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November 1999

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 editor@os2voice.org

Editor's note: these tips are from OS/2 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.

October 12, 1999 - Here's a tip from Rob Burton on the TeamOS/2 List on how to get the Word for Windows Demoes to work under OS/2:

Yes! The "Examples & Demos" in Word 6.0a-c *can* be made to work in Win-OS/2.

Many theories arrived. None helped, thanks anyway.

Trial and Error reveals:

1. It doens't work in NT, either.
2. It doesn't work in 98, either. (It crashes in '98; merely refuses to work in NT).
3. All it takes is to add to the [Microsoft Word] section of winword6.ini in the WINOS2 folder this line:


Then you get the nice, on screen movie-like demos and examples.

And, somehow, learning that the install is crippled for NT, too, not just OS/2, cheers me. Guess it shows there's a little bit of OS/2 in NT, after all.

October 16, 1999 - For folks experiencing a problem with Communicator for OS/2 4.xx running the CPU to 100%, here's a possible work-around to try, courtesy of Michael Warmuth on comp.os.os2.bugs:

The problem are not the animations. You can get this behaviour on complex pages without animated GIFs.

Here is a description of the problem:
When downloading a page with NS 4.04 or 4.61 all of a sudden CPU utilization goes to 100%. The CPU meter and the watch in WarpCenter stop. Netscape itself responds to user interaction absolutely normal (e.g. opening a menu or the preferences dialog) and the process indicator of NS works smoothly. In most cases, opening the preferences dialog and keeping it open until the pages is completely loaded brings down the CPU utilization to normal values. If you switch to another applications while this problem occurs there is a high chance that the system stalls completely with the need to reboot. This problem is very similar to the '100% CPU load while calculating complex tables' problem. The big difference is, that the latter is not a real bug - there is no system stability problem. While the table is rendered NS's interface is not very responsive (e.g. the status information stops and jumps a lot), and after completing the table the system reverts to a normal state.

The environment:
Only under special circumstances the problem occurs. This is the reason why many people (and IBM) don't seem to be able to reproduce this. First you need a complex page. Then your system has to be configured like this:
+ You use a proxy on the same machine (like WBI).
+ You have a DNS running on the same computer (like BIND).
+ You use a 32bit TCP/IP stack (e.g. TCP/IP 4.1 or MPTS WR8610 or WR8620).
I am not quite sure if all of the above is required to run into the problem. Nor do I know if this happens if you use another proxy (like SQUID) or another nameserver.

The solution:
If you use a local proxy there is a high chance that you have turned off the file cache within NS since this would be a second time caching beside what the proxy does. Most likely you have turned on the memory cache of NS so that pages visited in a session will be redisplayed faster (e.g. when using the back button). To cure the problem you now should do this:
The drawback is, that animations will only run once. Configuring the file cache, so that it holds some amount of data (e.g. 1 to 2 MB) will bring back the animations.

I hope this clarifies the situation and solves a problem some of you encountered.
Michael Warmuth Austria - The place in the
http://www.os2forum.or.at/ heart of Europe where no
http://www.osiconsult.co.at/ kangaroos are hopping around

October 17, 1999 - Where else to find tips on the Scietech Display Doctor then on Scietech's news groups. Duane Chamblee had this helpful tip on new://news.scitechsoft.com/scitech.display.doctor.os2.beta

If you experience boot problems with SciTech's drivers, there is a quick way to "get back up" The only requirement is that the GENGRADD drivers work with your video card.
After a boot or PM failure...
1. boot to commandline by invoking ALT+F1 and the "OS/2..." blurb when the system start booting OS/2 (BEFORE the OS/2 Warp graphic logo)
2. Edit the CONFIG.SYS and change to GENGRADD.
a) run
b) Press escape (to put the cursor in the "editing" position)
c) find the line
and change it to
d) delete or rename the \OS2\SVGADATA.PMI file
3. run
to reboot.
You should now be up in Generic SVGA support.
Hope this helps. (this would be great for the README on future betas)

October 23, 1999 - Found this Communicator/2 on comp.os.os2.beta from Ariel, on how to turn off those annoying animated GIFs:

To make gif animations stop after one cycle, read this page:

In short, search for NETSCAPE2.0 and for ANIMEXTS1.0 and change them to be something else - I just changed the . to a , (in netscape.exe).

October 21, 1999 - Trying to get the new beta of Adobe Acrobat for Java running and not having any success. Well I can't get it to actually display any pages, but I did get it installed with the following tip from Frank Schmittroth on comp.os.os2.beta

I used the command line:
java -classpath d:\java11\lib\classes.zip;install.zip;. install
"java -classpath" is the JDK version of "jre -cp (I think).
Note that I included the classes.zip file in the classpath along with install.zip as well as the current directory, the trailing ";." .

October 22, 1999 - On the Aurora List, Michael Lueck had this tip for a CHKDSK problem where the system reports "not able to run checkdisk-not enought memory" even though there is a lot of system memory:

There is a bug I documented with IBM concerning the fact that chkdsk.sys does not seem to be able to give the memory back when the system is done running Chkdsk. They were looking into triggering a call back to the device driver, possibly when PMShell starts, letting it know that it is time to release the memory.

