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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 tips@os2voice.org. 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 - http://www.os2voice.org/mailinglists.html.

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.
This month's fascinating tidbits
Date Description OS version Experience level
July 10, 2006 FAT32 Crash During Boot Both General
July 16, 2006 USB sticks: Two Tips Both General
July 22, 2006 Feature Installer: Circumvent Traps OS/2 General
July 28, 2006 WPS Hang; *.INI File Cleaning Both Beginner+
August 6, 2006 Commercial Printing From OS/2 Both Intermediate
August 17, 2006 MIDI Playback Problem Solved Both Intermediate
August 20, 2006 Flash 7, Sound, And Mozilla Both Intermediate

FAT32 Crash During Boot
July 10, 2006 - Both - General

In comp.os.os2.bugs Rüdiger Ihle complained that:

After updating to version 0.9.11 of the FAT32 package, I'm getting crashes when CHKDSK needs to be performed during bootup:

07-01-2006  16:49:25  SYS3175  PID 0006  TID 0001  Slot 000b
P1=00000001  P2=00000003  P3=XXXXXXXX  P4=XXXXXXXX

. . .and so on

KO Myung-Hun had the fix for that one:

It's a known problem. You can avoid this problem using f32stat.exe. Do the following after boot up:

f32stat x: /FCLEAN

where x: is the FAT32 drive.

USB sticks: Two Tips
July 16, 2006 - Both - General

Mike O'Connor, "a long-time user of OS/2 + eCS," sent this directly:

I have a 512MiB Legend [now Lenovo] PenDrive Pro, a device that contains two components, a “[bootable] Floppy” component and also a HDD-component, which I've yet to make boot [but still trying!].


I used this USB stick to hold my eCS 1.2 registration key, updated NIC drivers etc., for installing the eCS 1.2MR.

Despite what it says in the documentation about HPFS or FAT being the only acceptable USB formats at installation time, mine has long been formatted as JFS — JFS-bootable in fact in a primary partition.


I found out the hard way [CHKDSK involved, as next step] that due to the large disparity in [particularly WRITE-] access speed between Flash-RAM storage and magnetic storage—that, e.g., zipping 400-500MiB of a mail profile onto the USB stick usually failed, especially when using the WPS.

Also with DFSee 7.15 [OS/2 version] stored on the stick and accessing it from the [SHIFT-F3] installation prompt produced the following trap:

Exception in module: OS2LVM
TRAP 0003       ERRCD=0000  ERACC=****  ERLIM=********
EAX=00000000  EBX=f8e97118  ECX=fab9a864  EDX=00000000
ESI=fd4005000 EDI=00000028  EBP=fee7fbac  FLG=00002217

…and so on, down to:

The system is stopped. Record all of the above information and
contact your service representative.

Above was to sort out the fact that WXP Pro has the SATA disk MBR showing as a Large-Floppy [unpartitionable] format in my new HP Athlon64 3200+ system.

The reason the two examples above failed was that one needs to enter the commands [ZIP.exe & dfsos2.exe] from the USB drive's prompt, and this then results in success!

Feature Installer: Circumvent Traps
July 22, 2006 - OS/2 - General

Lars Erdmann, in comp.os.os2.bugs, advises us:

I am sure it's not only me who has worked his ass off to get something installed with the Feature installer (for example: java 1.1.8 unicode).

It kept trapping in install.dll. Opening a command line and issuing:

SET BEGINLIBPATH=d:\netscape\program

(change appropriately for your system)

. . .and then re-running install.exe from the package made everything OK.

[NB: In his original post to the newsgroup, Lars had written an incorrect BEGINLIBPATH. He corrected it later to what you see above. -yke]

WPS Hang; *.INI File Cleaning
July 28, 2006 - Both - Beginner+

This is an “oldie-but-a-goodie,” and most of us already know it. But it bears repeating from time to time. The present offering is from Mark Dodel (who had to use it recently), and he got the text below from Ian Manners (date and place not given).

We've marked it Beginner-level, because everyone should know the routine. But we've flagged it “+” because problems can come up, and then you really need to know more than beginners usually would.

