Author Topic: New to ArcaOS, need some help.  (Read 1261 times)

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2018, 04:07:36 am »
They should show up, I've installed to all 3 of my drives without problems. I'd suggest opening an issue at Arca Noae.
...

It seems it eventually came down to the point that I need to back up the rest of the drives (including the ones that I don't intend to use with ArcaOS) and start the whole system over with only ArcaOS installation disc, not even official DFSee, as I also found out that even after changing disk geometry with official DFSee, ArcaOS' DFSee engine sometimes don't agree with the official DFSee regarding the partition created at the end of the disk, reporting corrupt partition table, which could be solved by deleting the offending partition from DFSee and recreating it from ArcaOS.

Was that official DFSee on OS/2 or a different OS? I'm not an expert but it seems to me that running it from OS/2 may be best.

Quote
It's definitely going to be a lot of effort to prepare disks for ArcaOS installation if one intends to install it alongside existing OSes, as most partitioning utilities on other operating systems are not OS/2 aware (notably in regards of LVM configurations) and can cause issues.

I believe that is the official way to do it, especially with disks over 512 MB, which is the largest that OS/2 can use out of the box without getting tricky with the CHS values.

Quote
And a side question: When using DFSee, which geometry layout should I use with hard disks using 4K physical sectors but 512 byte logical sectors, the Big SSD/4Kb-sectors, or Huge rotating disk? Although for my 2TB drives (roughly 1863 GiB), neither option is below the physical capacity, but the performance might differ (which was why 4K alignment existed).

This was discussed last year on a mailing list. I'll quote a couple of the messages from Jan (DFSee author)
Quote
>If I had a 4K drive now could I use it with ArcaOS?

Most likely yes, with some restrictions.

There are some 'pure' 4K sector disks, but most of them emulate 512 bytes sectors
on the outside. For OS/2 that will limit you to the absolute maximum size of 2Tb.
(due to the 32-bit sectornumbers used).

There is another restriction in that accessing the disk sectors will use CHS addressing, and there you
have a limit on the cylinders (16 bit, hence maximum of 65535 cylinders).

The number of heads and sectors/track could each go to a maximum of 255,
however, there are some gotchas here too.

You will want to align anything on such a disk to multiples of 4 KIB, so any 'odd' value
for the sectors per track is out, it has to be a multiple of 8 (8 512 byte sectors is 4KiB)

So in theory (and reality, when being careful) you could use a geometry that has:

65535 cylinders, 255 heads and 248 sectors/track

This result in a usable size of about 1976 GiB, pretty close to that other limit of 2 TiB.

However, you will have to be very careful with LVM-DLAT placement, you may find that
the regular LVM program does not handle these strange geometry (#sectors) very well.

I have not done extensive tests, but did use a disk like this for a while, partitioned with DFSee
using this exact geometry. It DOES work, and as long as you don't use the reguar LVM
programs it will stay working.

However, all of this is mainly relevant if you are after maximum performance.
As other have said in this thread, read performance suffers a bit with mis-alignment
(10 to 20 percent perhaps) but write-performce may be hit harder perhaps halving
the maximum throughput.

If that is not THAT important, you could stick with the (LVM) defaults that will use 63 sectors/track
upto 500GB, 127 sectors per track upto 1Tb and 255 sectors/track upto 2Tb disks.

Or, if only using the start of the disk, ypu could use a geometry like 240 heads and 32 sectors/track,
giving you 250Gb to use for OS/2, with still optimal alignment.
(and use the rest for Windows/Linux).

Regards, JvW

Jan van Wijk, author of DFSee; http://www.dfsee.com
and
Quote
>
>If I partition a new (or "wiped") 4K drive with LVM, will it be
>optimally partitioned for 4K usage"?

No, because it will use either 63, 127 or 255 sectors/track (an ODD number, not aligned to 4K)

>Would DFSee partitioning be better?

Yes, since you can force it to use a specific disk-geometry for the alignment.

>How do I tell DFSee to align a partition to a sector beginning, or does
>it do that automatically?

It may work out OK automatically (depending on disk size, and current contents)

However, the best way to make sure that NEW CREATED partitions are aligned to 4K sectors,
is to set a disk geometry where the number of sectors/track is a multiple of 8

The most common of these is using 64 heads and 32 sectors per track (1 MiB cylinders)
but as said, that will restrict OS/2 usage to the first 64GiB

Alternatives could be

255 heads, 32 sectors per track (limit about 250GB)

128 heads, 128 sectors per track (limit about 500GB, cylindersize exactly 8 GiB)

255 heads, 248 sectors per track (limit pretty close to 2TB)

>In fact, the only times that LVM complains
>about partition alignment is when it was done by a Linux distro.

Well, there are other circumstances, but LVM complains pretty quick.