W/ WarpServer (Warp3 base) and FP41, a server w/ three 18GB volumes, and 256MB RAM, our server code (Rexx based) which eats up all of that RAM was abending with the strangest errors you ever saw. Huge swap file was the clue that we didn't have all of our RAM. It was so bad that we were unable to start additional CMD sessions!


I have solved the problem as follows:


Both of the C drives were created w/ BootOS2 - the one called ChkDsk does nothing more than ChkDsk every HPFS volume while booting, using the + for each drive letter and ChkDsk.sys to all ChkDsk to get enough memory. Once inside WPS of that partition, we SetBoot /IBD:D to get into the server.

MAINT is our normal Maint partition created again with BootOS2, but I have the undocumented /FORCE option on that HPFS.IFS and no autocheck so that it is sure to boot w/o error on a dirty drive.

Our servers use CronRGF, and I have a job to reboot the server at specific times, SetBoot /IBD:D, and once a week we ChkDsk all the drives, SetBoot /IBA:MAINT

One other tip on the /FORCE paramater. I thought I would be able to use my standard MAINT partition, having startup.cmd start a Rexx process, putting up a message saying that ChkDsk would start checking all specified HPFS drives in 20 seconds if the window was not closed. Unfortunately since the dirty bit is still set on the drive, as soon as ChkDsk /F is run on the drive OS/2 pops a full screen error message asking you to run ChkDsk /F - so much for no user intervention! Thus I had to add a ChkDsk partition. This code still comes in handy because we have all of our servers monitored by HP OpenView, so our weekly ChkDsk against the drives is done w/ the MAINT partition where I have a thin MPTS installed, enough TCP/IP to run FTPD, TELNETD, FTP, and TELNET - thus OpenView thinks the box is on-line and we don't get paged. This only works with TCP/IP 4.0 and lower - TCP/IP 4.1 and 4.21 get very mad when I do this to them.

If the server hard lock's up then the night watch people on-site call us, we walk them through hitting the power button since it has come to that, and since CHKDSK is the default partition in BootManager, everything cleans up nicely.

I suggest using FAT for the MAINT type partitions BECAUSE of a BUG I found in HPFS where it is Trapping the system during boot time w/ /CRECL:64 paramater set because it currupts its own spare block on our active servers. Since one drive is dirty, you are unable to install HPFS.IFS, thus FAT MAINT partitions come in handy. So, DO NOT USE /CRECL:64, because IBM can't recreate it on a test system, and we can't afford the down time on a production server while IBM tries to get enough debug material. This bug has been documented since around Warp 3 FP5 time frame. I only found the bug about two months ago!!!

Product Suggestion - GammaTech saved the day! Since the MAINT partition was FAT, I was able to remove the HPFS.IFS line from it's config.sys with boot disks, then add NetBIOS to the partition, and install ThinIFS/SrvIFS to get to another backup server with lots of disk space. GammaTech was able to RAW READ the drive and recover almost ever file on all three 18GB volumes.

Michael Lueck
Lueck Data Systems

October 25, 1999 - From the TeamOS/2 Help List, Walter Schmidt offers the following tip on adding a title to a batch session:

When you run your batch file through the "start" command, you can set the title line as the 1st parameter of the "start" command, enclosed in doublequotes; for instance

start "My Title" /C /F myprog.cmd

When you run your batch file as a program object, the title of the program object, as specified in its settings notebook, is passed to the OS/2 window.

October 27, 1999 - What's a VOICE tips page without some great pointers from IBMers? Here's one from Irv Spalten, as posted on Usenet - comp.os.os2.misc in answer to a "How do I use those .DSK files?" question:

Have you tried LOADDSKF itself?
[C:\]loaddskf ?
LoadDskF 1.14p 05-26-92
(c) Copyright IBM Corporation 1989, 1992
LoadDskF [D:][path]filename.dsk d: [options]
The file must contain an image of the diskette that you wish to create
in the specified drive. The destination diskette is checked to ensure
the same format as the diskette from which the file was originally
The file must not be on the diskette in the destination drive.
/F The target diskette will be formatted to match the input image.
/Y Bypasses the user input (y/n) prior to overwriting the target diskette.
/Y/Q Omits the warning message before overwriting the target diskette.
/S Silent Mode - Don't Beep after writing diskette.
/C Used to write 3.5" images to 5.25" diskettes or vice versa.
See the documentation for usage and limitations.
This program will work on DOS and OS/2 Operating Systems.
Comments/questions to TCOOPER@VNET.IBM.COM on the Internet.
We've put the entire package out on ftp://service.boulder.ibm.com/ps/tools/loaddskf/ as well, see loaddskf.doc.

November 2, 1999 - Mike Kaply had the following tip about checking font rendering in Communicator/2 on comp.os.os2.apps:

Depending on who is rendering the font and in what way will determine which fonts work. So bitmap fonts usually don't work, truetype works, ATM depends. We definitely know that S3 cards have had problems displaying 1004. The browser is actually the best test of this though. Set your font to Tms Rmn. Go to http://members.aol.com/pspmikek/charsets Select Latin-1 on the left. If the characters in the table do not match the GIF below, it is definitely a video card problem.