“Gavin” (somewhere) had a problem, and Ian gave this advice:

OK, have you cleaned your INI files out?
I use :

checkini /C /Y:2

[Part of WPTools -yke ]

cleanini.exe /DelAll /multipass /LogDel /c /Restart

[CleanIni55.zip -yke]

I also occasionally delete the key PM_Workplace:FolderPos by using UniMaint. Be aware that this key stores all your folder/icon positions etc.! [emphasis added -yke]

It can get very big on systems that get a fair bit of use. Zapping this key will normally shrink the size of your OS2.INI file very dramatically as well.

I do this about every 12 months on my main OS/2 box as I do a lot of image/photo manipulation, sorting, merging, etc., as well as it contains my primary MOD/MIDI archive which has over 6,000 files, and is also used for writing DVDs so gets quite a workout with its 2x160GiB HDs.

As always, backup your INI files before doing (not that I can talk). [emphasis added -yke]

Maybe the New Thing here is deletion of the PM_Workplace:FolderPos key, which YKE hadn't heard of before.

Commercial Printing From OS/2
August 6, 2006 - Both - Intermediate

In comp.os.os2.misc, Pierre Jelenc was perplexed:

Is there a way to produce graphics files that will give good results (i.e., not pixillated/jagged text) from a commercial printing company such as 4Over4.com?

Producing a JPEG is trivial, of course, but the results are terrible wherever there are sharp boundaries, such as are produced by PS or TTF fonts. PhotoGraphics gives excellent results but is not an option for a file that needs to be used by a commercial printer.

I tried to create an EPS file, but all it does is to create a bitmap and encode that, instead of drawing vector outlines of the fonts. It is no better than TIFF or JPEG.

“johnsuth” had a way to do it:

Try printing your PhotoGraphics project to a Postscript printer driver and save the output to file; then employ Ghostscript to convert the PS file to PDF.

A little later, James J. Weinkam added:

I have prepared copy for commercial printing using Papyrus. Set up paper size and page format corresponding to what the commercial printer will actually use.

Create, if necessary, a printer object for a printer model that can handle that paper size and that supports postscript. There is no need to own the physical printer; just install the drivers anyway. (Choose the most expensive model you can find, you save more that way :-)) Print to a file then convert to PDF using Ghostscript.

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MIDI Playback Problem Solved
August 17, 2006 - Both - Intermediate

Our very own Editor-in-Chief Christian Hennecke had a problem with MIDI playback, posted in ecomstation.misc.multimedia:

On a fresh install of eCS 1.2[M]R German, I don't get any MIDI sound. A double-click on any MIDI file makes the file briefly show the "opened object" hightlighting, then it returns to normal. Opening any MIDI file in any player produces an rc=5129 error message.

I have the Crystal 1.76 driver for a CS4232 chip installed. I do not use the OPL3 FM driver but rather the MPU-401 driver from Thetaband to access the built-in wavetable on my card. Entries in CONFIG.SYS are the same as on my old eCS 1.1 system where this worked.

There used to be a problem with the installation of the MPU-401 driver where entries in MMPM2.INI got inserted in the wrong order. This does not happen with the new minstall.exe, though.

Here are the relevant sections of my MMPM2.INI:



Thetaband's MMCHECK utility doesn't report any errors.

Hendrik Schmieder solved Christian's problem:

Try it with:

 DEVICE01=AMPMIX02   — Note!

And if this does not work add:


But you have to modify mmpm2.ini from a maintenance partition.

Flash 7, Sound, And Mozilla
August 20, 2006 - (Both) - (Intermediate)

Rainer Stroebel found this in comp.os.os2.misc:

Rich Walsh wrote:

Many users of the Mozilla family of apps find that they have to use SET LIBPATHSTRICT=T to run more than one [Mozilla] app simultaneously. An unfortunate side-effect is that sound no longer works in the Flash v7 plugin.

I've identified the cause of this breakage and have developed a fix. You can get it from:

Flash Fix

It will backup one of the Flash DLLs, then change a single byte in the original file. Thereafter, Flash v7 will produce sound even when LIBPATHSTRICT is in effect. (BTW, be sure to close your browser before running it—you can't patch a DLL that is in use.)

Formatting: Christian Hennecke
Editing: James Moe