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OK, just a summary for those who haven't been following this on the eCS list and to confirm I understand the situation correctly.Check!
You created an eCS virtual machine image on VPC.
To be honest, I haven't looked at the converted file, but I assume this is correct. I take that back, I just now looked at the files, and that is indeed correct. There are, tho, several other files with similar names in the VMWare directory. None of them is big enough to hold even a base eCS install!
You then used VMWare Convertor to convert this from VPC VHD Virtual disk format to VMWare VMDK Virtual disk format.
Booting this converted image under VMWare Player (and VMWare Workstation) it hangs at the eCS boot logo, we believe while some hardware detection or network (MPTN directory) is being accessed.
You cannot get the session to respond to an alt+F1 at the blob stage to allow you to turn off hardware detection, nor Alt+F2 or F4 to be able to see exactly which driver/basedev etc. is causing the system to hang.
There doesn't "appear" to be any reason why VMWare is not allowing you key in the alt key combination.
Please correct any of the above - in the meantime, while typing this out, I have had an idea.Indeed! I'd never have thought of that! I could switch off detection, and got past the boot logo. Then appeared the "OS/2 can't operate your hard drive", or words to that effect. I called up the VM settings in Workstation, and they proclaimed the drive in question is SCSI. It isn't, it's SATA, and the only drivers I have loaded are Dani's. I looked in the *.vmx file and found this:
Go back to the working VPC image under virtual PC and change the archive setting options in the desktop properties note book to say load the recovery screen at each boot. Save this and reconvert the VHD to a VMDK. This VMDK when booted should take you into the "Alt+F1 panel" now at boot up and you should be able to turn off hardware detection.
Assuming you're still awake, I did that today. To keep from mixing products, I installed the server edition on Linux, configured it, learned a brand new interface (it uses Firefox. Sorts neat, really, but surely different!), and created an eCS virtual machine. I turned off the boot logo in the menu to allow a bit more screen room, and used ALT-F4 to launch the install so I could single-step thru. As it happens, I did copy down MPTN correctly, and as you said, it is a directory. The complete entry is MPTN\BIN\CNTRL.EXE. That command executes, the next command Z:\CMD.EXE is what causes the trap, just like when I was building the VMs under XP. Same trap C in OS2KRNL, at exactly the same point. The rest of your assessment is exactly what I ultimately intend to do, come hell or high water!
Also as well as this action, you are planning to install the free VMWare Server and install eCS to that and then try that image with VMWare player (as I have done successfully) and also to VMWare Workstation, your final planned destination for the image.