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March 2005

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Migrating to eComStation 1.2

By Chris Clayton © March 2005

[Some comments from Mensys regarding findings in this article can be found on the Letters, Addenda, Errata page. They provide some interesting details not found in the eCS documentation. - Ed.]


Migration has returned with the release of eComStation (eCS) 1.2. To put this installation option through its paces four eCS 1.1 computers were migrated to eCS 1.2. Even though all of these computers were running eCS 1.1, prior versions of eCS and OS/2 Warp should have no significant issues with being migrated to eCS 1.2. This is because the migration actually does a fresh install of eCS 1.2 using the latest drivers. Unless the user intervenes machine specific drivers are not migrated other than as comments in the new CONFIG.SYS. These drivers need to be manually restored post installation. This process will be discussed in more detail below. The contents of the old Desktop folder are copied to a new folder named Previous Desktop. The System and User INI application settings are preserved except for the multimedia settings. In fact the existing multimedia directory is moved to the d:\PREVIOUS directory, where d: is the installation partition, and a new multimedia version is installed that may not be compatible with the previously existing drivers.

With a little planning and preparation the migration process is quite straightforward but, as will be seen, is not always smooth. The following paragraphs detail how to prepare to migrate, the migration process, post installation tasks, and specific details on the four computers that were migrated.

Preparing for Migration

The most important task to do is to make a complete backup of the existing eCS or Warp partition and check that the backup will restore. The manual mentions this, but it does not hurt to emphasize the need for a working backup. As will be seen below the chance that the partition will need to be restored and the migration process restarted is very high. Next, it is a good idea to move all objects in the Startup folder to a temporary folder. This will prevent some unpleasant surprises when the installation finishes. The audio drivers in Win-OS/2 should be disabled. Either remove them using the Drivers option in the Control Panel folder, or comment them out by placing a ';' in front of the drivers listed in the [drivers] section of d:\OS2\MDOS\WINOS2\SYSTEM.INI. This avoids a post installation Win-OS/2 protection fault when no or an incompatible OS/2 sound driver is installed. eCS 1.2 has a fairly complete set of network card drivers available, but, just in case, save the drivers currently in use to a temporary directory. This is also a good place to put a file with registration keys for ease of importing. There may be cases where an eCS 1.2 driver is not compatible with the hardware on the machine to be migrated. An example of this will be presented below. Copies of these drivers should also be saved to the temporary directory. Machine specific driver that are not available on the eCS installation disk do not, in general, need to be saved since all existing drivers are retained. Finally, if possible, a System and User INI file checking and cleaning program should be run, such as CheckINI or UniMaint.

Performing the migration

Boot to the eCS 1.2 Installation CD using the method required for the machine to be migrated. See the installation manual for more details. Proceed through the menus, selecting an Advanced installation on the Installation type page, import the registration keys, and select the volume to be migrated. On the Format volume page check Do not format the volume (migrate installation).

The installer will go through a hardware detection phase and present a Verify hardware page where additional devices may be selected by the user. This is followed by a Multimedia support page where the few audio drivers that are available are presented. For the newer systems the installer will usually preselect the Universal Audio Driver. Older system usually have No Audio Adapter preselected.

Next the Select components page is presented. If the current setup for Win-OS/2 is to be migrated, then the option Use existing Win-OS/2 desktop that is buried under Legacy Software Support | Win16 | Windows desktop must be manually selected. The default is Standard which performs a fresh install of Win-OS/2, losing all of the existing application settings and printer setup.

The installer does not check the current networking configuration. Instead an attempt is made to detect the installed network card. When the card cannot be detected the user must select the appropriate driver from the list that is presented. For network cards where no drivers are listed, the user can either import the previously saved driver or select the IBM NULL MAC driver. If the previous system used manual IP addressing rather than DHCP then the appropriate values need to be entered into the TCP/IP settings page as the current settings are not automatically checked. Interestingly, the workstation name and domain values are checked and are preset in the LAN settings page.

After accepting the configuration, phase one of the installation begins including the few extra steps that are required for migration. In general the machine can be allowed to automatically reboot at the end of the phase one install. Sometimes, however, a few of the driver settings must be manually changed before booting to phase two. In this case the Start management console upon completion option must be selected before phase one completes. An example of this will be presented below.

The manual mentions that in phase 2 there is a possibility that some popup messages may be presented that are hidden by the installer. If an existing NetBIOS setup is being migrated, as a minimum, the following three messages will popup:

"SYS0241: The network name given was not found (LS)"
"SYS0241: The network name given was not found (LS)"
"Cannot delete File and Print Client Resource Browser ..."

As the manual states, the key combination <Ctrl-Alt-F11> must be typed to allow the installer window to be minimized so that the messages can be seen. What is not mentioned is that the installer does not always have window focus, so the user must first click on installer window, ensure that the title bar is blue instead of gray, and then type the key combination.