Using non-standard values (like more than 63 sectors per track) is bound to
trigger warnings or errors from other partitioning tools, but will often work ...

>If I keep my OS/2 bootable partitions in the allowed front of a 2BT
>drive, can OS/2 (ArcaOS) use partitions on the rest of the drive for
>data?

No, this is NOT about a 'bootable' limit, it is about accessing in general.

>What about >2TB?

Not possible at all for the moment.

Regards, JvW

I thought I remembered some discussion including using JFS, which by default uses 4k blocks and getting that aligned correctly but I can't find it and may be misremembering.
The advantage of a ticket is that we could get Jan involved as well as more info for Lewis to document all this stuff.


L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2018, 04:27:53 am »
Was that official DFSee on OS/2 or a different OS? I'm not an expert but it seems to me that running it from OS/2 may be best.

I'm using the official DFSee bootable media, which uses FreeDOS. The problem is, after I set the geometry to Big SSD/4Kb-sectors (255/240) and created a primary partition then a logical partition (and properly configured the LVM information), when booting to ArcaOS installer, the volume manager complained about corrupt partition table and could not see the logical partition that was at the end of the disk. Removing the offending logical partition from DFSee would remove the corrupt partition table error and I can then create a logical partition that looks correct to ArcaOS, but according to what you quoted from the mailing list, I don't know if the newly created "correct" partition would still honor the geometry setting (that is, whether ArcaOS' DFSee engine can be used just fine, or it should be considered a "regular LVM program" that should be avoided).

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2018, 04:52:48 am »
ArcaOS's DFSee is just a cut down version of DFSee licensed for installing ArcaOS. Once installed, you'll find 2 LVM programs (only one under older versions of ArcaOS) under System Setup, a graphical one and a textmode one. These are the ones that'll probably complain about bad partitioning info.
If deleting and recreating the partition during the install works, that should be good enough. You just may not be able to use the regular LVM programs.

André Heldoorn

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2018, 12:27:16 pm »
What are negative surprises or disadvantages of ArcaOS, compared to Warp 4 or eCS 1.x? You may assume the use of unspecified hardware with more than one CPU core, but do keep Warp 4 or eCS 1.x (e.g. also no USB 3-support) in mind.

I wouldn't rate having to select a slower generic eCS video driver to keep full DOS-windows support as a disadvantage, but it's nice to know that a newer, faster, default video driver is an implied "negative surprise". One may not like to fully install a system, and then find out that Excel doesn't work in s windowed session anymore.

Please no positive surprises nor hardware-specific negative surprises. I'm wondering about generic changes.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2018, 10:04:20 pm »
On a new machine, the hardware is different.

With Warp4 or eCS, it doesn't boot. With ArcaOS, it boots, but Excel for DOS from 1994 does not run.

On a slightly older machine Warp4 does not boot, eCS and ArcaOS does, but Excel for DOS runs with defects.

On a much older machine, all three operating systems boot, and Excel for DOS runs perfectly.

I'm sure other variants exist, but Excel for DOS generally does not fail because of a difference between Warp4, eCS and ArcaOS.

I hope this helps.
Expert consulting for ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation
http://www.blondeguy.com

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2018, 09:30:48 am »
ArcaOS's DFSee is just a cut down version of DFSee licensed for installing ArcaOS. Once installed, you'll find 2 LVM programs (only one under older versions of ArcaOS) under System Setup, a graphical one and a textmode one. These are the ones that'll probably complain about bad partitioning info.
If deleting and recreating the partition during the install works, that should be good enough. You just may not be able to use the regular LVM programs.

After some testing it turned out the DFSee I got from the official page (15.3) might be having bugs with creating logical paritions. For some reasons, it's not creating the logical partition correctly (EBR errors).

As for the disks not visible to the installer, I'm thinking about reading the installer log (INSTALL.LOG) to see if I can find something (that whether it detected some problems in some of the drives and aborted listing the rest), but it seems the installer is holding the log file constantly (even during System Management) and it's not directly accessible (showing only 1 byte in DIR and trying to open/copy it results in "file in use" error).

Andi B.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2018, 11:00:54 am »
Quote
After some testing it turned out the DFSee I got from the official page (15.3) might be having bugs with creating logical paritions.
I fear the problem is that everything running under OS/2 does see disks sometimes a bit different than looking at it from f.i. FreeDOS or Linux. That's why lot of people suggest doing all partitioning with DFSee running under OS/2 (booting from ArcaOS stick and running from the installer is fine).

Otherwise Jan would fix the problem immediately if there's really a bug in it. But he needs to know about. DFSee usually logs all activities and Jan is quit responsive when you discuss this at the DFSee support list or AN issue tracker.

