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Messages - Doug Bissett

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Updating the boot stick is as simple as deleting the old iso and copying another new iso into your folder.

No it isn't. If you do that, you will miss any updates to the rest stuff that is in the root of the boot drive.

Please don't make assumptions. Just follow the directions, and do NOT assume that  any other contents on the stick will survive an update. It depends on exactly what gets updated, and how you do it.

The tools I mention exist and are necessary to modify the new hard drives. Arca can not

Yes it can. Again do NOT make assumptions. READ the documentation, and get the job done right. All of the tools that you need, are part of the installer. You just need to learn how to use them. You do that by READING the documentation.

Formatting it as fat32, is for compatibility with freedos, airboot is also in DOS format. Dfsee also has a DOS version. But as Doug says, it's a matter of personal preferences. And it is also compatible with Arca.
Also the current Bios, can read the updates directly from the usb stick.

I fail to see what you are trying to do. FreeDOS has nothing, at all to do with any of the other things that you mention (although there is a FreeeDOS version of DFSEE, which you probably do NOT want to use). Airboot does not need FAT32, and it is not a DOS program,  Everything, that will be useful, is for OS/2, so use an OS/2 file system, then you can use it by booting to the ArcaOS installer, and use the System Management function. If you want to keep other things on the stick, do so at your own risk. It may be deleted when you rebuild the stick with a new version of ArcaOS.

Hardware / Re: nForce 650i SLI Motherboard
« on: April 24, 2018, 06:05:58 pm »
Have to look at the wide screen stuff.

My newer DELL(GX 270) will follow what I enter in System Setup-> Screen-> Custom Resolutions, but be prepared to do some serious recovery, if you get it wrong, and/or it doesn't work (archive restore at boot time is probably enough). The older DELL (4300 series), doesn't work that way, or I haven't found the right combination. I think that both of them have Intel video adapters built in to the motherboard. That also doesn't work with the HP system, with an NVIDIA video adapter. The HP has covered connectors for on board video, but I haven't tried that (I suspect that the controller is not there). Of course, the 1368x768 screen works just fine with windows 10. The best that I can do with OS/2 is 1280x800, which is usable, but a 1280x1024 screen is much better.

Hardware / Re: Lenovo T420 - disabling touchpad
« on: April 24, 2018, 05:47:05 pm »
How can I disable the touchpad but not the keys?

In my T510, there is a BIOS option to enable/disable the touchpad and/or the stickmouse. That works as you would expect. Disabling the touchpad disables the touchpad and the associated buttons. It leaves the stickmouse, and the associated buttons working. On my L530, there is no setting for that stuff. The windows driver has settings, that work as expected, but that does me no good in OS/2. My solution is to tape a heavy piece of cardboard (not corrugated) over the touchpad, leaving the mouse "buttons" exposed. That works pretty well, especially when I also use a wireless mouse.

Setup & Installation / Re: usb boot arca502 problem disk full
« on: April 24, 2018, 07:57:37 am »
You can also create if the usb stick allows it by size, create a second fat32 partition, where to put the tools. This works very well.

It works much better, if you use HPFS, or JFS, instead of FAT32. Just be sure that the MBR does not get rewritten, or it probably won't boot. Also, be aware, that rebuilding the installer might wipe the whole stick, depending on how you do it, so don't expect the contents to be there after you do that. It is a bonus if it does remain.

Hardware / Re: Setting HD to idle/sleep
« on: April 23, 2018, 01:17:08 am »
The Dani driver has some settings for idling the disk drives. Look up the "/IT" parameter. The AHCI driver has idling enabled, by default, but it may depend on the drive. You may need to specifically set the drivers to control a specific drive. Some experimenting may be required.

On the other hand, if the drive is noisy, putting it to sleep may cause it to stay asleep.

Another option, would be to get an external USB enclosure, and use it that way. I recommend USB 3, so that it will be faster, when the USB 3 driver is ready.

Hardware / Re: nForce 650i SLI Motherboard
« on: April 23, 2018, 12:59:40 am »
I've picked up a Dell XPS 720 which has a nForce 650i SLI chipset I believe (could be a 680i). Anyone have experience with this chipset and ArcaOS? I understand that nvidia chipsets aren't recommended.

Hi Dave. I have a couple of older DELL systems. They are mostly junk, especially in the video department, but I don't think they are NVIDIA based (at least it isn't advertised). I do have a NVIDIA video card in an HP computer, and it is also junk. However, they all work with ArcaOS, even if the video needs a lot of coaxing to work in the resolution of the attached screen. A 1280x1024 screen works okay, but my 1368x768 screen ends up working in 1024x768 mode (stretched). It appears that the problem is that both DELL and the NVIDIA in the HP, just don't tell Panorama what the screen is capable of, so it only offers the old standard sizes. Otherwise, they work okay.

Well, I thought to do my thing as a beta tester and tried to install on the system as is. It has a copy of WIN 7 ultimate edition that bitches about not being genuine and hasn't been used.

