide more specs such as the model of the system?

Also, if it's going to be difficult or impossible to boot from some other media such as a CD, then you might want to explore moving your proprietary app to another system that has more recent hardware and, ideally, a later version of OS/2 such Warp 3 or even Warp 4. The difficulty of that effort will depend upon the complexity of how that proprietary app installed itself.

Early versions of Powerquest's Partition Magic software worked with OS/2 including dealing with OS/2's HPFS filesystem which your system may or may not use. Partition Magic, if it ran under OS/2 1.3 (I just don't recall) could be used to make exact backups of entire partitions to a different HDD. Of course, that might assume that you'd been able to install a second HDD into your MCA system (!!!)

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