In the final phase the eCS Guide is presented. The same tasks that are performed for a fresh install can be performed with two differences. First, the previously existing NetBIOS user names and passwords are migrated. Thus the default installation values may not exist and there is no need to try to change them. Also, unfortunately, d:\IBMLAN\IBMLAN.INI is not migrated and has the same problems as a fresh install. So on the Network User ID page the user ID and password entry fields may be left blank. The options Automatically start network services on boot up, Allow your computer to be seen by others on the network, and Allow sharing of resources in a peer network can be selected as desired and Change pressed. A command prompt complaint will appear that can be ignored, the IBMLAN.INI file will be corrected, and a shadow of Start File and Print Client will be placed in the Startup folder. Second, the Printer page can be bypassed because the previously existing printer setup is migrated including drivers and ports. However, redirection settings may not be preserved. Redirection is usually used to allow an Win-OS/2 or an application that prints directly to a line printer port to print to a networked printer. If this is not the case for the machine being migrated then the following may be ignored. Ensure that the Win-OS/2 printer is connected to a LPTn.OS2 port. Open the Spooler object in System Setup. On the Redirection page, select the line printer port (LPTn) used by WinOS/2 in the Redirected port drop down listbox and highlighted the appropriate printer queue in the Printer list box. Repeat for any additional Win-OS/2 printers. If all goes well, the migration will finish with a new desktop that contains a Previous Desktop folder.

Finishing touches

In the best of all possible worlds all that should remain to be done is to move the contents of the Previous Desktop folder to the new desktop as desired, to and use the eCS Maintenance utility, eCSMT, to apply the few updates that are available for eCS 1.2. However things are not perfect.

First, CONFIG.SYS is partially migrated. Part of the incompleteness is done on purpose to avoid loading incompatible drivers and settings during migration. A few of the extra device drivers are copied over as comments, but not all. For example, the RSJ CD Writer configuration is incomplete. Also any preexisting device driver switches and RUN statements are not preserved, even as comments. So, one must painstakingly go through the original and migrated CONFIG.SYS files and make manual corrections. Finally, audio needs to be re-enabled in Win-OS/2. If the previous WinOS/2 drivers are not compatible with the new multimedia setup, then there is a Generic Win-OS/2 driver available on the second eCS 1.2 CD that can be manually installed following the clear instructions.

Specific system migration

For the four systems were migrated from eCS 1.1 to 1.2 a brief description of the important hardware components is provided. Next the hardware that was detected or selected during installer configuration phase is described. Then any specific installation tasks or issues are discussed. Finally, a summary of the relevant finishing touches is provided.

IBM Thinkpad i1721

The i1721 has a 300 MHz Intel Mobile Pentium II CPU, 256 MB of RAM, a TI PCI-1250 PCMCIA controller, a NeoMagic MagicWave 3DX audio adapter and a USB 1.1 port. A Linksys Etherfast 10/100 PC Card network adapter is used.

The USB controller was detected and the multimedia support was set to 'No Audio Adapter' by the installer. To enable PCMCIA support the IBM Thinkpad 390E/X Series 1720i/1721i option needed to be manually selected. On the network adapter page the driver for the Linksys PC Card was not in the list of available drivers so the Other adapter option was selected. The location of the temporary containing the previously saved driver was browsed to, and the drivers were copied over and loaded.

The 'universal' IBM Thinkpad PCMCIA controller driver, IBM2SS14.SYS, provided by the eCS installation is not compatible with the i1721 hardware. Also, PROTOCOL.INI is incorrectly configured by the Linksys driver information file (a known problem). To correct these issues the Start management console upon completion box was checked while the phase 1 installation was in progress. When the management console was presented the menu option Tools | Command line (4os2) was selected and d:\OS2\IBM2SS14.SYS was replaced with a previously saved version from the original IBM driver disk for the i1721. Using TEDIT.EXE the d:\IBMCOM\ROTOCOL.INI file was manually edited to remove the connection = "autosense" parameter. Finally the eComStation | Shutdown ... menu option was selected to continue the installation process.

During the first attempt at migration all disc activity stopped while installing feature packages. After several minutes, following the directions in the installation manual, the key combination <Ctrl-Alt-F11> was pressed. Immediately the following message appeared:

"The second phase of installation aborted with error code: 20
Refer to \var\log\ecsinst.log"

The log file merely indicated an error return from the feature installer without any explanation of what the problem was. So the computer was booted to the maintenance partition, the installation drive was formatted, the original eCS 1.1 partition was restored from the backup file, and the migration process restarted.

This time around, the key combination <Ctrl-Alt-F11> was pressed before the feature install portion was started. At first, the title bar controls did not appear, After several attempts, the author realized that the installer window did not have focus, So, the window was selected with the mouse before pressing the key combination. The controls appeared! Phase 2 completed successfully with several of the familiar Warp installation dialogs appearing, including the feature installer. (It is possible that the installer did not have focus when the key combination was pressed during the first migration attempt causing the feature installer to fail.) Phases 3 and 4 completed normally.