The windows "not genuine" problem is almost always caused because it detected that something changed, and wants to be activated again. Sometimes, it takes 6 months of trying to get it to go. So far, I have found that win 7 will always activate, if you try enough times. It always continues to work okay. XP Home edition, on the other hand will not activate any more (it seems that the activation server no longer exists).

Anyways, it got into a loop where both drives had partitions extending past the end of the drive. It has a 320 GB drive with a 100MBs used but not seen and the second drive is 1 TB and partitioned as C: with Win 7 installed. I repartioned the 320 GB drive thinking to install ArcaOS on it and that made the installer happy. It kept complaining about the 1TB drive and suggesting shrinking it. I did that a few times and the installer was never happy. Cancelling just led to a reboot and now I've given up.
Tomorrow I'll update my backups and swap drives and see what happens.

The problem with the 1 TB drive, is that the geometry, as set up by windows, will not be usable by OS/2 (even smaller drives can have that problem). You must wipe it, and start over, using (mini)LVM to partition it. After you do the partitions properly, you can restore windows, as long as the restore program doesn't mess with the MBR (back it up first, of course). The only backup program, that I know of, that does it properly, is Acronis. If you have a Seagate, Maxtor, or Samsung, drive (even attached as an external drive), you can use the free version known as Seagate Disk Wizard. Just be sure that it doesn't mess with the partitioning, when you do the restore.

Internet / Re: Firefox - 45.9.0 for OS/2 GA1.1...anyone...anyone???
« on: April 21, 2018, 06:19:17 pm »
Except it still will not play Youtube videos.

Some youtube videos will play, if you add the FFMPEG package, using ANPM (RPM/YUM). Just be sure that you have the SDL (upper case) package installed first. If the sdl (lower case) package is installed, it will block the install. Uninstall sdl (lower case), watch what it uninstalls with it, and install SDL (upper case) along with those packages, then install FFMPEG.

Applications / Re: Phantom Optical Drive
« on: April 21, 2018, 07:01:04 am »
I also wasn't aware that USB would reserves a letter for Optical drive, based

You should turn it off, if you don't need it. It is on the second pre-boot setup page. Personally, I think it should be off, unless a user needs it, but I was out numbered on that one.

I suggest that users should very carefully read every setting, until you have done it enough times to know what is there. Even then, you may find some new things in future releases, so watch carefully.

Setup & Installation / Re: RAM disk and temp folders...what else?
« on: April 17, 2018, 11:54:59 pm »
I think that you will find different numbers every time that you run Sysbench. You must remember that there is a lot going on in the background (even stuff that the kernel doesn't know about), that adds to the timing of reads, and writes. to and from the RAMDISK. I find that the disk speed test, in DFSEE, gives the most consistent numbers, but they are also affected by what is going on in the background. For an interesting comparison, try using a FAT RAMDISK, compared to a HPFS RAMDISK. Then, try FAT32.

It doesn't really make any sense to use a FAT32 RAMDISK in OS/2, since it is really slow, and you can't use it to transfer files to / from windows. It may be useful for testing the FAT32 driver, but not much else. Some time ago, I was using the RAMDISK with JFS, but that gets tangled up with the JFS cache, and it was tricky to get it to work properly after the format was done to a FAT volume. Formatting a HPFS volume, as JFS, works okay, but you still have the cache problem.

Applications / Re: Phantom Optical Drive
« on: April 17, 2018, 11:16:51 pm »
By default, you will install support for a USB CD/DVD drive (you can turn that off in the pre-boot menus for the installer). It adds the line "BASEDEV=USBCDROM.ADD..." to CONFIG.SYS. If you have a USB CD/DVD drive, you may want to keep that. If not, REM the line in CONFIG.SYS.

Setup & Installation / Re: RAM disk and temp folders...what else?
« on: April 17, 2018, 07:07:17 am »
...seemed like that's all that was required to get a plain-vanilla install. However, upon a re-boot I was greeted by numerous HPFS error messages pertaining to just that RAMDISK. I emailed dixie (QSINIT) author who confirmed this and explained that HPFS386 in particular has a problem with the RAMDISK in that it always thinks the volume is dirty because it always considers the volume to be a brand NEW volume.

I never used HPFS386, so I have no idea what it might think of the RAMDISK. It shouldn't be running it anyway, because it is HPFS, and not HPFS386, but it probably doesn't know the difference. You could try using FAT, but that would limit you to a 2 GB partition. FAT32 might work, but it is very slow.

Further on, I attempted to use the '/1' switch for HD4DISK.ADD, this however leads to a hard stop at bootup where the RAMDISK is not initialized and the device itself is only available as a DASD unit, the error message below is what I see:

Code: [Select]
HFS0109: The disk device driver for the 386 HPFS volume on drive Y: does not support memory above 16MB. The volume was mounted for DASD access only
I do not understand the cause, but somehow the suggested '/1' parameter for use with HPFS formatted ramdisks does not work here. Playing with the 'useallmem' setting in HPFS386.INI does not help. Could be the size of my HPFS386 cache (only 64Meg), or it could be due to some difference between regular HPFS and HPFS386.

