Since my original post I went ahead and upgraded my environment to Fusion 8.0 and installed a couple of 83 vsims (GA, not RC1)
However, not being sure how 8.3 vsim would react, I DID NOT upgrade the 'Virtual Machine hardware version' when prompted to do so ... and everything seemed to work fine. I was running Fusion 6.x previously. To be honest, I'm not 100% certain what VM-HW version that was providing.
Those two 83 vsim I built report their VM-HW at version 7. All is well.
As a test, I had a 3rd 83rc1 vsim which I shutdown and used Fusion Setting Compatibility to upgrade to current which turns out to be VM-HW version 12. That vsim will no longer boot but instead gives the error shown below. Questions:
Q: Does anyone know if this can be fixed or should I burn it and start over?
Q: Does anyone know if upgrading an 83 vsim to Fusion 8.0's VM-HW version (12) at the start of a vsim install process would work better?
PS/FWIW -- I took a chnace and upgraded a Window 2008R2 server to the latest and saw no problems.
For my edumication ... what is/was going on there?
Can/should I keep this floppy image around and can I the same image for a couple other 83 VMs to correct the issue when I upgrade them? It sounds like you're saying what this does is to let me pick the 1st IDE drive as the startup disk ... is the floppy image really needed after that?