All that remained was to install the audio driver. The Multimedia Application install program in the Local System | Install/Remove folder was run. Choosing the Add a Multimedia Feature option and following the instructions on the ensuing dialogs, the driver on the IBM Thinkpad i1721 Audio Features disk was selected and installed. This driver needed to be manually configured to the interrupt and port settings that are configured in BIOS. The installer provided a convenient configuration tree to perform this task.


This is a home built computer based on an ASUS P4T motherboard with an Intel Pentium 4 1.5 GHz CPU, 768 MB of RAMDAC Memory and on board USB 1.1 controllers. Connected to the motherboard are the following PCI adapters: a Matrox Millenium II video card, a generic Elements 10/100 network card with a Realtek chipset, a Belkin USB 2.0 card, an AOpen AW320 audio card, and a Tekram DC-390F SCSI-3 card. The only device attached to the SCSI card is a removable media, Castlewood Orb 2.2 GB drive, thus a SCSI drive migration could not be tested.

The eCS 1.2 installer detected all of the hardware and preselected the appropriate drivers including the USB drivers for both the on board and PCI card controllers. The Universal Audio Driver was preselected for multimedia support.

In spite of the encouraging configuration phase, this system turned out to be the hardest to migrate. All phases of the migration appeared to complete without any issues. However, the final result was that the desktop was not migrated (no Previous Desktop folder) and the Usability Enhancements were not properly installed. The eCS installation and migration log files did not report any problems. After multiple restoration/migration cycles, a successful migration was finally achieved. Luckily, the author immediately made a backup of the migrated eCS 1.2 partition because, for troubleshooting purposes and in preparation for this article, several additional migration attempts were made that were all unsuccessful.

The only post migration activity that was performed was the installation of the generic Win-OS/2 audio driver that is provided on the second eComStation 1.2 CD.

IBM Thinkpad 600e

IBM 600e Laptop has a 400 MHz Intel Mobile Pentium II CPU, 64 MB of RAM, an internal Thinkpad World Wide Modem (i.e. WinModem), a TI PCI-1250 PCMCIA controller, a Crystal Semiconductor OPL-3 FM sound card, a NeoMagic MagicGraph 128/V/ZV/XD display adapter, and a USB 1.1 controller. The network adapter is an IBM High Rate PC card

During the installation configuration phase the USB support was pre-enabled, but the notebook support needed to be manually set to IBM Thinkpad TP600E/X. The multimedia support was preset to the Universal Audio Driver. However this driver does not support the Crystal audio chip set in the 600e so the option No Audio Adapter was selected instead. The IBM High Rate Wireless LAN PC Card was selected from the list of available network drivers.

Migrating this system was not a troublesome as was the ASUS P4T. However, the installer locked up four times during the initial phase 1 install and, once, the migration was incomplete without a Previous Desktop folder. The author believes that these migration issues were due to a CD ROM hardware problem since, occasionally, the CD ROM refuses to respond to read requests until the disk is removed and reinserted.

The post migration tasks were extensive for this system. The device drivers and associated statements for the internal Modem and the BIOS configuration utility were not copied over to the new CONFIG.SYS, even as comments. The IDE driver settings that enable warm swapping of the ultrabay CD ROM, floppy and Zip drives were not preserved. In addition, the Multimedia Application install program refused to install the drivers on the IBM Thinkpad 600e Audio Features disk. The GUI version of the multimedia installation program did not indicate what the issue was. However, manually executing the command


reported "Banned driver set, please use updated archive". Audio was finally installed manually by copying over from d:\PREVIOUS\MMOS2 the appropriate driver and configuration files, backing up duplicates, and editing CONFIG.SYS to add the appropriate statements.

IBM Thinkpad T41

The T41 has a 1.4 GHz Intel Centrino Pentium M processor, 512 MB of RAM, an ATI Mobility RADEON 7500 video adapter, a Intel PRO/1000 gigabit network adapter, a SoundMAX AD1981B AC97 audio adapter, a TI PCMCIA controller, and an Intel USB 2.0 host controller.

The eCS 1.2 installer detected all of the hardware and selected the appropriate drivers. Installation of Notebook and PCMCIA Support needed to be enabled but the IBM Thinkpad T40/T41 option was already checked. The Universal Audio Driver was checked for multimedia support.

The migration process was flawless the first time through and the only post installation change that was made was to use Multimedia Application install to uninstall the Universal Audio Driver and install the ADI SoundMax integrated driver v3.1.7 that had been previously used in eCS 1.1 (author's discretion).


The option to migrate an existing eCS or Warp system to eCS 1.2 is a welcome addition. The migration process is straight forward, but occasionally has difficulties requiring a restore/migrate cycle. Even so, the amount of time saved over doing a fresh eCS 1.2 install then installing applications, etc. is significant. In fact, all four of the systems discussed in the article were migrated in a single weekend. The main area for future improvement is a better migration of CONFIG.SYS. It would have been nice to have a CONFIG.SYS that contained all of the differing statements as comments in the same sorted order, including the drivers with switches. In addition, a troubleshooting process is needed for systems where the Desktop refuses to migrate, such as happened with the ASUS P4T. It needs to be noted that none of systems discussed here involved SCSI disk drives or complicated hardware configuration.



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