November 3, 1999 - Having problems getting Java to install? Maybe this help from Henk Kelder on comp.os.os2.setup.misc might be the ticket to success:

Your FI.INI is probably not okay.
Please download:
And place it in \OS2\INSTALL.
Run it. It will create a file called FI.NEW.
Rename the original FI.INI and name FI.NEW as FI.INI.
Then retry installing.

November 4, 1999 - Joe Lerch posted this Star Office tidbit on the OS/2 Discussion List. This should only be necessary for older (Non-Sun) versions of SO 5.1:

The following was posted to staroffice.com.support.announce

Dear StarOffice User,
with this posting we provide a small patch, to disable the need for register each time, when you make changes in the user settings of older StarOffice 5.1 versions. Please do not use this patch for the latest StarOffice 5.1 version from Sun. Download the below listed patch into the StarOffice directory, where all the DLL's (or shared Lib's) are located. After downloading execute this patchprogram.

StarOffice 5.1 patch for disabling the registration mechanism.
OS/2 ftp://ftp.stardivision.de/pub/support/so51/os2icci3/regpatch.exe
Linux ftp://ftp.stardivision.de/pub/support/so51/unxlnxi/regpatch
Solaris Intel ftp://ftp.stardivision.de/pub/support/so51/unxsoli/regpatch
Solaris Sparc ftp://ftp.stardivision.de/pub/support/so51/unxsols/regpatch
Windows ftp://ftp.stardivision.de/pub/support/so51/wntmsci/regpatch.exe

The patchprogram makes a backup copy of the DLL (shared Lib) and changed this file afterwards. Please make sure, that StarOffice is not running during this change. If you have questions or problems with the patch, please describe the problem in our installation newsgroup for your operating system.
Kind regards
Matthias Panczyk
Manager StarOffice Competence Center

November 4, 1999 - Having a problem getting OS/2 to recognize a DOS program as an executable program? D. Scott Katzer may have the answer on the OS/2 Discussioan List:

The program was probably written with a Borland compiler. Their DPMI support sometimes confuses OS/2. You need to go in the Memory settings for the object and change the DPMI setting from Auto to Enabled.

To get there, you might need to rename the executable first, or set up a Program Object from a Template by setting all the memory settings, Full Screen, etc., first, then (as the last step) put in the path, etc. for the executable. I don't recall the details. I hope this gives you enough information to get you started.

November 8, 1999 - If you are running aurora/Warp Server ebusiness and want to install IBMWorks from the Warp 4 Bonus Pack apps, here's how Martin R. Hadam did it:

It's been a long time .... I'll just have to check what I did back then:

OK, copy the entire ibmworks directory from a Warp4 CDROM \os2image\fi\bonuspak\ to \IBMWORKS on your WSEB root. Then call IBMWDESK.cmd from within that directory and reboot. That's it.

November 12, 1999 - Dan Casey had these instructions on comp.os.os2.networking.misc on how to install a D-Link NIC DFE-530TX+ 10/100 Ethernet Network card:

I have several of them working. It takes a bit of doing, though, since the drivers for the DFE530TX won't work with it (different chipset on the card). On the disk that came with the card, there is a NDIS directory, with an OS/2 Subdirectory. In there, you'll find the Lanserver drivers for this card. You need the driver, but not the NIF file (the NIF file will not work).

November 13, 1999 - Dan Casey again, this time with a tip on comp.os.os2.misc about the current problem with new Athlon motherboards, which don't recognize RAM above 64Meg do to a BIOS problem:

Daniella Engert (DANIS506.ADD fame) has a patch utility.

From the HARDWARE mailing list:

"I've written a utility to patch the OS2LDR for all recent versions of OS/2 so that this memory detection defect shouldn't be an issue any longer. I had only one machine to test it, a GigaByte GA7IX Athlon mobo, and it works as intended.

The utility is available on request from now on.


Not sure Dani would want her e-mail address posted in usenet .....but if you have her IDE drivers, you can probably find it in the readme files.

Also here is a post from Frank Field of an email from Phoenix Technologies that explains the RAM detection problem:
OS/2 and Windows NT/9x use different BIOS calls to determine
how much memory is available. OS/2 uses INT 15h,AX=E801h
while Windows uses INT 15h,AX=E820h.

Look here, http://www.ctyme.com/intr/int.htm
<http://www.ctyme.com/intr/int.htm> to see the details.

Award has had support for the E801 call since late in 1995.
Recently, though, this support was made conditional on ACPI
in order to pass an Intel "Component Validation Test". In other words a BIOS
with ACPI support could not have E801 support.
Very recently (October), this code was refined to allow the
E801 support to be included even if ACPI is supported.

In summary, your BIOS doesn't have support for the runtime
call OS/2 needs to correctly determine how much memory
above 64MB is available. It is possible that a BIOS upgrade
from Gigabyte might fix this.

I hope this clarifies what is happening for you, and regret that we can't make
the BIOS support OS/2.

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