I never used "/1". You probably need "EARLYMEMINIT=TRUE" near the top of your CONFIG.SYS, but I seem to recall that that isn't friendly with HPFS386. Another possibility, is an OLD BIOS setting (something about supporting OS/2), which is only required with warp 3. Otherwise, it should be off

The way that I use the RAMDISK, is to use all memory above what OS/2 uses normally, for the RAMDISK. Then, I use HPFS for the RAMDISK (I also make the cache as small as possible - 64K- because the cache slows it down). All of my other partitions are JFS (which is probably better than HPFS386 anyway), except for one that is FAT32, for sharing files with windows.

Setup & Installation / Re: RAM disk and temp folders...what else?
« on: April 15, 2018, 10:14:24 pm »
I think it is you who have completely missed that fact that I am NOT running AOS.

Yes, I did miss that. I still suggest using QSINIT, and it's RAMDISK (if you don't use ArcaOS). The small effort to switch is very much worth the effort, especially if your machine has 4 GB of memory, or more. The RAMDISK is far better than any other that is available, by a large margin.

Setup & Installation / Re: RAM disk and temp folders...what else?
« on: April 15, 2018, 06:38:03 pm »
LOL, great question...that was precisely what I was pointing out in my previous response to Doug's recommendation to use just RAMDISK.EXE. The RAMFS package which I have installed here is composed of:


The README specifically instructs you to deploy RAMFS.IFS and use RAMDISK.EXE for the more "advanced" features, literally, here is the quote from the document:

You seem to have completely missed the fact that the recommended RAMDISK has nothing, at all, to do with RAMFS. It is a completely NEW RAMDISK, based on the QSINIT project (look it up, if you feel that is necessary).

REMOVE all references to RAMFS. Then go to System Setup, and run the RAM Disk program to configure it. I recommend using the HPFS selection for most things. You will not find any IFS for it, since it exists in the new OS2LDR. You do need the BASEDEV=HD4DISK.ADD line, in CONFIG.SYS, but the RAM Disk program will do that for you.

Setup & Installation / Re: RAM disk and temp folders...what else?
« on: April 14, 2018, 07:55:56 am »
I see that Dave pointed you to the setup for the AOS RAMDISK. It is part of the new OS2LDR. RAMFS.IFS may be included in ArcaOS, but I recommend not using it.

1) ZIP processing - I use 'RPF Zip Control'

Ouch. That is an ancient program, that I quit using many years ago, simply because there are better ways to do zip/unzip. ARCHIVE Tool is one of them, and it is part of ArcaOS.

2) PMMail - just the standard attachments that you open up in the email, I see pmmail dumps them out into a file, so similar approach to #1 above, but because the filesizes are so much smaller it's barely perceptible

PMMail (3.x) has a setting to point to the drive, and directory, that you want to use for temporary files. Where it makes the biggest difference, is when you use the option to compress the message files, in a folder.

3) GCC - ahh, this is the biggest beneficiary actually...running any compile process (as I have it setup right now) causes the various object files to be created, I'm simply telling GCC to use the ramdisk instead of the disk, literally this almost gives a feel of an all in-memory process short of reading the sources and libraries

Okay. I thought that is probably what you meant, but what you said could confuse people.

I used ramfs for quite a while and it works well, the memory it allocates is swappable and doesn't affect things like shared memory. The problem is that it doesn't quite work right with symlinks for some reason.

Actually, there are a lot of things that don't work quite right, with RAMFS.IFS. I don't remember the details, but it wasn't possible to use it with some program that I was using when I found out about the limitations. The ArcaOS RAMDISK (which is the same as what QSINIT uses) is far better, and it can use the HPFS file system (it is one of the settings), which gives it the full capability of the HPFS file system. If you have enough memory, you can use more than one RAMDISK, with different file systems, but I can't think of any good reason to do that. The memory above 4 GB also has a method to use it as program storage (when not using it as a RAMDISK), but it needs an API to make that more useful. (look it up in the QSINIT documentation).

I didn't use ramdisk.ifs much because it used otherwise valuable memory.  With the ramdisk in AOS, I have a 20MB ramdisk used from otherwise unused memory.  I have my swappath set to it as well as temp and Mozilla temp space.  My primary reason for using it for these is to limit writes to my SSD.

The AOS RAMDISK is most useful when you have more than 4 GB of memory. I have 8 GB of memory, and use a 4.5 GB RAMDISK, without taking more than a few bytes (for the driver), away from my main memory. When you have 4 GB of memory, for OS/2, you will never swap. I would suggest, that 20 MB is pretty small, for a swap disk. One of my systems is only 3 GB, and I allocate a 1 GB RAMDISK from it, but I don't use it for swapping, mostly because a 2 GB machine will rarely swap anyway, and if it does, 20 MB isn't going to help much.

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