Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

June 1998


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OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mail lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2 recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to

June 12, 1998 - Interested in how to kill a print job? Here's a tip from Peter Kay on OS2-L:

If simply deleting it and resetting the printer does not work within about half a minute or so, select open, 'view job content'. Close the system editor and the job will disappear!

June 9, 1998 - Petter Kay suggests this course of events to guarantee a successful OS/2 install. Of course these are specific to his hardware, so act accordingly:
To be absolutely sure that OS/2 will install, add the components in the following order:

1) copy disk 1 (or loaddskf disk1_cd.dsk) and edit config.sys to
remove the ,LW from the DISKCACHE line (works around FAT cache bug).
REM out any unneeded drivers. If you're running a 2940, you may
need to patch the boot disk with the latest driver.

2) Boot to a command prompt

3) change into \os2image\disk_2 on the cd and run fdisk. Partition as
appropriate. Reboot to command prompt

4) format the partition with the /L (long) option. HPFS may be formatted
by adding the /fs:hpfs parameter. Format is found in \os2image\disk_3

5) Run through the advanced install as normal. Install basic Warp 4 with
VGA, WinOS/2 and IBM Works. Add support for Citizen printer.

6) If it works, install Peer services.

7) Install TCP/IP from \cid\img\tcpapps\install.exe on the CD. This allows
you to deselect components you do not require (such as 3270/5250

8) Install multimedia and the AWE64 driver

9) Install voicetype

10) Netscape followed by netscape plugins

11) EMX, Emtex, Xitami, VAC++, XFree86

12) Numerous VAC++ fixpacks.. Make sure it hasn't fouled up your
SOM settings.

13) Java 1.1.4 and patches.

14) Fixpack 6

15) S3 Virge driver

16) Backup.

17) ext2fs (I'm generally wary about any beta releases of features as
fundamental as a file system)

You can combine many of the above steps; I've listed a very cautious approach. Some people have had issues with Java 1.1.4 and FP6 - I've been OK.

If you don't need Java at this point, I'd wait. Java 1.1.4 weighs in at close to 30MB for the basic install.. Then there are the patches (15-16 MB total probably) and of course any serious Java coder will want Swing (JFC) 7MB or so.

June 7, 1998 - James Mckenzie on OS2-L reminds us that if you want to force OS/2 to do a long format rather then the default quick format of a hard drive use Format x: /l /fs:hpfs.

June 7, 1998 - Here's another reminder from James McKenzie on OS2-L if your having a problem with your printer maxing out your CPU when printing, switch "to Interrupt driven printing (/IRQ)." Add the /IRQ switch to the print01.sys line in config.sys. There is a trade off in that it will now use an IRQ (most likely 7 for LPT1) but it doesn't have to keep polling the printer and using CPU cycles.

June 5, 1998 - Have a Sound Blaster card and having problems with interference with other devices. Here's a tip from Steven Levine "The sound blaster driver's sniff IRQ's they are "not" supposed to. Try moving the DEVICE line toward the beginning of CONFIG.SYS. I've got COM3/IRQ5 and must load the sound blaster before SIO."

June 3, 1998 - Installed FP6, or considering it and you have an Adaptec SCSI card? Take this advise from Ken Hildabolt on the OS2-L:

I don't know if your problem started with FP6, but from the newsgroup discussions, IBM changed a default in the AIC7870 drivers in FP6. Has to do with the type of translation table used by the card for your SCSI drives. In the Adaptec setup is a parameter for translation table, and reads thus:

Extended BIOS translation is used only with MS-DOS 5.0 or above. You do not need to enable this option if you are using another operating system such as NetWare, OS/2, Windows NT or UNIX.

So all of us who had this off (on writes a 7 meg translation table on the drive for DOS when on, off writes a 1 meg translation table) had the exact problems you were describing.

My solution was to go to the Adaptec site ( and get a newer driver than you found:

D:\STORAGE\78xu2os2.exe -a-- 178016 98/04/01 20:20

This allows for the correct usage of the BIOS translation switch.

June 3, 1998 - Want to know how to delete the old inputs in the OS/2's Enhanced Editor "Add file" window? Well on the possi list Bill Schindler had the answer:

Click with the mouse on the file you want to delete from the list, then press Ctrl+Backspace (the same key combination that deletes a line in the edit window). This also works in the command window.

June 2, 1998 - This sound tip from Scott Lambert on OS2-L:

If you just want the ability to play the sounds but don't want the actual system sounds, you can run \MMOS2\INSTALL\DINSTSND.CMD and reboot. This frees up some system resources the the "Enable System Sounds" checkbox doesn't affect. I do it to all my systems. The regular MM stuff works fine.

If you want them back just run \MMOS2\INSTALL\INSTSND.CMD and reboot.

June 1, 1998 - Have an MGA video card and experiencing system lockups since you installed Smart Suite for OS/2 Warp 4? On the OS2-L, Brandon S. Allbery, has the answer as usual.

Matrox video card, right? Switch to 16bpp and/or disable DIVE/EnDIVE. It's a bug in the Matrox drivers.