Roderick Klein

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2018, 12:05:47 pm »
Hi

To make a >512Gb disk work with OS/2 based systems you need to use DFSee to "wipe front of disk to 0" - or similar wording - then reboot. The disk should now show as the correct size in LVM.


Regards

Pete

I thought I had posted a reply, but I think I did not see my reply, possibly did not hit the Post button.

Just a genereal peace of advise, the disc util has wipe option for GPT systems. And it uses Dfsee in the background.
I also sometimes see people to disable the discutil. Especially this last advise is in *most* cases not usefull as minilvm will run into trouble any if the discutil finds an error.
Especially for new users, depending on there skillset DFsee might a bit of complicated software package.

Roderick

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2018, 01:02:51 pm »
I fear the problem is that everything running under OS/2 does see disks sometimes a bit different than looking at it from f.i. FreeDOS or Linux. That's why lot of people suggest doing all partitioning with DFSee running under OS/2 (booting from ArcaOS stick and running from the installer is fine).

Otherwise Jan would fix the problem immediately if there's really a bug in it. But he needs to know about. DFSee usually logs all activities and Jan is quit responsive when you discuss this at the DFSee support list or AN issue tracker.

It seems even after I create the partition using ArcaOS, DFSee still reports error, something like that that "MBR 0x00000000, cyl:0, entry 1 points to an invalid EBR at 0x80004f30, cyl:33958, no aa55 sig, no valid table" (NOTE: the first partition on that disk is about 1TB in size). Back then the issue is, after I created the primary partition, creating the next partition (roughly 850GB) as logical partition resulted in the appearance of an erroneous 1TB partition in the partition table (and resulted in EBR-related errors).

On the other hand, I'm still looking for a possibility to take a look at ArcaOS installation log as the file is being constantly locked and not accessible even exiting to System Management.

EDIT: I was able to get the log accessible by killing the INSTALL while ignoring the shutdown prompt... but I found nothing (maybe I need to increase verbosity somewhere), and the underlying DFSee engine isn't telling me anything about why the rest of the partitions aren't visible to the installer. No matter what I do I can still only see the first partition of the first drive (only one entry in the installer, where there should list all accessible partitions).
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 05:43:01 pm by L.S.S. »

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2018, 05:51:39 pm »
Open an issue. The people there are friendly and want to improve the install process. Jan will probably be able to tell you the exact procedure you need to follow.

André Heldoorn

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2018, 11:35:25 pm »
Quote
Quote
What are negative surprises or disadvantages of ArcaOS, compared to Warp 4 or eCS 1.x?


I'm sure other variants exist, but Excel for DOS generally does not fail because of a difference between Warp4, eCS and ArcaOS.
In what way does Excel for DOS represent negative surprises, disadvantages (i.e. unexpected bad differences) of "ArcaOS", compared to e.g. Warp 4!?

The other day I've read about a video driver-related issue releated to windows DOS/Win-OS/2 sessions, and after a full install of OS and all apps it would be a negative surprise that e.g. a DOS window would stop working. I'm not familiar with ArcaOS at all, but it would be nice to know that e.g. not selecting a default faster Panorama video driver takes care of that.

Just preparing... Excel for Windows 3.x is just an example of an app which users may want to see working in a windowed session (not full screen), which happens to be the default setup here. Unchanged apps may outrank faster video; I'm not collectig disadvantages as such.

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2018, 12:15:08 am »
The problem is VSVGA.SYS IIRC and newer video bioses being incompatible with it. This will be a problem on OS/2, eCS and ArcaOS.
Even my 8 year old computer has problems, WinOS2 does work in a window but I get a popup about the resolution not being supported and a DOS window comes up with about one line and the same message as well the window title saying it is suspended. What does work is starting it full screen and then using Alt-HOME to switch to a window.
I repeat, this is a problem with all versions of OS/2 and newer computers. An old video card should work fine.

André Heldoorn

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2018, 09:48:29 pm »
Quote
this is a problem with all versions of OS/2 and newer computers. An old video card should work fine.
Thanks, no experience with eCS 1.x hardware <= 8 years. Apparently it's related to hardware, and not to e.g. newer drivers or ArcaOS. The work-around is both nice-to-have and a negative surprise. The latter depending on where you're coming from.

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2018, 11:14:29 am »
I got a reply from the issue regarding the installer only showing the first partition of the first disk. Turned out I need to install AirBoot manually, while I originally thought ArcaOS would have it installed for me. The installer actually checks whether there's a boot manager installed (such as AirBoot), and only when such boot manager is present would the installer enable installation to other partitions.

Before all the repartitioning I did have AirBoot installed, as it's a really powerful utility for multi-booting.

As for the EBR issue... it's relatively minor as I'm not having issues with it elsewhere for now (DOS, ArcaOS, Windows, Linux, etc.).