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January 2002

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OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mailing lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2 or eComStation recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to If you are interested in joining a particular OS/2 mailing list, check out the VOICE Mailing List page for subscribing instructions for a large variety of existing lists -

Editor's note: these tips are from OS/2-eComStation users and in some cases can not be verified by myself. Please heed this as a warning that if you are not sure about something, don't do it.

November 14, 2001 - Our first tip of the month is from Alan Beagley on comp.os.os2.networking.misc with info about the Linksys LNE100TX network adapter:
The Linksys LNE100TX network cards come with drivers for OS/2 on the accompanying floppy, but the supplied OS/2 drivers do not work.

I do not think that any driver on the Linksys Web site works with OS/2 or eCS either, but a working one is available from the manufacturer of the chip, ADMTek: Click on "Downloads" and get the archived driver set Or get it by anonymous FTP at

This driver works with versions 4.1, 5.0 and 5.1 of the LNE100TX. I haven't checked the performance (e.g., throughput) of these cards, but I have not had the trouble with the ver. 4.1 card that I experienced with the D-Link DFE-530TX+ cards -- traps in NETBEUI under heavy load, e.g., while performing backups across the network.

The ver. 4.1 card has a Wake-on-LAN (WOL) connector and came with the appropriate connecting cable. This card also has a socket for a boot ROM.

The ver. 5.1 card claims to support WOL with a compatible motherboard, but it has no WOL connector: WOL is supposed to be implemented via a suitably wired PCI slot. This card also has a socket for a boot ROM.

The ver. 5.0 card is similar to the ver. 5.1 card except that it has no socket for a boot ROM.

These cards sell for US$20 or so in the computer chain stores, and mail-in rebates are sometimes available. The ver. 5.0 and 5.1 cards were $10 each at CompUseless a few weeks ago without a rebate.

-=- Alan

November 19, 2001 - Next up, Alan Beagley again, this time on the OS2User mail list, about how to selectively turn on and off a tapedrives hardware compression if it is so equipped:
I have often lamented that Back Again/2000 apparently has no way of turning the tape drive's hardware compression on and off on a job-by-job basis when doing backups using the command-line program CLBACK.EXE. E.g., I normally use my Sony DDS4 drive's hardware compression rather than the BA/2K software compression because the hardware compression conforms to an industry-wide standard. But I do not know whether the drive's own compression is smart enough to know not to try to compress already-compressed files such as .ZIPs and .RARs (I suspect it isn't and probably therefore increases their size), so I would like to turn off hardware compression when I am backing up the directory where my Internet downloads are stored.

While browsing through some of BA/2K's "set" files (*.BST), which are human-readable ASCII text, I discovered a line (under "[Device]") "HWComp = Disabled" or "HWComp = Enabled".

Thus it appears that if one performs backups using predefined backup sets (CLBACK -set <filename>), h/w compression *can* be turned on or off on a job-by-job basis if the sets are created using the GUI version of the program or by editing the *.BST files manually.

I have searched the BA/2K docs without finding any mention of this or any explanation of the structure of the .BST files.


November 20, 2001 - On the comp.os.os2.bugs news group, Dimitris 'sehh' Michelinakis offers the following advise to anyone with a Tyan TigerMP dual CPU motherboard:
I got my Tyan TigerMP about two weeks ago, and had the same crashes. The problem is not hardware, it's OS/2. I've confirmed this!!!

OS/2 has a problem with shared IRQs on this motherboard atleast. If you run any other OS, it will work fine and NEVER crash.

The solution is this: RE-ARANGE your PCI cards. For example, here is what made my system crash:

pci1: Adatepc 29160
pci2: none
pci3: none
pci4: none
pci5: Kingston ethernet 10mbit
pci6: Yamaha sound card
So changing that to this, worked fine:
pci1: Adatepc 29160
pci2: Kingston ethernet 10mbit
pci3: Yamaha sound card
pci4: none
pci5: none
pci6: none

Here is the table of IRQ sharing:

Also, here are a few more tips that will help people who use the Tyan TigerMP:
  1. ONLY use pc2100 registered memory, otherwise dont complain if things dont work.
  2. Use ATLEAST 400W powersupply.
  3. Update to BIOS version 1.03 as soon as possible!
  4. Make sure the ATX case is big enough. The Tiger/Thunder are ExtendedATX so they cause problems on MiniATX and MidiATX cases. Drives may hit the board, or second cpu fan may hit on case fans.
  5. FreeBSD's kernel has to be 5.0-current to run SMP.
  6. BeOS doesn't run on this mobo.
  7. Make sure you have Full Hardware Detection enabled in OS/2.
  8. If you use SDD, use beta44 which enables write-combing for both cpu's.
  9. The SBLive! drivers (by Creative) for windoze don't work in SMP mode correctly.

Finally, about the CPU temperature utility for OS/2, i've been working on one for about a week now. I'm having many problems. I can read all the voltages without problem, but the temperatures can't be read. The Tyan TigerMP uses a weird 'AM' version of the Winbond 83627HF chipset and the normal secification for that chip doesn't apply to us.

None of the UNIX programs support this chipset either. There is one Windoze util that was made by some guy, but he doesn't want to tell me where he got the specs from or how he did it.

I've contacted Winbond and one of their tech support guys has forwarded my email to 'the right person', so i'm waiting for their responce. When I finally manage to make a working health monitor util for OS/2 I'll publish it on hobbes.

James Bufkin added some more ideas on the Tiger MP on November 30th
My first Tyan died after just 6 weeks of perfectly stable operation. It took 2 weeks to get a replacement from Tyan. But after going through many of the posts in the Tyan group regarding memory and power supplies, I believe the following steps taken during the building phase will make a big difference.