May 31, 1998 - On the TeamOS/2 List, Duane A. Chamblee had this explanation for why some folks are having problems with some CDROM's under OS/2:

I've seen this behavior with old 2x or slower CD drives and software burned CDs (custom made) One reason could be the lack of multisession support on your CD Drive or just incompatibility with the CD Burner format.

If possible, try swapping the CD from the Win95 machine into the OS/2 machine and see if this works. You could also make a network connection to the Win95 CD.

May 30, 1998 - Need help with setting up Peer networking on OS/2, Again Dr. Dirk Terrell has a suggestion, this time on the os2user mail list.

For those of you needing to do peer networking in a heterogeneous environment, you might want to take a look at

It has some good information. I got my Warp machine connected to the Linux machine running Samba. Now I can finally edit files on the Linux machine with EPM. :-)

May 30, 1998 - Brandon S. Allbery on OS2-L passes on this info on how to turn off/on Hardware Detection in Warp 4.0:

Reboot, then press Alt-F1 when the "boot blob appears". Select the option to disable hardware detection. After the system has booted, go into the Hardware Manager (OS/2 System->System Setup->Hardware Manager) Properties and disable it permanently.

May 30, 1998 - From Dirk Terrell in answer to a post on the Possi List about how to run the example/demos included with Java in the Demo folder.

Those are Java applets, so you have to run them from the applet viewer. Right click on the example1.html file and expand 'Open As' choose the Applet Viewer menu item.

May 30, 1998 - As a long time MR2-ICE user I appreciated this little gem from Booth Martin on the OS2-L:

One nifty little feature I finally discovered in MR2/ice is the little "f" box on the bottom of the panel. It toggles the screen from the font chosen to the alternate font chosen. I've chosen a fixed font as my alternate font, so one click of the "f" lets me change how I look at it.

May 29, 1998 - Looking for the IBM only Matrox Millenium 1.14 video drivers? Roger Lindmark gives the location on OS2-L -

May 29, 1998 - Do you have NT installed and want to be able to access your HPFS formatted drives. Well our friends at Microsoft decided that was to dangerous for NT 4.0 users so they conveniently left that feature out. If you are willing to chance it here's a suggestion from Robert W. Erickson on the OS2-L on getting that capability back.

A copy of pinball and a bunch of ifs for os/2 can be found at:

May 28, 1998 - From Jon Saxton on the TeamOS/2 Help list here's some info on the autocheck commands in config.sys:

I believe that the AUTOCHECK list on your
is only for HPFS drives. Makes sense since it is on the HPFS line.

For FAT drives the autocheck list is on the DISKCACHE statement

BTW, for those who run a FAT-free system REM out the DISKCACHE statement. You
don't need it and it eats up a lot of memory (up to 4Mb). If you have a FAT
partition for occasional use, change the default cache
to something like the statement in the previous paragraph. Only leave the
default setting alone if you use FAT extensively. And floppy disks don't count
in this context.

May 27, 1998 - For you folks still running windows apps under OS/2 here's a tip on adjusting the sound for a Sound Blaster card from J. Michael Stolp on that ever helpful Possi mail list. As an aside I strongly urge anyone who hasn't yet joined Possi to consider doing so. Besides gaining access to this helpful mail list, there is also the benefit of the OS/2 centered printed monthly magazine. For information ( and a trial copy of the magazine ) checkout

I have had success adjusting WINOS2 Volume by *manually* editing the SYSTEM.INI file section for the Soundblaster card. Notice the *Volume=xx, xx lines and adjust them up or down to taste.

VoiceVolume=12, 12
FMVolume=12, 12
CDVolume=12, 12
LineVolume=12, 12
MasterVolume=12, 12
TrebleTone=12, 12
BassTone=12, 12
OutputGain=0, 0

May 27, 1998 - From Doug McKibbin as posted on the Possi List "Here's a generic string for 56K modems:
The 28800 parameter represents the minimum connect speed.
The 52000 parameter represents the maximum connect speed.

May 26, 1998 - A site designed to help with the installation of the Sound Blaster AWE64 card under OS/2 Warp 4 can be found at

May 25, 1998 - Here's a tip on using help in OS/2 from Don Hawkinson , author of CCA, DH-Grep-PM, PMStripper, Pastry Box, and DH_ClipSave/2

The online help and information files appear to be indexed to speed up searches, and if you search for an indexed word you will get a quick response. If the word you use for the search is not in the index, the search program does not default to searching the text of the document.

You can force a search of the document by using a wildcard in the search pattern. This will take longer, but you have a much better chance of finding the information you need.

May 24, 1998 - Having a problem with Lotus Organizer causing your mouse pointer to disappear after you close it. Brandon Allbery suggested this on OS2-L:

The only way I found to fix this is to open Unimaint --- for some reason, Unimaint forces the "cursor hide level" (as GT SysInfo calls it) to 0.

May 20, 1998 - From Rob Burton, frequent VOICE contributor, here's a tip on getting winsock to work if you are trying to run tcp/ip under win-OS/2:

It's not supposed to be "right there in Winos2". It's supposed to be in TCPIP\DOS\BIN and pointed at by the proper environmental variable set in AUTOEXEC.BAT. And there must be one and only one copy of Winsock.dll. Full details on all of this at Judy's Warped World site.


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