|I'd agree with DAVE on the speed issue you may (or may not) have with a newer machine. I've worked with some industrial equipment which used a '286 that simply wouldn't work properly with a '386 or higher. |
Just out of curiosity, does the machine you currently own even have a hard drive? A lot of old 8088 (XT-class) machines were "floppy-only" and in that case, there may be a different solution to copying your disk. Also, it's possible the machine wouldn't support a standard 1.2MB (5.25") or 1.44MB (3.5") drive, depending on the machine and/or version of DOS running on it (as Stuart/DAVE mention). It would likely support a 3.5" 720KB drive irregardless; however, those are very difficult to find since they weren't produced for very long. I've got an XT which has a special card that allows it to support 1.2/1.44MB drives by bypassing the BIOS settings, but that card is near impossible to find now. Nevertheless, this may be of some assistance:
Also, since most floppies have long outlived their usefulness, I'd suggest backing up a copy of your coil-winding program (using the previously-mentioned WinImage or other program) to something more durable (Flash/Optical media). Stuff I consider vital is copied off to multiple CD's/DVD's and stored appropriately. If you discover that you can use a faster machine, it may even be cheaper in the long run to purchase an older 386/486/P1 with a CD drive and have your program boot from the CD.
"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."