Definitely add a fan to the Northbridge, My 2nd system occasionally auto-rebooted. I have a LianLI PC-60 with all 4 80mm fans on full speed. I'm running a water cooling rig so the CPU temps are down around 90F. But the northbridge is very hot to the touch. I put a coolermaster fan on my Northbridge and the reboots went away.

FYI, as for the memory.. Try this, Remove your RAM and clean the contacts on the board and the RAM chips. It didn't take much effort to make the top of my swabbed Qtip dirty from brand new Crucial RAM!! There is some type of resin film on the contacts.

Also, if you can manage it, mount some type of internal fan that circulates air around the RAM. The temperature of the memory chips is uncomfortably high and the ones that are tightly sandwiched between others is about 10F higher. This could be a problem on some RAM that is marginal. I mounted a 120MM fan inside the case blowing right upon the RAM sticks. This dropped the surface temperature of the RAM chips dramatically down. Almost down to room temperature from 140F. These small modifications to the hardware did the trick for me. The northbridge should come with a fan installed. The RAM slots should be cleaner and of higher quality. There are numerous reports from Tyan users that they have to "reseat" their RAM occasionally after a crash, etc. Cleaning the slots and the RAM thouroughly seems to fix this issue.

I believe the 1.03 BIOS is stable aside from the CPU temp reading problem.

November 23, 2001 - Trevor Hemsley offered the following help on comp.os.os2.setup.misc for someone trying to install OS/2 Warp 3 on current hardware, and especially above the first 2 GB of drive space:
Warp 3 has several limitations among them the fact that it must entirely reside in the first 1024 cylinders of a disk. Depending on the translation mechanism in place this can work out as various sizes in megabytes - the most common being 504MB, 2Gb or 8GB but definitely not larger than that. Given this restriction you will have to install Warp 3 within the first 8GB of your disk so Linux must be deleted or moved.

In addition, Warp 3 ships with IDE drivers on the boot diskettes and the CD that are limited to seeing only 504MB IDE disks. You'll need to replace them with the newer ones or with DANIS506.ADD to allow it to work. You can get IBM's newer drivers from where they reside as a selfextracting zip file called idedasd.exe. Dani's drivers, which handle some IDE controllers that IBM's don't like Promise UDMA100's etc., can be found by searching for them.

If you intend to install Warp 3 outside the first 2GB of the disk then you also need to grab the file from hobbes as well as this contains some replacement files and instructions on how to do it. Failure to use these will result in an installation that freezes at the first reboot at a black screen.

November 23, 2001 - Trevor Hemsley is one of the developers who took on ProNews/2 when it was abandoned by its originators. Someone asked about a problem with ProNews/2 on the Pronews Support mail list and Trevor responded with a suggestion I was not aware of. So if you use ProNews/2 and experience prolonged waiting on header or article retrievals, try the following advise:
Yes. If you have Pronews set to "online" mode and you have the "Close connections upon task completion" NOT set then pronews will open a connection with the news server and leave it open. Most news servers will not maintain an unused connection for ever, they'll time it out. If you run in online mode then it's probably best to set the "close connections" ON (on page 2 of 3 of the Servers tab btw) so that connections are closed when there's no more work to do.

However, if it was this then I would expect you to get an error message each time, not just a long wait.

You may need to run pronews with the "-3" debug switch and look at the contents of pronews.log to see if it tells you anything extra about what is going on in the wait. Also look at the status line along the bottom of the window and see if it tells you what it is waiting for.

The only time I see this sort of delay is just after midnight when my ISP runs maintenance on their servers.

November 28, 2001 - Trying to use the InJoy dialer with Compuserve as your ISP? On the IBMForum Sam Little offered a script to help make the connection:
Yes. You need to change comm settings so that it's Even parity/7 data/1 stop when logging in and No parity/8 data/1 stop once the login is done. Here's my script file:

PA: E71
DE: 1000
TX: \r
RX: Host Name:
TX: cis\r
RX: User ID:
TX: [$USERID]/go:pppconnect\r
RX: Password:
RX: Connected
DE: 150
PA: N81
You may need to adjust the delays, but those work 99% of the time for me.

November 29, 2001 - Need to switch from the SciTech Display Doctor back to the native Matrox driver for some reason? Here is a short HowTo from Michael Warmuth on the news group:
I have done the same without any problems (because of the ImpOS/2 color palette prolem - when will IBM fix the GRADD drivers?). But as I don't have SDD installed anymore the following procedure is written down from memory, so the directory/file names may be wrong.
  1. (Boot eCS and) close all applications
  2. Run C:\SDD\UNINSTAL.EXE (where C: is your boot drive). This resets your display to VGA and removes the Scitech Display Doctor.
  3. Reboot your system
  4. Install the Matrox driver as described in it's documentation.
  5. Before rebooting open the 'MGA Settings' object and make sure that 640 x 480 x 16 is selected.
  6. If you are using a KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switch make sure that the DDC checkbox is NOT checked and select the monitor you are using (or the VESA monitor type which comes close to your monitor's capabilities) on the appropriate page of the 'MGA Settings' notebook.
  7. Reboot your system.
  8. If PM comes up correctly, open the 'MGA Settings' object again and select the resolution/color depth you would like to use (and your monitor does support).
  9. Reboot your system. (If you are absolutely sure that the MGA driver works with your settings you can leave out steps 5 and 7 and combine steps 6 and 8.)

December 8, 2001 - Markus Montkowski and Lorne Sunley. Someone asked about problems with a USB Mouse on and these guys chimed in with some pointers:
Try adding /V to the USB drivers so you get verbose output during boot. What about other Operating systems (Windows/linux) does USB work there? I assume that USB is enabled in your PCs bios....

The mouse.sys driver must be before the usbmouse.sys driver in your config.sys.

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